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Sudha lives with her husband and four children in Uttar Pradesh, a region of northern India where steady jobs are hard to find. Without a regular income, her family struggled to meet their daily needs.

This started to change when Sudha took a loan of 10,000 rupees (about $225) from Cashpor, a microfinance provider with which Grameen Foundation works, to purchase a buffalo. Sudha used the milk from the buffalo in her small tea stand near her home. In just six months, she generated enough income to not only feed her family, but also to keep her daughter in school.

She also generated a new sense of self-confidence. In 2010, she volunteered to be the first savings-account customer in Cashpor’s new innovative savings program, created in collaboration with Grameen Foundation in 2010. It gave Sudha, who has no access to a bank, a safe and dependable way to save small amounts of money – 50 or 100 rupees at a time – and build security for her family.