JWOC's Microfinance Project has helped hundreds of local small business owners increase their earnings and better provide for their families. Below are profiles of two of our current borrowers. If you would like to donate to the Microfinance Project, please follow this link- http://www.journeyswithinourcommunity.org/support/donate/
Channa is 30 years old and runs a food stall outside the Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap. This is a good location for a stall as the hospital does not provide meals for patients or their families so visitors will buy food for them. She also serves staff that work at the hospital.
Channa applied for a new loan as she found she was running out of food before the end of the day and had to turn potential customers away. With the loan she will buy new equipment for her stall (additional cooking and serving pans) and also more ingredients. As an additional advantage is that with the access to additional funds from the loan she is able to buy in bulk and benefit from the cheaper wholesale prices.
Channa and her husband have three children, aged five, six and eleven. She says she some of the extra income she earns through the changes made with the loan will be put towards her children’s education. Although state schools in Cambodia are free, the costs associated with attending school- books, uniform, transport, equipment- often mean families cannot afford to send all or any of their children. With her additional income Channa will be able to send all of her children to school. The rest of the additional income will be split between paying for some improvements to her small home and setting some aside for emergencies.
Channa says she is pleased JWOC is able to offer loans to small businesses as JWOC’s interest rates are lower than other places and they allow weekly repayments which helps with budgeting. She says thank you to JWOC, which we in turn pass on to our supporters!
Touch is 48 years old and runs a second-hand clothes business. She buys second-hand clothes wholesale in the capital, Phnom Penh, and then sells them in two ways. One way is to sell bundles to other clothes sellers; this is easier but makes her less money. The other way is to sell individual items to customers, making a greater profit on each item. She sells in two places, sometimes in the market, other times outside her home in Krous village.
The loan will mean she has been able to buy the second-hand clothes in bigger quantities, meaning she was able to get a better rate and also reduce the number of times she needs to travel to Phnom Penh, reducing her business costs and time away from her family.
Touch and her husband have four children, the youngest being 15 years old. She would like to use the extra income generated to help support one of her older children in attending university. Although cheap compared to Western fees, the cost of university in Cambodia, $500 per year, is prohibitive to most.
Touch says she liked the process of getting a loan from JWOC as they supported her through the application processes, including helping her make a budget plan. Like Channa, she also appreciates the weekly repayments.
She says awkoon ch’ran (thank you very much) to all those that helped her receive the loan!