Microfinance

Background and Introduction
Farmers Friend Organization (FFO) is a specialized MFP that provides financial services to poor households. FFO Microfinance was initiated in 2003 to combat the incidence of poverty. It is guided by the principle that poor need opportunity, not charity. FFO seeks to eradicate poverty by providing basic financial services (loans, savings, remittances etc.) to the poor through the processes of social mobilization and peer lending. This will allow FFO to continue to expand its outreach to poor families throughout the country.

Approach and Philosophy
Following a rights-based approach, FFO places a particular emphasis on the right to a sustainable livelihood and income security. To realize this purpose, we strive for creating and providing opportunities and resources to enable people living in poverty to exercise their right to enhance and stabilize income to live a dignified life. Microfinance is the best tool to achieve this aim and therefore, provision of financial services to the poor is actively pursued by FFO.

FFO believes that by providing the poor with economic opportunities such as credit, they can reach their full potential and overcome the barriers of poverty.

Vision for Microfinance
We envision an enabling environment in which most poor people have permanent access to a required range of financial products and services delivered through a variety of convenient mechanisms.

Program Goal
To empower the poor households to become economically self-reliant by providing appropriate financial services in a sustainable manner.

Guiding Principles
In its attempt to achieving both the social and commercial purposes of the microfinance program, the organization adheres to the following guiding principles:

  • Be clear on why microfinance is to be carried out
  • Design and establish program policies and procedures to actually reach and empower the poor, particularly women
  • Be participatory and responsive to the needs of the clients
  • Provision of quality services to the clients through processes of dignified treatment
  • Be transparent and standardized in procedures, systems and disclosure
  • Place a continued focus on institutional strengthening
  • Attain sufficient scale to reach optimum level of operational, financial and institutional sustainability
  • Link the scale of microfinance operations with the human and institutional capacity of the organization

FFO Microfinance Values

  • Put the customers first
  • Quality of services
  • Lead and inspire each other
  • Earn the trust of the community
  • Transparency
  • Equality
  • Standardization
  • Dignified treatment
  • Appropriate pricing

Products and Services
FFO provides microcredit services with the belief that the poor better know which businesses to start and how best to employ working capital. Loans to the working poor are provided in different categories. Following loan products are provided to the clients:

PRODUCT

PURPOSE

AMOUNT RANGE

LOAN TERM

Principal Loan (PL)

Productive

10,000-40,000

12 Months

Small Business Loan (SBL)

Productive

10,000-100,000

12-18 Months

Operating System
FFO has devised a solid, decentralized and replicable branch system with the emphasis on standardization. This type of operating system enables quick but controlled delivery of products in an efficient manner. FFO's branches function in alignment of the standard operating procedures that provide policies and procedures for all operational and management actions.

Methodology
FFO microfinance methodology is primarily based upon peer-lending model, integrating industry's best practices with our own innovations. Moreover, to diversify the clientele range and loan portfolio, individual lending is also a component of the lending methodology.

Portfolio Management System
To maintain a strong portfolio quality, FFO has developed and implemented an accurate, simple and user-friendly electronic portfolio tracking system that manages small transactions efficiently, increase staff productivity, provide financial accountability and generates information and reports for efficient and effective management and decision-making.

Integration of Unique Program Strengths
To achieve its objectives of outreach and sustainability, the FFO has made certain relevant arrangements. These arrangements represent the innovative strengths of the program and are essential in reaching the intended financial and social goals. The particular strengths include:

  • Vision Clarity
  • Targeting the real poor and responsiveness to their needs
  • Long-term operational and financial planning
  • Low-Cost operations and management model
  • Internal training and orientation systems
  • Simplicity and standardization
  • Strong internal control & efficient risk management
  • Vibrant policy environment
  • Transparency and accountability
  • An exclusive focus on financial sustainability and institutional viability