Sudan: Seed money
Rural women are the poorest of the poor in Sudan. Access to education is severly limited and they often have little say in the running of their families or communities.
But many are finding a voice through village-level savings and credit groups thanks to a project called ABSUMI that is helping to transform women from subsistence farmers to entrepreneurs.
Started in 2011, this micro-finance scheme was set up by the Agricultural Bank of Sudan and IFAD with support from the Central Bank of Sudan and is now reaching nearly 30,000 women.
Members of the savings' groups can apply for loans of between 150 and US$1,200. Group members are also required to save part of the income to build insurance against shortfalls or collateral to access additional loans.
So far, almost 100 per cent have been repaid and with financial solidity, these women are also taking on leadership roles in their families and communities.