Micro Credit Programme

Starting from 1999 IIMC has followed the model of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, founded by Dr. Md. Yunus as the first bank Dr. Sujit & Prof. Yunus. for rural illiterate women. Since working only on the medical part was not enough to improve the quality of poor people life, IIMC started to develop also the economical aspect. At the very beginning, in order to launch this programme, IIMC had to inform women about what micro-credit is and convince them about many advantages that this project could take to their families.
Starting with 7 women, now the IIMC microcredit programme involves 22000 women in more than 243 villages. The first IIMC Microcredit Programme was built in Hogolkuria in 1999. After that, other six branches were founded: Hatgacha, Chakberia, Kalyanpur, Dhaki, Prasadpur and Amoragori. All these banks are part of the Mahila Udyog unit, which in Bengali means Women initiative. Generally, each branch operates within radius of 10 kilo metres and an average of 46 villages.
The IIMC microcredit programme is based on some principles such as proper care and respect for clients, flexibility in dispensation of credit, guidance to poor women clients and low rates of interest. Microcredit Programme give the women the opportunity to get loans at a low interest rate. With this money they are able to start a business and improve their condition. Indeed, the direct effect of giving loans is making women economically independent and improve the living standards of the whole family. Further more, there is a big impact on the role that women play within the family and the society, improving their social status, encouraging their children to take primary education and, in general, contributing to the development of the rural areas.

Group Creation Process

The process starts with the choice of a village where a potential group could be created. With a door to door activity, the women are invited to a first meeting in which an IIMC bank manager introduces the programme and explains how it works. Then, the interested women will go for a second meeting, where they provide their personal information in order to apply for the micro-credit group. Once the group is formed, IIMC keeps under control the members for a period of three months and provides a training to teach them how to start a business, how to manage and save money and how to behave in the group. Meanwhile, the women are required to save a certain amount of money each week, to get used to the concept of saving. If the process follows smoothly, the group is created and the women can start their activities.

Loan to Mothers

In order to start the activity, each woman will get a first loan of 3000 Rs. and, if the woman is reliable and her business grows, she can apply for further loans up to a maximum of 15000 Rs. Once a woman gets a loan, she has one year time (44 weeks) to pay it back, with the interest of 10%. The new group will choose among its members the President, the Secretary and the Cashier, that will facilitate the coordination of the group and the relation with the IIMC bank. A strong point of the IIMC microcredit system is the attitude towards its partecipants: if women are in trouble with the restitution of the loan, the bank will grant them more time and support to go beyond the difficulty. If the problems persist, the only consequence will be the impossibility to get a new loan.


The women participating at the programme can also deposit savings on their IIMC account and draw from there in case of necessity. When a woman, afraid that her husband could use the money for selfish and immoral purposes, asked to Barnali to keep some of her money, IIMC realised that women, in order to have an effective control over their resources, needed a safe place where keeping savings.