What is a cluster? | Village Invest

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What is a cluster?

Our clusters are made up of neighboring villages that share a common economy or history and that have formed their own savings and credit groups, owned by the villagers themselves.

We use clusters to help protect the identity and exact location of our borrowers. Your investments are managed at a village level by the local savings and credit group. 

Interest earned is shared among members

These village savings and credit groups are normally owned and managed by women, giving them a greater say in their community and more choice over how to manage their incomes. 

Members of these groups deposit savings regularly. Some of these savings are then lent back out to members who qualify and are in need of small loans. The interest earned on repayments is shared among the members.

Villages that have achieved a green or yellow rating can receive loans to increase the funds available to lend to their members. Your loan to a village will be recycled among a number of entrepreneurs from that village, before it is repaid after three years. 

Your loan benefits entire villages

This means that over the lifecycle of your loan, you will contribute to the well being of many individuals and families as well as contributing to the funds of the village savings and credit group itself. This will in turn increase the prosperity of the whole village. 

Entrepreneurs repay your loan monthly or seasonally, depending on their business. Interest repayments are credited into your account annually. The village will provide regular updates on how your loan is being used and the difference your support is making to village life.

How loans work

Villages rated amber and red can only receive grants and not loans. Grants will be used by Village Invest to provide a custom training and learning plan to that village. Our training encompasses both finance and inclusion, so that the poorest villagers can benefit from loans.

Loans to green and yellow rated villages are made for three years, with a possible return of 3% per year, non-cumulative. You can choose to withdraw or re-lend your interest earnings. When your loan reaches maturity, we will deposit your principal amount into your Village Invest account, for you to withdraw or re-lend.