Samhita Wins Unitus Acceleration Award

February 1, 2010 Posted by Update

We are pleased to announce that Samhita Community Development Services, a Unitus MFI partner since January 2008, was awarded the 3rd Annual Unitus Acceleration Award. The award was presented at the recent Unitus Leadership Summit in Mussoorie, India.

Each year, Unitus presents the Acceleration Award to a partner who best exemplifies the goal of accelerating microfinance through achieving outstanding growth in a challenging market. Samhita’s commitment to a difficult market, persistence in finding a scalable business model, innovative use of technology, and holistic approach to poverty alleviation make it a worthy recipient of this award.

Since its founding in 2007, Samhita has been committed to serving harder-to-reach rural segments and underprivileged communities. Samhita operates in Madhya Pradesh, one of the poorest regions in India, with more than 37 percent of the population living below the poverty line. The region is characterized by low population density, poor infrastructure, and limited economic opportunities, and is primarily populated by landless agricultural wage laborers with limited general education and no previous access to financial services.

Due to these factors, Madhya Pradesh poses a great challenge in serving the poor in a sustainable manner. But it is precisely these challenges that motivated founders Praseeda Kunam and Bala Krishnamurthy to start operations in this region. Their perseverance has translated into more than 30,000 clients in less than two years of operations, achieving an amazing year-over-year growth rate of 664 percent.

In addition to microfinance, Samhita aims to be an incubator for other specialized development initiatives, including microenterprise development, health, and education. Samhita started its health initiatives through a multimedia education program, which has so far worked with 35,000 men and women in remote villages as well as school-going children. Samhita eventually plans to deliver additional services, including promotion of improved nutrition and establishment of a primary health network.

Samhita’s pioneering work in an underserved region is setting an example for all of us, showing that no one should be without access to financial services.

Congratulations to Samhita!

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