Jeebika or Livelihood Development
Using an innovative system of ‘social mapping’ whereby fellow villagers helped identify the neediest women, along with using objective income criteria, FCAB identified and invested in the most underserved women to nurture them into leaders in a project called “Jeebika or Livelihood Development.” FCAB’s holistic model combines grant aid to the ultra-poor combined with vocational skills training, access to mobile financial services and bank accounts for this previously unbanked community, along with medical care and educational support to their families. Unlike a microcredit model, group members are not charged interest but they are encouraged to save weekly as well as lend group members money to expand their enterprise if needed. FCAB hopes to help these entrepreneurs scale their businesses and integrate clean energy solutions to their enterprises since many of them sold milk or vegetables daily and a solar powered milk chiller or vegetable cold storage would enable them to increase their profit by growing their market beyond what they can sell daily due to the perishability of their products. It can also teach greater financial or marketing skills and reach more women in the community.