P4-B microfinance started with P20, typewriter

MANILA, Philippines—A venture that was started with P20 and an old Remington typewriter is now a one-stop shop offering loans, banking services and life insurance. And, because of it, hundreds of thousands of poor clients have become richer.

For the past 20 years, the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) has been extending all forms of credit to landless peasants to help them rise out of poverty.

From its base in San Pablo City, Laguna, it has quietly reached out to the women of landless families, even in conflict areas in Mindanao, to help them set up small livelihood projects, save extra income, and get insured in case of death.

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