Building and strengthening the microfinance sector


Local Project Partners
Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) MFI

German Project Partners
Sparkasse Südpfalz

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

01.04.2013 - 31.03.2021

As in many countries, low-income households in Bhutan do not have access to financial services. The low level of monetization, the country's sparse population, inadequate infrastructure, and unclear regulatory requirements make it difficult to establish sustainable cost-covering financial institutions.

The project aims to strengthen the microfinance sector in Bhutan by creating a professional microfinance institution. By establishing the target group-oriented RENEW MFI, which offers simple and demand-oriented products (savings deposits and loans), large parts of the population, especially in rural regions, are to be reached. In addition, the project imparts basic financial knowledge to households and women entrepreneurs.

For RENEW MFI, strengthening the basic financial education of individuals is a prerequisite for reaching enough clients to be able to operate sustainably in rural regions as well.

In January 2019, based on the recommendations of the project progress review, a consolidation phase of two years was requested to ensure the institutional sustainability of RENEW MFI. In the meantime, the relevant authorities have approved an entry of Sparkassen International Development Trust (SIDT) into RENEW MFI. This is intended to consolidate the focus on the target group in the long term.

The project was completed very successfully by March 31, 2021. It was possible to build up an MFI that fulfills the double bottom line: operating sustainably, while providing the target group (the rural population - especially women) with basic financial services at fair conditions. The experiences and results are summarized in a case study and are available to all German Sparkassenstiftung’s projects.

Project Tasks

  • Establishment of a target group-oriented MFI and promotion of financial inclusion
  • Development and implementation of efficient MFI processes (incl. management information systems and risk management)
  • Product development
  • Training and capacity development for staff and (potential) managers
  • Implementation of financial literacy training for the target group
  • Supporting the Royal Monetary Authority (central bank) in the development of regulatory requirements for MFIs and the further development of the microfinance sector


Deutsche Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V.
Simrockstraße 4, 53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 228 9703-0
Fax: +49 228 9703-6613 or -6630

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