I attended the official launch event of the new partnership alliance between microfinance leaders Unitus and Accion in Bangalore this past Friday. This is a unique partnership of two experienced and innovative organizations who are turning their expertise and resources to bring massive acceleration of access to microfinance to India, a country with 1/3 of world’s poorest and to date significantly underserved with the empowering help of microfinance services.
The alliance has set an extremely ambitious goal of serving 15 million poor households in India by 2015 estimating to touch conservatively 75 million people (assuming 5 people per household.) This would represent a massive impact on global poverty in addition to being a transforming process for India.
Unitus will be focusing on “scaling up” innovative, early-stage/start-up Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Accion will be focusing on helping large, traditional banks in India “down-scale” to start providing relevant financial services to the poorest. Unitus has a good start with current partnerships with 5 very promising MFIs who are demonstrating significant progress already.