Islamic Microfinance At The Heart Of Sustainable Development

Islamic Relief’s microfinance programmes have been providing livelihood opportunities for vulnerable people since 1994. Offering interest-free Shariah compliant loans and support for starting small businesses, we have helped 100,000 entrepreneurs to date and circulated some £60 million worth of investment to people in need.
For Islamic Relief, microfinance programs are sustainable development at its best, with a revolving loan fund that supports more and more people to become self-reliant.
This year we had £6 million worth of active loans supporting 17,000 entrepreneurs.
In 2019 we launched the ‘Poverty to profit’ crowd-funding platform linking donors from the USA to people starting or expanding small businesses in Pakistan. Once the loan is repaid, the funds are then offered to another entrepreneur, helping to lift them out of poverty.
In Chechnya our microfinance institution, Fund Barakat, has been recognised by the Russian Central Bank as the most socially-orientated provider for the third year running. Of the 2,000 microfinance institutions in the Russian Federation, Fund Barakat is the only one that is Shariah compliant.
In 2019 Islamic Relief shared its expertise on Islamic social finance at an Overseas Development Institute (ODI) event on exploring the role of Islamic finance in climate change resilience and adaptation. We also hosted a high-level panel with representatives from the World Bank and the global leading actuary firm Milliman at the 13th International Takaful Summit on Islamic climate change insurance.