has been revitalizing communities in the developing world
for many years, and 2005 was designated the UN Year of Microcredit.
Thanks to small loans,
often as little as $50 or $100, people who have
been struggling economically, and would be deemed uncreditworthy by the
conventional banks, have been able to set up
small businesses and
There are different definitions of microcredit, but the system
Grameen Banking, which started in
Bangladesh, has become the
most well known. With a mission to help poor families help themselves in
overcoming poverty, it makes credit a basic human right. Borrowers form
which regularly meet, each member bringing a savings
book with them, and contributing a sum each month, no matter how small.
Trust is built up, and after a while individual members are able to
borrow, and get their small businesses started. In our collection, we
have pictures illustrating this process in several countries in the
- Sean Sprague, Photographer
Click here for all Microcredit photos
7575 - Beneficiaries of micro-credit savings club near Bembereke, Benin.
km05164 - Woman holding savings book at a savings club and micro credit group holding a meeting, Kampong Thom, Cambodia.
5350 - Women’s savings club/credit union, Kottayam, Kerala, India.
N07np2649 - Savings book and monthly contribution for Milijuli cooperative women’s savings group, Kathmandu, Nepal.
3395 - Farmer feeding pigs, small loans scheme, Quynh Luu district, Vietnam.
7455 - A micro-credit savings club, a FUNCOM project in Oaxaca, Mexico.