Microfinance is the core programme of BASTOB. The main aim of this programme is to create employment opportunities and increase the income of the programme participants. The Microfinance programme of BASTOB reached 30,865 families upto June 2018. To alleviate the poverty of the disadvantaged section of the society, microfinance has been assisting the poor effectively in improving their living status and livelihood. Since the poor people cannot afford any collateral against their loan, the microfinance services from a Microfinance Institution (MFI) are their only hope to get loan in an easy way without collateral.
Microfinance programme is implemented as per microfinance policy of BASTOB. The policy includes the guidelines for group formation, savings, credits, interest rates of savings and loans, insurance and benefits. The Credit manual is followed for field level implementation.
BASTOB started its microfinance programme in 1998, immediately after the flood, for the male groups who were engaged in the agricultural activities and small trading. Post flood interest -free loan was provided to the flood affected farmers. After successful completion of this programme and upon the request of the programme partners, BASTOB started microfinance with the financial assistance of Hilfe fuer Bangladesh, Liechtenstein. BASTOB became a partner of INCOME PROJECT III of CARE Bangladesh in 2001. As a result of technical and financial supports of CARE Bangladesh, the programme became more systematic, structured and visually acceptable. In 2007, BASTOB became a partner of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). With the financial, technical and capacity building activities of PKSF, BASTOB became an effective microfinance institution in Bangladesh.
Till June 2018, there are 30,865 members involved with the microfinance programme. The services of microfinance are institution building, savings, credit, insurance, social awareness, and business counselling.
Serendipity happened to Jahidthrough patience and persistence
With the assistance of BASTOB, the kitchen-tool maker Mohammad Jahidul Islam, of Atibazar village-market, Keraniganj, crossed the high way of struggle and stepped in the International Trade Fair Dhaka 2017. We call it serendipity because although we (BASTOB) partnered with Jahid for three years only, his patience and persistence made him a champion. People including many BASTOB-members were astonished and widened their eyes seeing Jahid in his own shop in the Trade Fair.
It was incredible even to the BASTOB-staff when Jahid explained his plan to display his tools in the Trade Fair but finally it became true. We are proud of Jahid because of his belief in self-development. From a tiny thatched shed in a village market Jahid built a small household tools industry at Atibazar (Keraniganj, Dhaka), where 32 persons are working in the factory. On the other hand 24 persons are engaged for marketing and sales promotion all over the country. Jahid’s dream, proper use of fund and management skills brought him this outstanding success through a loan of Taka five hundred thousand only.
BASTOB analysis shows that Jahid was able to adapt SMART (S-specific; M-measurable; A-achievable; R-relevant; T-time bound) goal which he learnt from BASTOB trainings. It would not be too much to say that Jahid’s success stands for BASTOB’s vision.