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Village Community Banking (VICOBA)

VICOBA is a grassroots group-based microfinance model (with a focus on women) that provides a structure through which communities are able to organize themselves, provide skill-sharing, and capacity building in an effort to combat poverty.


  • VICOBA groups are usually made up of 30-40 community members.

  • Every group agrees on their own governance rules, sets the value of their shares and defines a maximum amount of shares to ensure equality within the group.

  • Group members meet weekly and contribute agreed-upon amounts of money. All members of VICOBA group have equal power in decision making and who should be extended loans weekly.

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VICOBA and OneLove - Here's how it works

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Once we complete the business start-up program (Biashara Village Ventures) we then return to teach the group how to establish their own VICOBA. They establish their governance structure, elect the group executive (president, treasurer, secretary) and establish the terms of the group (i.e. amount of weekly contributions, loan amounts, repayment terms, interest).


We return several weeks later and if the group has been meeting ~ with each member contributing their money weekly ~ we provide them with the supplies needed to manage the group. This includes individual passbooks, a master set of accounting journals and a lock box for the treasurer to keep the money.


Once again, we return 3-4 weeks later to provide additional support to the VICOBA group, as needed. If they have continued to meet weekly and their accounting journals are in order, we then inject some seed funding into the group account. This usually coincides with a Graduation Celebration.

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In 2019, we injected $270 CAD seed funding to a newly formed peer lending group following their business training. They dissolve and then restart each year to accommodate changes in membership, loan amounts, etc. In 2021 they carried forward $562 CAD. In just the past 9 months they have given out loans of $14,578 CAD – and still have $5,808 CAD in the group account. This is the power of EVERY mama contributing just a little each week. Since 2019, they have given more than 250 loans that provide for basic family needs, grow their businesses, educate their children and look to a better tomorrow.

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