Our New Approach

When Five Talents started in 1998, providing financial services to the poor was still a novel concept. The early wave of microfinance organizations focused on microcredit and distributing small loans in efforts to stimulate business development and to help families escape poverty. Over the years, Five Talents has pioneered a new approach that addresses the shortfalls of traditional microfinance and is particularly effective in empowering the vulnerable poor. The distinctives of this new approach can be summarized as asset-based, community-centered, and locally owned and managed. Below is an overview of how Five Talents savings groups work:


Catalyzing Financial Services Among the PooR

Group Formation


A group forms with trusted friends who save collectively and loan to each other.

Financial Literacy

Members are trained in financial literacy and business development.

Business Loan

On average, after six months of savings, members are entitled to seek a business loan.

Interest Rates

Loans are made to members at rates determined by the groups themselves.

Loan Repayment

Loans are repaid over three to twelve months with an average of 1% interest per month.

Dividends Shared

Interest is kept as dividends and shared between group members.

Business Development

Money returns to the savings group and is recycled for further business development.


Watch a savings group in action and witness the impact it makes on a community: