This is where the target community forms an 'association' through which various microfinance (and other) activities are intiated. Such activities may include savings. Associations or groups can be composed of youth, women; can form around political/religious/cultural issues; can create support structures for microenterprises and other work-based issues.
In some countries, an 'association' can be a legal body that has certain advantages such as collection of fees, insurance, tax breaks and other protective measures. Distinction is made between associations, community groups, peoples organizations, etc. on one hand (which are mass, community based) and NGOs, etc. which are essentially external organizations.
Closely related to the group model and similar model.