Center for Agriculture & Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI)
About the organization
The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) is a “group of mutually reinforcing institutions that is dedicated to ultimately empower the poor”. It was founded to address growing poverty in the Philippines by encouraging the development of micro-enterprises, particularly amongst low-income rural women.
Originally founded as the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, CARD’s micro finance branches were inspired by the hugely successful Grameen Bank model in Bangladesh and assisted by Mohammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank’s founder himself. In 1997, CARD began operating a for-profit rural bank known as CARD Bank, along with reinforcing institutions to mitigate risks, generate profit and resources, and provide support to its members as well as daily CARD MRI operations.
Examples of its reinforcing institutions include: a mutual benefit association to protect members, a development institute to facilitate micro finance training for CARD staff, an insurance agency to improve risk management, an IT services company to provide information technology resources to CARD MRI, a business development services group to assist clients in expanding their micro enterprises, and an in-house research department tasked with monitoring and reporting on CARD MRI performance.
Since its original inception in 1986, CARD MRI has evolved to become one of the leading micro finance institutions in the Philippines.
Consulting and professional services
Finance & Insurance, Microfinance & Investment
What makes it a social enterprise?
With the establishment and continuous expansion of its reinforcing institutions and profits from CARD Bank, CARD MRI has weaned itself off of dependency on public funds and has become a highly successful and self sustaining organization.
What is its social cause?Entrepreneurship & local business development
Who does it impact?Women, Low-income individuals
Resources to learn more about Center for Agriculture & Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI)
[Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation] Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI)
[Philippine Daily Inquirer] Social Enterprise as Innovative Business Model
[Synthesist Blog] CARD MRI Fosters an Army of Entrepreneurs with Microfinance