Frequently Asked Questions
What is Microfinance?
From a broader social development and poverty alleviation perspective, microfinance is a tool that provides financial services including uncollateralized loans and savings to the enterprising poor by which self-employment is generated and family income is increased in order to improve the quality of life of the marginalized sector. Microfinance is not simply about providing financial services, it is also about helping improve the life quality of target communities. It has two bottom lines -- one is financial and the other one is social.
How is Microfinance different from Traditional Banking?
Microfinance deals with higher risk factors that arise from giving its clients uncollateralized loans. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) will provide services to people whose needs are not entertained by banks due to the risks of delinquency involved.
MFIs can greatly minimize the negative effect of these risks because of the approach they take in dealing with clients. Unlike traditional banks, MFI staff will directly communicate with and visit clients to conduct meetings and process transactions. MFIs will also accept savings accounts of very small amounts.
What does "ASA" stand for?
“ASA" is not an abbreviation. The word “ASA” in Bangla and Filipino means hope. That is HOPE written in capital letters.
What is the target market of ASA Philippines Foundation?
ASA targets poor entrepreneurial women with their own businesses or self-made products. They need to be in good physical condition to maintain their livelihoods.
Why does ASA only cater to female clients?
This is a common practice within the microfinance industry itself. It is said by experts and seen through various communities that giving uncollateralized loans to women only, greatly minimizes the risk of delinquency. Women are less like to have vices and are commonly better in allocating money for household needs.