Thrissur-based Esaf Microfinance has been shortlisted for the European Microfinance Award 2014 for its ‘clean energy for the poor’ initiative.
Esaf, along with two other finalists, were picked for ‘contributing directly to improving the lives of the clients.’
Esaf Microfinance operates in six States, covering 34 districts and reaches out to more than seven lakh members.
Dia Vikas Capital, a subsidiary of Opportunity International, Australia, and Manaveeya Holdings, a subsidiary of Oiko Credit Netherlands, are major social investors in Esaf.
Esaf is now in the process of applying for a small bank licence, a company spokesman said without disclosing details.
K Paul Thomas, Managing Director, said Esaf has supported more than 70,000 clients with clean energy solutions in the form of solar energy products, smart cooking stoves, and water filters.
At least 68 per cent of its clients in this programme survive on ₹2 per day or below and 90 per cent live in rural areas.
Esaf is now in the process of developing an environmental policy, Thomas said.
XacBank LLC from Mongolia and Kompanion Financial Group from Kyrgyzstan were the other finalists for the European Microfinance Award.
The award was launched in 2005 by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs. This year, it received 26 applications from aspirants in 19 countries.
SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line
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