What is a Self-Help Group?
It is a small group consisting of 08-20 members from the same area/location having similar socio-economic background who voluntarily gather to achieve collective social and economic goals. Group members arm themselves with literacy, financial literacy, saving, lending, banking and book keeping skills. The group makes consensus decisions, sets their own operational rules, regulations, and bi-laws, and mutually agrees to contribute to a common fund and save whatever money they can, conveniently, out of their earnings. The group lends their help to emergent needs/economic development and provides a voice to the poor to increase their influences within the private and public spheres to give them economic power. Self-help groups create significant externalities in their communities to work towards improving the following public services: education, healthcare, social security, eradication of illness and drugs, and enabling the creation of new SHGs and in financial inclusion.
Concisely, a self-help group is a group of persons, having similar socio-economic background, who have come together to achieve a common goal of sustainable economic development, through sharing of concerns, helping each other, resolving problems in a democratic and decision-making process.
The various stages in the delivery of microfinance services have been dealt with in this chapter. Starting with the identification of target areas and clients for receiving microfinance services, this chapter deals with the processes of group formation, opening of bank accounts for the groups, and enrolment of the groups in CRDT and SHG Finance Plc.
It also enlists the training modules, skill training and steps involved in nurturing and equipping the groups to avail the services and derive optimum benefits from the Microfinance services offered by HiH Cambodia & CRDT and SHG Finance Plc.
Training is a continuous process to build the capacity of SHG members, Group Coordinators and Representatives of the Self Help Groups. Trainings will help the members to understand their roles and fulfil their responsibilities effectively. It also equips them to avail of the financial services from SHG Finance Plc. in an appropriate and effective manner.
Suitable activity-based skill training is also given to members on-demand. The training includes modules on pre-and post-asset creation. Special skill training programs are also given to existing entrepreneurs for upgrading their skills and expansion of their enterprises based on the need.