A jury presided by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa selected the Nepal-based Muktinath Bikas Bank Ltd. as the winner of the 2020 European Microfinance Award. The prize is endowed with €100,000 from the foreign ministry’s directorate for development cooperation and humanitarian affairs. “The savings theme is particularly pertinent this year as it promotes self-reliance, offers safe solutions, encourages development and provides the means, particularly for women, to become the architects of change,” the grand duchess said.
According to a statement from the award organisers, Muktinath serves low-income households and women in rural areas and has set up a special department dedicated entirely to that target population. It has tailored a collective and solidarity savings model specifically for these customers, with doorstep collections. The products it distributes include retirement savings plans, insurance plans and savings schemes specifically for migrant workers and the families they have left behind in Nepal. Muktinath has also developed financial education and household budget training through dramas and a purpose-made film.