We hope you are enjoying our short series of posts and finding them interesting. This is number 4 and we have one more after this.
Many years ago now, we helped start a small micro-finance cooperative. We provided rooms and staff and the support to help it get going. In the early days it was quite hard to get the required numbers and we struggled to get 30. Many people were unsure about us because many of us were divorced and whether we would be an enduring Cooperative. When we got our proper building, people knew we are here to stay and now we have grown to 700 members with 500 shareholders. Samunnat still provides a room in our building but the Cooperative pays for its staff and the Cooperative board (separate to Samunnat Nepal) makes decisions about loans. This Board includes women who have been supported by Samunnat Nepal. Until recently, only very small loans we possible as we are a poor community and help many people.
Recently the Samunnat Board decided to have revolving loans which means that they lend money to the Cooperative interest free so that the cooperative can make slightly bigger loans when they think this will be useful. One lady who benefitted from this is now managing a kirana basal (general shop) in one of the shops we built next to our building. She used the loan to stock the shop and establish herself in our community which is going because of lots of new building. She is very happy to be working in her job.