Develop Women Savings & Credit Cooperative, Nepal

by Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)

In January 2008 Yael Falicov, IDEX’s Director of Programs, visited three savings and credit cooperatives affiliated with WACN in rural Nepal.

To date, WACN has helped developed 35 cooperatives with over $2.5 million dollars of capital in circulation. WACN works with each cooperative for five years. In the first two years, WACN staff helps women start their own savings and credit groups in each village, brings them together and gets them legally registered as a cooperative. For the next three years, WACN staff provides follow-up support as needed, and typically by the sixth year the cooperative is functioning completely independently, without any need for outside funds.

Each cooperative has approximately 200 members and includes groups in 9 communities. The local women administer the cooperative themselves, and provide training to the members on financial literacy and income-generating skills. Each member has a savings account that accumulates with 10% interest, and can be withdrawn after a certain number of years. They also qualify to receive one-year loans that are used for agriculture, livestock, opening small stores, building fishponds and other income-generating activities.

A typical example is Sabitri Timilsina, a middle-aged woman who doesn't have enough land to grow food. She eventually built up enough loan capital to buy 4 buffalo, and now sells 80 pints of buffalo milk per day. She makes even more money selling the manure, and has enough left over to run her own mini-biogas plant. This innovation, built with training and technical support from WACN, converts the methane from the manure into fuel, which is piped into her home to power a gas burner.

The structure of the cooperative empowers women financially, but also allows them to come together around many other issues. One cooperative in Kavre grew so powerful that the leaders took over the local 'forest users group' - the committee of locals who work with the government to manage the forest. When a group of wealthy landowners appropriated the forest for their own use, the women rose up in protest. The leaders of the cooperative were arrested, but they convinced the police of their cause and were immediately released, at which point they marched to the local government office to protest. They filed two lawsuits and eventually prevailed, saving the forest from destruction.

Training on Incense Production Incense production is an attractive income-generating activity for women because they can produce it inside their homes, and they can profit from the production with a relatively modest investment of labor. This year, WACN provided a five-day training on business planning to enable cooperative members to prepare a business plan to establish a microenterprise producing incense sticks for sale in local communities.

Twenty-one women participated in this workshop, facilitated by staff members from the Business Development Resource Center, Nepal. • Areas of training included: • How to identify the local target market • How to deliver this product to local communities • How to provide good service quality to customers • How to manage a well-run microenterprise • Risks involved in managing a microenterprise

During the training participants were divided into three groups in which they created a business plan together to present to the other groups.

WACN has authorized microcredit loans to two cooperatives in the Makwanpur district, Nepal. After meetings and discussion with the women members of the Village Development Committees (VDCs) NRs.70,000 (US$1,030) was provided to Shree Nari Chetana Milijuli Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd. of Hatia VDC and NRs.30,000 (US$440) was provided to Nari Chetana Agarbatti Cooperative Ltd. of Chucchakhola VDC.

The fund is being mobilized as loans to its members for a variety of income generation activities. Most of the loan is disbursed for the following income-generating projects: • Goat raising • Buffalo raising • Agricultural activities • Incense making • Small petty goods

The increased income will allow the women to improve the nutrition and health of their families.

The informal women’s group of Hatia Village Development Committee (VDC) has been registered as “Nari Chetana Milijuli Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd.” at the District Cooperative Office in Makwanpur district of Nepal. At present, 92 women are shareholders of the cooperative. The informal savings groups of women have now been legalized and are now established as a local legal entity.

After registration, the cooperative was provided with materials (stationary) support as required to maintain proper and transparent accounting system of the cooperative.

WACN has facilitated a three-day training on Saving and Credit Mobilization that was held at the training hall of the Community Forest Hall Building from 28th -30th Chaitra 2063 (11th -13th April 2007) for the first group and from 1st -3rd Baishak 2064 (14th -16th April 2007) for the second group. All together 64 participants participated in both trainings. The main objective of this training was to impart knowledge about the groups’ concepts and to develop the habit of savings for effective mobilization. In the training participants were taught about the advantages of group savings and the value of team-work. They also discussed topics such as types of saving, saving mobilization, process of group formation, loan disbursement and repayment method, roles and responsibility of management body etc. This training helped the participants to conduct group meetings and to collect savings in the cooperatives office.


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)

Location: Gyaneswor, Khatmandu - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Gillian Wilson
IDEX Latin America Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 119 donors like you, a total of $7,569 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Find another project in Nepal or in Microfinance that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.