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Economic development
Long-held traditions of self-help gave impetus to small community-based co-operative societies that have evolved, with the help of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), into small co-operative banks, which then merged to form the Development Co-operative Bank, and eventually metamorphosed during the 1990s into what is now known as DCB Bank.

From its origins in small institutions addressing the needs of underserved communities, especially in the co-operative sector, DCB Bank has emerged as a fully fledged commercial bank providing advanced corporate finance services at one end of the spectrum while continuing to service the needs of co-operative society borrowers.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has also promoted private sector initiatives and entrepreneurship through equity investment, in partnership with multilateral agencies, international investors, local development institutions and individuals. It played a vital role in facilitating finance for home ownership by playing an instrumental role in the launch of the Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) in the mid 1970s.