Padakhep launched its microfinance program in 1993 to encourage the increase of income and livelihood of the poor beneficiaries. Based on long term experience, Padakhep realize that, Microcredit is insufficient to tackle poverty and that the poor also need a package of other services for their economic empowerment, resulting in microfinance. While microfinance has produced benefits, it is not enough as it has failed to reach the poorest of the poor. Considering the problem, Padakhep follows a Holistic Development Approach (HDA) in operating its microfinance program aims to alleviate poverty not only through income generation but through a holistic approach targeting a package of other interventions centering a community or Padakhep Palli. Holistic Development is the system of collectively implementing health, economic, and education initiatives to strategically meet a community's development goals.
Microfinance has been regarded as the main program of Padakhep in respect of beneficiary size, working area, volume of capital and belongingness. All other programs/activities strategically are based or centered on microfinance. Efficient management system and tools, linkage with financial institutions, identification of alternative micro-schemes, approach to address the poorest of the poor section and access to the remotest and hard-to-reach locations have added an extra dimension to Padakhep's microfinance program. It has to be mentioned that a beneficiary of the microfinance program of Padakhep was awarded 'Best Woman Micro Entrepreneur of the Year 2013' from CITI Group.
Padakhep receives credit funds and operational backstop support from PKSF and other national as well as international financing agencies. The program covers target beneficiaries like ultra poor, beggars, poor, small/marginal farmers, businessmen, fishermen, entrepreneurs, char/haor/baor/tribal/coastal and monga-affected people, etc. In all, 30-35 lakh beneficiaries are involved in the microfinance program of Padakhep.
Objectives of the program
The specific objectives of the microfinance program are to:
Padakhep follows Holistic Development Approach with microfinance as the centre point of development. The important strategies of the program include:
At present, Padakhep is operating its microfinance program in 54 districts through 312 management units (246 branch, 5 sub-branch, 48 area, 13 zone offices and head office).