Rojiroti is an innovative, low-cost type of microfinance for very poor women in India
Rojiroti is run by women from the communities they serve. They earn a small margin on loans, incentivising uptake and producing a kind of “viral” spread. Loans are very small and flexible, and the very low-cost model makes it viable to work with women in Bihar State who are much poorer than those reached by conventional microfinance. Most borrowers are Scheduled Caste women. Loans are used for medical treatment, schooling, improved housing, and social obligations as well as investment in agricultural income-generating projects. There are now some 20,000 female borrowers and 100,000 direct beneficiaries (their families). Rojiroti has been developed over more than 10 years and there is strong evidence of the transformational impact this approach has on child health and the livelihoods of the whole family. For example, a recent University of Nottingham-led randomised control trial found a significant reduction in the stunting and wasting of children under 5 in communities with Rojiroti. See: https://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2019/10/10/archdischild-2018-316471
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