Take Good Care of Your Village

Every time you have a business decision to make, you make it with this in mind: How does this decision affect my relationship with my village?

-Sonia Simone of Copyblogger.com

In microfinance, you know it already that replicating a good system can oftentimes give you successes. Right?

Come on, it is not always the case. It is already a cliché. Look for a good system, do it yourself and if it succeeds, replicate it.

You can do it better than that. The pillar is RELATIONSHIP.

Take Good Care of Your Village

You can put any names on your prospective clients. You can call them customers or beneficiaries. You want them to feel the sense of belongingness that is why you call them members.

In the Philippines, some MFIs call them ‘Nanays’, meaning ‘mothers’.

There is nothing wrong about the names. These only imply the deepness of your relationships with them.

Since, we are not only focused to one segment but also to some other segments in our client targeting, I will call these members/clients/customers in one collective word, i.e., VILLAGE.

Now, maybe you are wondering why Mr. Yunus called microfinancing as village banking.

In other words, we shall go back to some middle ages wherein nearly everyone’s work was inextricably tied up with their community. In a village, everyone is your neighbor. The village baker is your neighbor. If he baked a badly tasting bread, you can make him a visit and give a piece of your mind. It is a complicated system at times but it brings reliability and predictability that your microfinance business can learn.

It is relationship that builds your business. It is not your product. Microfinance is relationship building. It is a relationship that builds trust.

This is not a new way of doing business. It is always there but oftentimes, some people do not know it’s there.  Of course, your village will ask more from you but they are always loyal to you.

Think about Your Village

Let us look for one more time.

Every time you have a business decision to make, you make it with this in mind: How does this decision affect my relationship with my village?

It is through your village how you design and offer your products. It is through your village how you decide to innovate. It is through your village how you decide to run your business.

It has a flip side, though.

The Flip Side of Relationship

One way relationship is not a healthy relationship. It is exploitation.

Oftentimes fear caught us not to damage the relationship we had established.

In everything you do for your village, conduct yourself in a businesslike way. Set appropriate boundaries and be clear from the beginning or else you’ll become the Village Idiot.

Of course, I am joking.

But, what do you call of a person who gives and gives everything for the village without getting from it. An insane?

So there you go. A microfinance practitioner is not a village idiot, I supposed.

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So long…



I will be posting about Quality Group Formation with Your Village. So, keep posted by subscribing to this blog.



9 thoughts on “Take Good Care of Your Village”

  1. Indeed, strong customer relationships are at the heart of success in microfinance since written contracts are almost meaningless if social contracts fail. And this has a lot of implications on the marketing function of an MFI, as well as the SWOT Analysis of an MFI (something you posted about earlier).

    P.S. You may want to look into the idea of putting up links to your blog’s sponsors, since I’m not sure it’s allowed under the wordpress.com rules. Please do check with them because it would be terrible if they took away all your content. (You can edit out this part of the post).

    1. Hi Fehmeen,

      Indeed, relationship is king in microfinance. MFIs successes, indeed, are not dependent on products only but the systems that give attention to building great relationship.

      As to the sponsors, well, the site is my friend’s site who made the header image of my blog. It is somewhat like a featured site (lol)….if you can make a 125×125 banner for your site, I will include it too. Though, I have an affiliate link embedded at my home page. Yes, it is prohibited in wp.com but the sites are not commercial. Thank you for the reminder he he he.

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