Do microenterprise programs develop SEs?

From Thoric Cederstrom <Thoric@Counterpart.org> The organization that I work for, Counterpart International, has a very successful microfinance program in neighboring Viet Nam.  If you write me directly, I will put you in contact with my colleagues there. From Chris Pelham <chris.pelham@acadiau.ca> You may wish to contact the Small Medium Enterprise Working Group of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.  They have completed studies and have an interest in microfinance programming. http://www.apecsec.org.sg/content/apec/apec_groups/working_groups/small_and_medi\um_enterprises.html From J Kim Wright <jkimwright@earthlink.net> One of the experts in the field of microfinance is Results and they're very helpful.  http://www.results.org
 
From Lindsay Stevens <ljstevens@bendbroadband.com> Try http://www.trickleup.org From Lilly Diaz Villeda <lillymse@yahoo.com> I am a consultant living in Phnom  Penh. I have been supporting the Cambodian Microfinance Association  and working as a consultant in the region in MSE development. CMA is  a 11 member association of microfinance institutions in Cambodia  that provide microfinance (credit, savings) to poor households in  Cambodia.  Some of the leading MFIs in terms of size include:   AMRET, TPC, Prasac, Vision Fund Cambodia, AMK to name a few.  All together they serve about 280,000 clients throughout 22 out of Cambodia's 24 provinces.  ACLEDA Bank is a lead Cambodian bank that also serves the poor through a range of financial services.  A recent book was published, When there Was No Money, by Heather Clark (2005).  It is a good read about the history of this bank and how the microfinance sector began here in this post conflict setting  since 1993/1994.  For more specific information about some of the MFIs, you should check out the web site: http://www.mixmarket.org/en/home_page.asp   Seven MFIs report their financial data to this website and you will be learn about each MFI's history, and key performance data as of 2005. Cambodia has a pretty dynamic and interesting MF sector.  I  recommend you read the recent CGAP CLEAR Report (2005) which looks  at the entire microfinance sector, including issues in the  enabling/business environment and other aspects of market  infrastructure that are essential to stimulate microfinance in  Cambodia.  That report can be found at:   http://www.microfinancegateway.org/content/article/detail/25943
 
From Suzanne Ainley <ainley@nottawasaga.com> I was in Cambodia about 3 years ago as part of a UN mission team. We were working on setting up a project for revitalizing one of the many resettlement cities outside Phom Penn.  I was loooking at entreprises as part of the team.  Cambodia is interesting in that there wasn't at the time (3 years ago) much understanding of the entrepreneurial sector within the city or country.  With the unique political past of the country, much of the historic business past was lost it is in the process of re-emerging. UN-Habitat (Peter Swan) was there when I was and I would suggest you see if he is still around, he may be a valuable connection. The garment industry seems to be what is seen as the pinnacle of success and if an area is able to get a factory. My recommendation had been to conduct an assessment (using BR+E survey methods) to understand the natural entrepreneurial enterprises which were emerging.  Access to credit may be only a small part of what is needed by small businesses to make their enterprise successful, without asking the entreprenuers directly, how will you know what's best to do?  Check out http://www.brei.org/ and http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/rural/br_e/bre-index.htm for information on BR+E (Business Retention and Expansion)
 
From Brandy Bertram" <bb@microbusiness.org> May I also suggest that in addition to the lending structure, you focus plenty of attention on entrepreneurial and financial skill development? Our repayment rate, even including our peer (traditional grameen model loans of no credit and collateral) and youth loans is 97%. We attribute this success largely to the emphasis we place on skills development that centers on income generating activities.  I'd be happy to share some best practices, or, if you're looking for a good packaged core curriculum that is available in Spanish, is flexible for varied literacy levels and introduces basic business and money concepts, I would send you to www.makingcents.com. From Darlene M. Johnson <djohnson@childcarechoices.net> When we established this type of program, we first got a grant for a "start-up" fund. Then we worked with a bank that agreed to provide a loan at no interest as long as we under-wrote the loan to guarantee payment.  We then took all the apps and just submitted the approved names to the Bank. All payments were made to the bank just as in any other loan.  If they failed to make a payment, the bank contacted us and we contacted the participant.   We found this actually helped to improve their credit for future use and for the participants to take it more seriously as it was actually a bank loan. In approving the loans, however, one needs to be realistic as to if the household can afford even a very small loan.  Too many defaults and your pool of funds will quickly dry up.
 
From Debra Joyal  <scorpiosnakeeight@yahoo.com> I am the Program Manager for a nonprofit Community Financial Services Centre, that will launch services in the fall of 2006, in the North End core area of a major Canadian City.  One of the programs I will be offering to our target market, (which mainly consists of marginalized people, minorities and seniors), is a micro-loan fund. Our goal is to give the people an alternative to the proliferation of predatory money-marts and paydays lenders, who are not yet regulated in Canada... and make huge profits from people who can least afford it, and are excluded from the AAA lenders for a multitude of reasons. I have solicited funds from a financial institution to capitalize our loan pool, developed a micro-loan criteria, client documents, operations manual etc. pursuant to our Canadian Laws.  I have secured grant contributions to our project from all three levels of government for a two year pilot project (it's taken me about a year of negotiating). Our project is the first "double bottom line" enterprise of its kind in our Province.  Although we are still in the pre-launch stages, I would be happy to share any of my research with you... to help you get started.  Good Luck!
 
