The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 39: Rotating savings and credit associations: mutual aid financing

Caroline Shenaz Hossein


Around the world women and racialized people organize micro-banks that are humane and grounded in the local arenas in which they live, play and work. This chapter is focused on mutual aid of the people who organize self-help banks also called rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs). It is these informal financial cooperative institutions that should be defining what we mean by microfinance. Millions of people, mostly women, who can be referred to as the Banker Ladies, are relentless in their efforts to make banking inclusive – and they contribute to the framing of diverse financial economies in quiet but impressive ways as they zero in on what matters, the collective. ROSCAs show that excluded groups come together through their own self-determination to not only contest their systemic economic and social exclusion in conventional formal finance but define the concept of diverse financial economies.

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