Today SAJIDA supports over 141,593 members and their families in 5 districts of Bangladesh - Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Jamalpur and Chittagong. With 88 branch offices, 1007 staff and a cumulative loan disbursement of BDT 15,125 million, SAJIDA has come a long way since its inception. SAJIDA's microfinance program consists of two main components: micro-credit and micro-enterprise. Currently, SAJIDA offers the following loan products: urban micro-credit (UMC), rural micro-credit (RMC), micro-enterprise (ME), Ultra poor, Agri seasonal loan, seasonal loan (SLP), additional loan, education loan and disaster loan -(Livelihood Restoration Program (LRP), Emergency Flood Restoration and Recovery Assistance Program (EFFRAP), Festival Loan (FLP), Emergency Loan (EM) and Family Loan (FmLp).
SAJIDA's micro-credit is implemented through a group model whereby members form groups of five and subsequently form centers composed of roughly six groups. Center meetings are held each week by field/credit officers (F/CO). At such meetings, members can submit loan applications, make loan repayments and deposit savings. Target families are identified on the basis of sex, age and household income, after which interested persons are invited for group discussions regarding SAJIDA's microcredit products and regulations.
Loan amounts vary depending on the loan product, loan repayment record, as well as the years of membership with SAJIDA. SAJIDA has recently adjusted loan ceilings on its rural and urban micro-credit programs, whereby the first loan cannot exceed BDT 12,000, second loan BDT 15,000, third loan BDT 20,000, fourth loan BDT 25,000, and lastly, the fifth and all subsequent loans BDT 39,000.
SAJIDA's micro-credit program includes a mandatory savings program. The interest rate on mandatory savings is 6%. Savings amounts are decided at the center level with a minimum weekly savings requirement of BDT 30. During the first loan period members are unable to withdraw savings. For consecutive loans members are eligible to withdraw savings as long as they maintain a savings balance of 15% of the loan amount.
While SAJIDA's micro-credit program is collateral-free, a minimum savings of 2.5% of the loan amount is required for the first loan period. A minimum savings of 15% of the loan amount is required for all subsequent loans. All loan applications require a guarantor's signature. The guarantor is held responsible for loan repayments in case the member is unable to pay.
In 2009, SAJIDA implemented an optional savings program called Samridhi. The interest on this program is 8% annually, compounded monthly.
Available to both men and women, the micro-enterprise program provides services on either a group or individual basis. Most members are recruited through surveys, with the majority of loans given on an individual basis. A small number of micro-credit members graduate from the micro-credit program to become micro-enterprise program members. Going forward, more emphasis will be put towards such members. The micro-enterprise program seeks members who would like to expand their businesses; the loan amount is not intended as start-up capital. SAJIDA seeks members with a minimum of 2 years business experience, a visible venture and those who have scope to generate employment opportunities.
Loan amounts range from BDT 40,000 to BDT 1,000,000. The size of the loan depends on the capital required, repayment record, as well as the member's current economic position. In all cases, a guarantor must co-sign the loan agreement and shall be required to pay the loan amount should the program member be unable. Guarantors are usually family members or business partners.
Micro-enterprise members are required to save BDT 200 per month and require an initial savings amount of 2.5% of the loan amount.
For continued progress it is essential to introduce innovations in the microfinance sector. As of January 2010, SAJIDA has created a ‘micro finance technical unit' responsible for innovating as well as for problem- solving SAJIDA's current programs with the hopes of mitigating the impacts of the challenges and obstacles. SAJIDA will work to improve its integrated microfinance formula as well as training modules with the goal of increasing client satisfaction and strengthening client relations. SAJIDA is open to expanding its product base and broadening its programs in order to achieve its goal of fulfilling client needs. Currently, the possibility of offering a special Agri loan is being researched. SAJIDA is also actively working on increasing productivity levels through new and innovative Management Information Systems. In 2010, SAJIDA hopes to introduce automated computer software in all of its microfinance branches.