Podcast Interview

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This week Yvette Torres-Rahman, Partnerships Director at Business Fights Poverty, interviews Shameran Abed, Director of BRAC Microfinance.

Shameran speaks about BRAC’s growth, an NGO now servicing 5.5 million customers in Bangladesh alone. Their small ticket microfinance products service about 90% of their customers and the larger ticket loans aimed at smaller business customers (the missing middle) now represent around 40% of the value of their loans.

Shameran explains that BRAC wishes to remain true to its founding objectives of empowering the poor. In addition to its microfinance products it offers other services in the areas of education, health and financial literacy training.

Looking to the future BRAC is customizing its offer around peoples’ needs, developing innovative financial products such as migration loans and health shock loans.

BRAC has plans to roll out its microfinance products internationally. In Bangladesh, high population density means that a new village branch can become sustainable in a short space of time, however, in parts of east and west Africa, where population density is lower they are looking to find the right balance between the lower costs associated with mobile money and the personal approach for which they are known.

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