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The Sparkassen were set up in Germany over 200 years ago as microfinance institutions for low-income earners. Since then, they have grown into one of the largest financial groups in the world – one that successfully combines outstanding professionalism with a strong social mandate. Tasked with sharing this successful model with developing countries and emerging economies, German Sparkassenstiftung is bringing financial services to the people who live there. Ultimately, this is intended to help them become more prosperous and establish stable economic structures of their own. German Sparkassenstiftung assists local financial institutions to manage their businesses in keeping with commercial principles while fulfilling their social responsibilities.
German Sparkassenstiftung provides proactive support to financial institutions that sustainably foster economic and social development at the local, regional or national level through needs-oriented banking services. German Sparkassenstiftung’s goal is to assist its partner institutions to become more professional and therefore able to give their customers permanent access to financial services.
The main target groups are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as poor and socially marginalised groups. This orientation to SMEs and low-income earners actually benefits our partners too, because delivering services to these customer segments secures ongoing stable and satisfactory returns. By strengthening local and regional financial structures, German Sparkassenstiftung not only generates development opportunities for wide sections of the population and local companies, but ultimately also helps to create jobs and income. This complies with the approach and objectives of Germany's Sparkassen. It also has a stabilising effect on the respective financial sector and, as a result, on the given country's economic development.
With their 200-year history, Germany's Sparkassen shows that sustainable microfinance is only feasible if it is organised efficiently and professionally, and it is these key success factors that German Sparkassenstiftung communicates to its partners through its project work.