The Income Generation Capacity Building Project is a partnership between Khemara Cambodia and Projects abroad. It aims to promote local development by providing small, zero interest, loans to members of the community interested in starting, or expanding, their businesses. Most of the beneficiaries of these loans are disadvantaged and vulnerable women who have not had the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial interests. Our beneficiaries come from a variety of backgrounds and lead businesses ranging from selling sugarcane juice to being a tuk-tuk driver, snail seller, or dry fish seller.
What differentiates our project from others in the region, besides the zero interest loan, is that with each loan given to beneficiaries comes a training course composed of 3 to 5 sessions. Those training sessions are designed for beneficiaries to learn and understand basic business skills such as marketing methods, bookkeeping as well as operations and supply management. We believe that when applying those concepts to their business, beneficiaries are able to add value to their products and sell superior services or goods compared to their competitors. Furthermore, we also regularly design questionnaires about how they handle the different variables that our study and knowledge show affect their business. We don’t only give a loan to our beneficiaries and come to collect the money, we thrive to make sure they take the most of our services and expertise in order to become autonomous and successful.
Story of a successful beneficiary: Brak Sukhon
Brak Sukhon is an example illustrating how successful our project can be when genuinely executed. She is a 52-year-old-mother, who lives with her two children, a student and a tailor,, as well as her grandchild. Following the death of her husband 10 years ago, she start her own business, selling sugar-cane juice along National Road 5.
She smartly set her operation center in the heart of a laneway selling food items. She was thus selling a complementary product, contributing to the growth of both her business and her neighbours’. After operating for a while, Brak decided to contact Khemara and apply for a loan in order to purchase an ice box as well as some soft drinks and bottled water, as asked by her customers.
She followed our initial training and applied the concepts taught, such as keeping track of item prices and costs, marketing your business… She fully cooperated with Khemara, always honestly answering to our questions. The immediate result was a larger customer base and a doubling of her income from $5/day to $10/day.
As she had a great experience with her first loan, she then decided to undertake a second loan with us. She once again benefited from the money received, our training program and our guidance. As a result, her business grew even more as her income doubled again and became stable. However she faced challenges such as constructions in her selling area, rainy seasons, and arrival of competitors.
She finally decided not to take our third loan since she wanted other local entrepreneurs, who were way more in need than her, to benefit from our expertise and guidance, in order to succeed, just like she did.
As a result, Mrs. Sukhon is nowadays doing really well with her business. We are glad we were able to form a partnership based on trust with her which resulted in her getting a lot of experience, and acquiring invaluable business skills. She also developed a very good knowledge of what drives her business and what makes it work well, as well as the potential challenges she could face and how to handle those.
Watch a day-in-the-life of our microfinance team and their beneficiaries:
- Posted On : 20 Jun 2016