Microcredit helps to create income-generating activities and the acquisition of technologies in developing countries.

Our indian partner Antenna Trust runs a microcredit programme in the Tamil Nadu State.

The objective is to help Indian women living in rural areas to develop an income generating activity.

The poorest of the poor, misunderstood by conventional banks, do not normally have access to bank loans at low rates on interest. When they can borrow, it is from local money-lenders whom they often cannot repay in full. This downward spiral of indebtedness casts them cruelly into even more abject poverty.

Antenna Microcredit Network is a savings and microcredit programme operating in the State of Tamil Nadu in India, with support from Antenna Technologies in Geneva. The programme has been led by our partner Antenna Trust since 2006. The objective of AMCN is to create a more efficient microcredit facilitation model ensuring greater benefits for the poorest of the poor. It also aims to promote the importance of a proper nutrition and spirulina as a source of nutrients.

The programme enables women living in rural areas to escape the clutches of loan sharks and spiralling debt. These women can get loans for education and training purposes and set up small businesses (production and marketing of vegetables, fruits, grains, livestock rearing, small shops, tea and coffee shops and bars, etc).


  • Non-profit organisation, based on the principle of diminishing interest rates
  • Local jobs created and credit officers employed by the network
  • Network of NGOs accompanying self-help groups, for processing of loan applications and loan repayments
  • Thousands of women borrowers
  • Reimbursement rate = 98%. The unrecovered 2% was due to death or illness of the borrower

Loans are obtained, distributed and managed through self-help groups, which guarantee repayment of the loan by their members on time and a productive use of the loan.


Antenna Trust also funds activities carried out through the NGO network, such as human rights awareness campaigns, educational projects (training, tutoring, granting of scholarships), spirulina food supplementation, insurance coverage for the families of the beneficiaries, and financial projects (support to managers of SMEs and kiosks).


R. Devamanoharan, Antenna Trust, Maduraï, et les 15 employés d’Antenna Microcredit Network

Denis von der Weid, Antenna Foundation, Geneva

Yves Burrus, Antenna Foundation, Geneva


More than 22 local NGOs of the network

Plus d’informations : www.antennamicrofinance.org


Poor people in developing countries are unable to access financial services because they have no guarantees to offer. They are therefore forced to apply to moneylenders who demand excessive interest rates. Access to simple, fast and low-cost financial services – such as loans, insurance coverage or savings account – provides perspectives for the poor and significantly enhances the condition of women. They enable those who are directly concerned to take ownership of project decisions while learning to manage them.

Microcredit to access Antenna’s technologies

Antenna is testing new economic models in order to disseminate its essential technologies to the most destitute.

  • Agriculture programme: Antenna and Éléphant Vert, a subsidiary of the Foundation based in Morocco, are developing a microfinancing model to distribute biological fertilizers and pesticides to farmers, with the assistance of local partners.
  • Energy programme: A system of « micro-leasing » is introduced in the solar lighting system « OOLUX » developed by Antenna. This is based on spreading the payments over a specified period of time. In practice, the instalments are covered by the amount of money saved from no longer having to buy kerosene. Technically, an electronic system activates the equipment after payment and for a certain length of time, until payment of the following instalment. Learn more