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                               The Large Group Credit Scheme


1. Who Can Participate?


Groups of 11 or more Gambian Women with the following characteristics:-

Average annual income of not more than D 4,000;

Engaged in a micro or small scale enterprise or planning to start one in any economic sector (agriculture, manufacturing, trading, services);

Non-Board members of GAWFA;

Non-Staff members of GAWFA.

Resident in a rural village or urban town.


2. What are the conditions for a Large Group loan?

The group must:-

F be a registered member of GAWFA, having paid a group registration fee of D200.00 and paying D50.00 annual subscription in July of every year;

F save regularly for a minimum of three months before qualifying to apply for a loan;

F have a savings balance of at least D900.00;

F pay a group loan application fee of D50.00 and complete a large group loan application form;

F be guaranteed by the executive committee and the alkalo of the village.


3. How much can a large group borrow?

  • Large group loan amounts are equal to 4 times the amount saved over a three months period. This means that the balance of savings at the time of applying should be equal to 25% of the loan amount requested.
  • First loans will be not less than D3,600.00 and not more than D6,000. The General Manager may approve or recommend smaller or higher first-time loans on a case by case basis.
  • The highest amount that a large group can borrow is D30,000.
  • A large group whose first two loans were repaid on time and continued to save regularly may be given special consideration for a higher loan to savings ratio for subsequent loans.

4. What can a Large Group loan be used for?

- For sharing among the individual members of the group or for communal projects;

- For fixed assets and working capital;

- For vegetable gardening, poultry farming, sheep rearing, soap-making, tie-dyeing and others;

- For petty trading, wholesale and retail of all goods, dressmaking, food processing and others;

- For buying milling machines, sewing machines, refrigerators, farming tools, seed nuts, fertiliser and others;


5. How should a Large Group Loan be Repaid?

F Three members of the Executive Committee of a Large Group will sign an agreement stating the conditions for repaying the loan.

F An interest of 2.09% per month will be charged on all loans.

F Loan principal and interest are repaid monthly from three to twelve months.

F The General Manager or Board of Directors may approve grace period and longer repayment periods depending on the use of the loan.

F The Executive Committee of a Large Group is responsible for collecting all loan repayments.


F Large Groups are required to continue saving even when they have a loan.

F Large Groups cannot withdraw their savings until their loan is fully repaid with interest.

F A penalty of 10% per annum will be charged on principal and interest instalment that is late. The penalty will be charged daily for the number of days that the instalment is late.

F A large group which fails to repay a loan on time is liable to legal action. In such cases, the group will be responsible for the cost of legal action.


6. What else does a Large Group need to know?

F A loan processing fee equal to 2% of the loan amount will be paid by the group before the loan is disbursed.

F An individual member of a large group may save as an individual and become an individual borrower if she meets the conditions for an individual loan. In such cases, the Executive Committee of the Large Group will be required to endorse the individual loan application.

F Members of a Large Group may form smaller solidarity groups and apply for solidarity group loans if they meet the conditions.