This process is done by Trainee Loan Officers. They visit the targeted area and gather information from municipal offices, local traditional leaders, churches and other community leaders, and also interviews community members at random.
The main objective of this process is to do an environmental scan of the area and establish general facts (some are documented through relevant offices) about the poverty level of the area and available interventions to alleviate poverty.
Community Entry Meetings
These meetings are used to introduce the concept of developmental microfinance. Different stakeholders attend these meetings and the overall objective is to get a buy – in from the communities. Tiisha works with the house of traditional leaders in those areas.
In a village or a township where Tiisha operates, Loan Officers are the main contact with the potential clients.
A Loan Officer is assigned to a certain number of villages or townships to operate in. In this case, 5 Loan Officers will be recruited per branch. They make contact with potential clients to explain how the organization works and how the potential clients can benefit by participating in the program.
Loans are given to groups of five with the purposes of developing small businesses. While some projects may be run by individuals, the group members act as guarantors of each other’s loans. All five members must repay at the same time to move up to the next loan cycle. The loan sizes then increase in line with business value. In general, thirty women (six groups of five) comprise one loan centre, which meets monthly in order to repay loans and save, discuss business ideas, apply for new loans and receive training.
Repayment and Savings
In general, thirty women (six groups of five) comprise one centre, which meets monthly in order to repay loans and save, discuss business ideas, apply for new loans and receive training on basic business management.
Groups and centers are formed with complete care and should uphold the best methodology in working with the poor. The group and centre solidarity make possible to achieve the high repayment rate. Good repayment rate is the basis for everything in microfinance. The centre meeting takes between one and two hours.
All group members are required to save R50.00 per month. This will be deposited into the group’s savings account held with Postbank. This money assists in case a group is unable to meet its full repayment for a particular month (this also serve as a collateral). The group can withdraw their savings once the members want to cease receiving loans from Tiisha.
Our entry loan is R1, 000. 00 (one thousand rand) per applicant and the ceiling is R10, 000 (ten thousand rand only).