Small loans help lift people out of poverty

Sustainable support for


With small loans KOLPING helps people to become self-employed and lift themselves out of poverty. Poor people do have got talents, energy, and good business ideas. But they lack the money to use their potentials. KOLPING gives initial aid by granting more than 23,000 small loans every year.

Lasting stability of income

Favourable small loans help small entrepreneurs set up or increase their businesses. Many times 50 or 80 euros are sufficient for an Indian family to open a sales booth, for an African young man or woman to set up a workshop. People do not construe this support as an act of charity but as an investment in their talents. It makes the small entrepreneurs proud that they manage to escape poverty by themselves step by step.

Saving money to start off with

Saving groups which are run by most of the Kolping Families provide access to small loans. Every month the members deposit small amounts of money on a collective savings book. Once a specific minimum amount has been reached, KOLPING will support the group with a grant. From this fund small loans are then provided on favourable terms. The group monitors and regulates who will receive what amount for which purpose and how the loans will be paid back. The members feel reassured by their successful saving activities and the mutual exchange of experiences. This fosters their self-confidence and kick-starts many positive developments.

Successful small entrepreneurs

KOLPING is not purely a financial service provider. Small loans are always combined with trainings supposed to make the new entrepreneurs fit for the market. They learn for example about bookkeeping, calculation of prices, or the effective marketing of products. Some Kolping Families also organize collective sales events to optimize costs and to provide mutual support.


Maria Periyanaya has bought a cow with a small loan. She earns a living for her family by selling the milk. The film on this page tells her story and the successful concept of microcredits.

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She received a small loan and became a successful businesswoman: Chantal manages to provide for her family with the pig breeding and can send all of her children to school.



First they got unemployed, then they set up their own shoe factory: “KOLPING helped us with a loan. We were able to buy leather, soles, and patterns and set up our own small company”!  Read more

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