The Village Banking method is the form of microfinance
pioneered. A Village Banking group is a support group of 10-35 members-usually mothers-who meet weekly or biweekly to provide themselves with three essential services. These services are: 1) small self-employment loans
to start or expand their own businesses; 2) an incentive to save, and a means of accumulating savings and 3) a community-based system that provides mutual support and encourages personal empowerment.
Members of the Village Banking groups guarantee each other's loans and run a democratic organization. Members elect their own leaders, design their own bylaws, keep the books, manage the funds, and are fully responsible for loan supervision, including enforcing penalties for non-compliance.
This definition is from FINCA's website.
Hundreds of other non-governmental organizations around the world now utilize some variation of the Village Banking methodology to serve poor and low-income families with financial services.