SENDFiNGO: an innovative model of financial inclusion in Ghana
SEND-Ghana pioneered the use of credit unions to expand microcredit outreach in order to promote sustainable livelihood security in the north of Ghana, one of the poorest parts of the country. SEND-Ghana facilitated micro loans through a relationship it built with credit unions, by which it offers funding and technical support to the credit unions. In 2009, SEND established a new entity called SENDFiNGO as an independent organization to take over and manage its previous work in microfinance and credit union development. Since then, SENDFiNGO has grown from 1,314 members in December 2009 to a total of 6,016 at the end of 2012. At the same time, studies have shown the widespread positive impact of the project on clients, including: 49 per cent of women expanding their business; an increase from 24 per cent to 40 per cent in women saving money over the course of their loan; and women contributing to their household expenditure showing an increase from 12 per cent to 45 per cent. The paper sets out the history of the project, details on the impact findings and lessons for other microfinance programmes from this innovative approach to financial inclusion.