Research And Development
Product and Services
Innovation through research and development is part of being in TBF. Product Development requires imagination. Innovative ideas come from people who question assumptions and recognize that things do not have to be the way they have always been. The Bridge Foundation has been doing just that and we have launched new innovative products that the poor can easily access:
Loans for home based business specially devised to empower economically, socially backward and downtrodden clients who may or may not be member of SHG, to help them become self-reliant. Presently 95% of the clients are women.
Direct Lending loans
Individual loans given to the members of the Self Help Group who have shown consistency in saving for over 6 months, not defaulted in repayments to the group and prepared to start or expand Micro Business. Self Help Group undertakes the responsibility for repayments during the tenor of the loan.
On lending Loan
TBF works in collaboration with local NGO's for effective monitoring of the program. NGOs are rated according to the rating criteria of The Bridge Foundation. NGO selects the clients as per TBF criteria. Funds are released directly to the NGO for onward release to the clients. Verification of funds utilization is done on random basis by TBF field staff.
Short Term Loan
Small entrepreneurs need additional capital to top up stocks to meet requirements local fares and festivals. They borrow from moneylenders at exorbitant rates of 60-120%. To help poor entrepreneurs to meet such urgent working capital requirements, short term loan is devised. Duration of a short term loan is 3-6 months and need based repeat loans are given within 15 days on prompt repayment of earlier loans.
Employment Generation Loan
Micro loans are small loans to meet the requirements of Micro enterprises. Few Micro Entrepreneurs after 3-4 cycles of micro loans, need higher loans for the scaled up business. TBF is no assisting such businesses, since TBF's criterion is to assist only micro entrepreneurs. However if the scaled up activity generates employment for many other unemployed entrepreneurs in the region, TBF continues to support such scaled up activity with higher loans ranging between Rs.100,000/- to Rs.500,000/ to encourage job creation opportunities for the poor unemployed.
MED House Repair Loan
Housing is basic necessity for humans and poor are always deprived of better housing facility. House repair loan is to assist our existing MED clients living in homes in a dilapidated condition. If the MED loan partly repaid, repayment on House repair loan will commence after full payment of MED loan. Loan is to be repaid in 2 years.
This programme initially started in Karnataka with the support of the Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police (Prisons). We are supporting the families of prisoners where the bread winner is serving a jail term. To mitigate the suffering of the family encourage taking up of economic activity by one of the family member. Loans are provided for setting up / improvement of small business. This program is now extended to the states of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Micro Insurance products were launched in collaboration with TATA-AIG Insurance Company in the year 2001. Products were specially designed considering the need of the poor, at affordable rates. Poor clients who contribute Rs.25 to Rs.60 a month and get a risk cover of 25,000 to 50,000 on death. Considering the problems of accessibility to clients living remote villages plan is to work through the NGO partners by using simple procedures to provide insurance coverage.