Stuart Rutherford

Financial Inclusion Expert

Trained originally as an architect, Stuart Rutherford later became interested in how poor people manage their money, and how they might be helped to do it better

Trained originally as an architect, Stuart Rutherford later became interested in how poor people manage their money, and how they might be helped to do it better. He has collected details of many financial devices in dozens of countries and has described them in his book The Poor and Their Money. With David Hulme of Manchester University, he devised and then led the first ‘financial diary’ research project, in Bangladesh in 1999. Results from the first crop of financial diary exercises were written up in Portfolios of the Poor, of which he is a co-author. Rutherford has also looked at money management for poor people from the point of view of a service provider, having established the MFI SafeSave in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1996, and has also worked as a teacher and consultant. He is married and now lives in Nagoya, Japan.

Posts by Stuart Rutherford

Ambition and debt

Part of our Low Income Lives series, this blog reveals how rickshaw driver Abul from Bangladesh managed to buy a better vehicle and how it affected the economy and welfare of his household.

Something to fall back on (Managing income volatility)

As part of the Hrishipara Daily Diaries Project, MSC tracked the income of a brick-breaker in Bangladesh to discover how he manages his household despite fluctuations in income that tosses his household in and out of extreme poverty.

Micro-entrepreneurs and occupational hazards: Why do poor people settle for low-return employment?

In this blog, we highlight why the poor wish to engage in unskilled labor and petty trade by studying the records of respondents from low-income households in a “financial diary” research project in central Bangladesh.

How the poor borrow

This is the third in a series of short articles about the findings of a daily ‘financial diary’ research project. A description of the project can be found on its website.

Low Income Lives – Education

In the first edition of MicroSave’s ‘Low-Income Lives’, Stuart Rutherford looks at education, using data from the Hrishipara Daily Financial Diaries project which records the flow of money from households in Bangladesh.  

Low Income Lives – Family Food Shopping

In this edition of MicroSave’s ‘Low Income Lives’ series, Stuart Rutherford uses data from the Hrishipara Daily Financial Diaries to study how poor people in Bangladesh buy food.

Delinquency Management Lessons from Bangladesh

In this video Stuart Rutherford – Founder of SafeSave, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh talks about the competition in Bangladesh, delinquency management and the key challenges in addressing it. Attributing the emergence of various MFIs as one of the reasons for defaults, Stuart discusses the clients’ behaviour towards payment patterns.

Listening to Clients: A Market led Approach

In this video Stuart Rutherford – Founder of SafeSave, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh and author of the books ‘The Poor and Their Money’ and ‘Portfolios of The Poor’ tells that listening to clients is at the heart of providing financial services in a market-led approach.