Banking on Her

A legacy project for the former staff of Certus, Bank of Scotland and ICC Bank

Banking on Her? … You bet!

Women in the developing world reinvest up to 90% of their income in their families, compared with 30-40% by men. However, women are often financially excluded – with no access to financial services, such as savings, bank accounts or credit.

However, in households where women have financial control, more children, especially girls, attend school, food is saved for the hunger gap, and medical bills can be paid.

Training women in microfinance is the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come, and that’s where you come in.

Banking on Her provides a unique legacy for staff as Certus closes its doors. Supported by former Certus, Bank of Scotland Ireland and ICC Bank staff, and managed by a staff committee, this project will give women in Hawassa, Ethiopia access to financial training and micro-finance – giving them the opportunity to change their own lives and the lives of their families.

How we’ll do it!

Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) are groups of local people, mostly women, which provide mechanisms for people, without access to traditional banking services, to save money and obtain loans.

Members contribute a fixed amount on a weekly basis, usually ranging from $0.04 to $0.25.

Members can apply for a loan from the fund providing them with easy to access, cheaper credit to help set up new businesses from which to support themselves and their families.

In times of distress such as medical emergencies or food shortages, loans from the VSLAs  provide a blanket of security for members, supplemented by a Social Fund (funded through the interest on loan repayments).



Women re-invest 90% of their income back into their family and community

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Only 3 in 10 women over age of 15 can read or write in Ethiopia


On average, every woman in Ethiopia has 4.5 children in their lifetime









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