We are pleased to announce that Hand in Hand India and Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd have achieved the Truelift Aspirant Milestone. In completing the Truelift Indicators Tool, both institutions demonstrate a strong commitment to fight poverty with grass roots entrepreneurship. Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd was acquired in September 2008 by Dr. Kalpana Sankar and the team at Hand in Hand and provides microfinance services to the entrepreneur beneficiaries from the Self-Help Group Program of Hand in Hand India. Both organizations are closely working together to alleviate poverty and promote job creation and entrepreneurship through credit access and business trainings.
Hand in Hand India was registered in 2002 as a charitable trust, and today is working in seven provinces in India, including the poorest regions of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd started in March 2009 in the province of Karnataka; they are today present in Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Union Territory of Puducherry – they plan to expand to the Northern States to reach more excluded communities. Both institutions use the innovative Credit Plus model to empower women and enable them to generate sustainable income. By relying on social capital as collateral, this approach guarantees access to credit for those women traditionally excluded from bank services, and allows group members to build solidarity and avoid exclusion.
Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd and Hand in Hand India built their strategy on a robust theory of change relying both on social and economic empowerment. For this double mission, they defined objectives, outputs and a way to measure their results. This framework is used to help both organizations to constantly improve their services and products. This method has allowed Hand in Hand India to make the decision to introduce a new loan size to avoid the exclusion of the poorest. Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd also decided to introduce a home repair loan based on the demand of clients. In order to meet their members’ need of education for their children, both organizations introduced the educational loan. This educational loan is now embedded in their strategy of social empowerment: by building human capital and providing hope for a better future for members’ families. Being attentive to their clients’ needs is a characteristic that Hand in Hand India and Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd demonstrated in Pro-Poor Principle two of their Self-Assessments.
Congratulations to Hand in Hand India and Belstar Investment & Finance Private Ltd! We encourage other poverty-focused institutions to take the first step on the Pro-Poor Pathway. To learn more about the assessment process and the Truelift Indicators Tool, please click here.