Igniting the power of collective action to



The Self Help Group Approach

A fundamental belief in the ability of people, working collectively, to revolutionize their communities.


What are Self Help Groups (SHGs)?

Voluntary groups, typically comprised of 15-20 people who meet every week to save, start small business activities, and create change both for themselves and their communities. SHGs are created with the underlying assumption that when individuals join together to take action toward overcoming obstacles and attaining social change, the result can be individual and/or collective empowerment. 


Individual Agency

When women meet collectively, their self-esteem, agency and confidence grow. They begin to transform their own lives as well as the lives of those around them. By saving money collectively, self-help groups are able to start small businesses, fueling a cycle of economic empowerment.


Group Solidarity

When women meet together, they work together, and as they work together, they begin to find ways to support each other through group solidarity. They help each other with child care, with starting a new business, or supporting each other through the loss of a family member.


Community Action

As groups mature, they often become advocates for change, transforming the lives of those around them. SHG members advocate for better access to services, they stop childhood marriage, and they work collectively to overcome the obstacles that lock them into poverty.


Looking for more detail about the Self Help Group approach?


The Share Trust


We are a trans-disciplinary collective at work on research, development and outreach to amplify and unite self-help groups and connected organizations around the world.


Research & Learning

We are building the evidence base around the pathways to impact, the enabling environment that supports high-quality SHGs, and the characteristics of these groups that make them most effective.


Building Collaboration

We work to facilitate connections between women, grassroots organizations, governments, philanthropists, and likeminded organizations to share learnings, develop partnerships, and build the capacity of SHG leaders.



Moving away from instrumental grant-making puts the power of design squarely in the hands of women. We are working to build the best philanthropic practices to directly support groups and networks around the world.



A growing body of evidence

SHGs are cost effective, and they deliver benefits across a range of outcomes including income generation, health, education, and gender-based violence.


Women in SHGs are twice as likely to participate in local politics


SHGs in Ethiopia deliver over $58 in benefits for every $1 spent


Women’s groups are associated with a 37% reduction in maternal mortality


Our Team

We are a small but mighty team of economists, researchers and social change advocates working across the globe to amplify and unite the Self Help Group approach. We are always looking for new ways to connect, consult, and partner to bring about change.