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The Solidarity Group Credit Scheme

1. Who Can Participate?


Groups of 3 to 10 Gambian Women with the following characteristics:-

Average annual income of not more than D 6,000;

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 Solidarity Group loan?

The group members must:-

F be registered as members of GAWFA, having paid individual membership registration fee of D100.00 each or 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 either as individuals or as a group before qualifying to apply for a loan;

F have a savings balance equivalent to at least D75.00 each;

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

F be willing to guarantee one another with their individual savings and through peer support and pressure.


3. How much can a solidarity group borrow?

  • Solidarity group loan amounts are equal to 3 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 33.33% of the loan amount requested.
  • First loans will be not less than D225.00 and not more than D500 per group member. The General Manager may approve or recommend higher first-time loans on a case by case basis.
  • Members of a solidarity group may receive different loan amounts depending on their savings balance.
  • The highest amount that a solidarity group can borrow is D20,000 or D2,000 per individual member.
  • A solidarity 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 Solidarity Group loan be used for?

_ 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 Solidarity Group Loan be Repaid?

F All members of a Solidarity Group will sign an agreement stating the conditions for repaying the loan.

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

F Loan principal and interest will be 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 Solidarity Groups are required to continue saving even when they have a loan.

F Solidarity Group members cannot withdraw their savings until all the members have repaid the loan in full 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 on the number of days that the instalment is late.

F All members of a solidarity group must repay their loans together.

F A solidarity 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 Solidarity 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 A solidarity group member may withdraw from a group and become an individual borrower if she meets the conditions for an individual loan.