In this post project manager Bora explains more about his project…
The project is operating in 6 villages surrounding JWOC, so that poor people around JWOC can get benefit from this project. The poor populations in these villages are combined of people who based here and people moved from difference places around Cambodia to find jobs and make business. Most of people in these villages make an earning from jobs such as construction workers, firm security guard and some own a small business such as small grocery store, secondhand clothes, recycling collector, sewing, food cart, and selling vegetable. The majority of our borrowers are poor people living on illegal land with an old thatch house, others rent a small house.
To retrench and expand their businesses, there is one major issue related to funding. Unfortunately, the bank system and microfinance institution in Cambodia needs a form of collateral and also literacy to fill in the application form. In addition money lenders charge a high interest rate (10-15% per month). Due to these problems, JWOC works on credit facilitation via providing small loan.
The Microfinance Project has been providing loan to small business owners (over 90% is women) since 2006 and aims to give them the opportunity to retrench and expand their existing small businesses so that they can increase the income and bring their businesses to the next level. The loan comprises of basic practical training on budgeting, bookkeeping and business planning to the borrowers, so that they can use that knowledge to make a growth in their businesses and get a comparative advantage.
Borrowers have to form a group and go through all selection processes and training sessions such as attending Info Night, Loan Application, and Business Visit. The successful applicants will participate in signing loan contract, baseline survey and attend budget and business planning training.
Besides providing loan and business training, we have Microfinance Plus activities that associated with Microfinance project works on 1) provides hygiene and filter training 2) provides free hygiene packs and option to buy a filter at a much subsidized cost according to first or second times borrowing.
From the impact assessment survey, we see the borrowers have increased income from businesses that supported by JWOC’s loan, improved of hygiene, food supplies, and savings as well as increased rate of sending children to school.
Next, I would like to update about capacity building activities as this is a key important resource for implementing the project. The Microfinance Project now has 21 volunteering students which eight of them just have joined with the team. This month is a busy month in training the new students ranging from general orientation to whole project.
I would like to say thank you to everyone that has supported the Microfinance Project.