Rural Microfinance

In 2000 MESO sought to begin a Revolving Fund program at the Karatu branch office, yet the funds to do so never materialized. Toward the end of 2004, however, MESO reformulated the Revolving Fund program to offer a wider range of microfinance services, based partly on the 'Solidarity Group' approach made famous by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. In April 2005, MESO gave out its first set of loans to 11 groups of women in the village of Kambi ya Simba, Karatu District.

MESO currently offers three different types of loans, as well as voluntary individual and group savings accounts [read more]. As of August 2005, we have provided microfinance and business training services to roughly 800 community members and have acquired more than 300 active clients. Our loan portfolio is equal to almost $35,000 with a 100 percent repayment rate. Our next phase of expansion has been underway since 1 July, extending services to two more villages in Karatu District. In doing so, we expect to accommodate more than 200 new clients and to boost our loan portfolio to over $50,000.


A six-minute audio slideshow explaining MESO Microfinance is now available. Right click on the link and select "Save As" to download:

High Quality: 640 x 480 (Windows Media Player) Download
Low Quality: 320 x 240 (Windows Media Player) Download

High Quality: 640 x 480 (Quicktime) Download
Low Quality: 320 x 240 (Quicktime) Download

(Quicktime version is of lesser quality, so if you have a choice, view the Windows version!)


Our mission is to provide a viable set of banking services to address the dynamic needs of poor people - particularly women - living in rural areas of Tanzania. In doing so, MESO seeks to alleviate poverty in the following ways:


Improving the economic well-being of community members by enabling them to invest in small businesses, giving them more reliable sources of income.


Improving the status of women by targeting them as the primary recipients of microfinance.


Offering credit to larger, existing enterprises that provide community services, such as health and veterinary clinics, tree nurseries and public transportation.

And indirectly:


Enabling clients to invest profits from their businesses into education, health, housing and other social needs.


Promoting a social and environmental agenda alongside responsible use of microfinance.


Adding diversity to the types of cash-income businesses run in the area, creating a more competitive local economy.


Undermining the role of usurious, local moneylenders whose services often exploit the poor.

For more information, read our...


new brochure (pdf)


loan types and conditions


manual of operations (doc) - English or Kiswahili

You can also forward any questions or comments to

MESO - The Multi-Environmental Society

(C) Copyright 2004

2005 is the Year of Microcredit

Seeking to boost microcredit and microfinance programs around the world, the United Nations General Assembly has designated 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit.

“The International Year of Microcredit 2005 underscores the importance of microfinance as an integral part of our collective effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Sustainable access to microfinance helps alleviate poverty by generating income, creating jobs, allowing children to go to school, enabling families to obtain health care, and empowering people to make the choices that best serve their needs. Together, we can and must build inclusive financial sectors that help people improve their lives.”

 - Kofi Annan

UN Secretary-General

MESO is proud to be an official partner in the Year.