From George Kenefic <gknmcdlf@covad.net> While I'm not an expert in this field, I have studied form afar the entities and philosophies that strive to address the issues you bring up.  The two that I'd say have significant track records are Grameen (the source for the concept of effective microloan programs, in my opinion) and ACCION International, which drew inspiration from Grameen.  Since I don't know the capacity of your organization to administer the daily operations of a microloan program, let me contribute some thoughts on the matter.  ACCION International is a program focusing on individual entrepreneurial activity, although they do group lending, and the effectiveness of such enterprises (the borrowers') clearly depends on there being an accessible market for said enterprises.  One would question the long-term consequences to the program and the sociological impact of lending money to business persons who won't be able to repay the loan.  The beauty of the Grameen model was that it put the money/resources in the hands of groups, of women initially, that were in charge of "daily operations" in their villages. Each member of the group was held accountable by the rest of the group for the proper management and disposition of the funds.  The success of this concept flew in the face of the 'conventional' wisdom of the day.  In traditional areas throughout Mexico and Latin America, there exists the principle of the "tanda" by which each of the members of the group in turn gets the money which the entire group recycles. The common element of these last two is, of course, the administrative function that the entrepreneurial group takes on in addition to the fiduciary obligation to repay the loan.  This ownership feature is what can make this sort of program succeed with insular groups, and has the added advantage of being able to be adapted as needed if the need arises to partner with a "host" organization in the locale, such as a church.  I hope some of this may be of use.  Good luck.  Moderator's Note: More information about ACCION International can be found at http://www.accion.org/ They've published a whole series of books, articles, and so on, about management of microfinance programs. Information is in the "Microfinance Resources" portion of their website. Many articles can be downloaded free of charge. (Thank-you to Bruce Curtis for sending us this information.)  Visit the Grameen Bank's website at: http://www.grameen-info.org/bank/index.html   Notable quote from their website:  "As of July, 2004, it [the Grameen Bank] has 3.7 million borrowers, 96 percent of whom are women. With 1267 branches, GB provides services in 46,000 villages, covering more than 68 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh."
From <roses4life@aol.com> I am part of a non-profit called The Sound Essence project.  Our work is focused in Mongolia at this point in time.  Besides assisting five students to attend college in UlaanBaatar, we started a microfinance project with five women that want to start a bakery.  The people are also very poor in the country of Mongolia. One of our members is Mongolian and she was able to write the following in her native language.  Simple loan application with the question of how they were going to use the money A loan payment schedule that is very attainable A percentage rate that is below the country's, for example the interest will be 10% A request for the women to set up their own checking account so that we can easily transfer the money to them The schedule of repayment will be over 5 years After the first loan is paid, the ability to borrow a larger amount The bakery has begun, called The Blessing Bakery.  Due to the economic situation they are not able to purchase an oven so they bake in the one women that has an oven's house and then sell on the street, to neighbors, to store fronts, etc.   Our history is short, but for this moment all is going as planned.
From Ben Murphy" <Bmurphy@cfcrochester.org>KIVA's model is certainly worth examining.  http://www.kiva.org   Probably worth contacting AVINA as well.  http://www.avina.net  From Andrew (Drew) Tulchin" <drew@socialenterprise.net>It is my honor to share with you the paper "Positioning Microfinance Institutions for the Capital Markets", available for download at www.socialenterprise.net/resources.html in the first section entitled: Social Enterprise Associates' Emerging Topics Paper Series. This is pertinent to US social entrepreneurs, as well.  This work has been in development for quite some time.  Given feedback from industry readers, I am encouraged to share it with a wider audience.  While I continue as a full time employee at the Grameen Foundation USA in the growing Capital Markets Group, the paper is from work previously developed with thanks to Brigham Young University's Microenterprise Conference.  The paper is geared towards US domestic, as well as international, microfinance managers, industry practitioners, investors, bankers, and others interested in supporting the microfinance industry to grow faster. It is meant to foster dialogue on an important topic critical to the industry's future rather than assert one opinion as 'correct'.  Comments and feedback are highly encouraged.  Please feel free to share this email and the paper with others.  From Susan Cornell Wilkes" <scwilkes@adventuresingiving.com> My husband, Jim Klobuchar, a retired newspaper columnist in Minnesota, and I have written a book about microfinance on four continents:  The Miracles of Barefoot Capitalism.  We wrote it for the lay reader because there are so few Americans who know about microcredit and its incredible effectiveness as a tool for development.  We make presentations and have found that people, whatever their means, respond to this way of intervening in world poverty. I am writing because we are interested in any innovative uses of microfinance, overseas primarily, but also here. One major issue is reaching financial sustainability in programs/institutions involved in microfinance.  Anyone interested in the book can find it on Jim's website: www.jimklobuchar.com.
 
From Andrew (Drew) Tulchin <drew@socialenterprise.net> We are pleased to share with you the working paper entitled: Microfinance and the Double Bottom Line - Working Paper on Measuring Social Return for the Microfinance Industry.   It is available for download for free on the website of Social Enterprise Associates (http://www.socialenterprise.net/resources.html).  Look for "NEW" in red letters.   The paper investigates the Double Bottom Line, that revenue generating activities produce financial, as well as social, return, as it pertains to microfinance.    As this is a working paper, we invite your comments, criticisms, thoughts, and ideas to advance these central ideas of social return in the microfinance industry.   Comments received before December 18, 2003, will be taken into consideration for the next editing round.  All commentators will be acknowledged in the final publication.     Recommendations of potential publications for this paper, as well as appropriate venues to expand discussion of social return and its value for microfinance specifically and economic development broadly, are highly encouraged.   This paper was written through funding provided by the Ford Foundation, Mexico Office, through a grant to the MicroCapital Institute.