Helping People Help Themselves – Microfinance in Cambodia
Two years ago, LSBF-GGSB MSc Finance student Caroline Poll out to understand how microfinance encourages financial inclusion in the developing world. Today, she finds herself putting one together in Cambodia. Caroline tells her story …
I have always been interested in the field of finance. But, gradually, I became aware of the problems and moral conflicts that this career aspiration entails. As a consequence, I decided that I would like to concentrate on the innovative and social sector of the banking business. I chose to focus on Economic Empowerment, Business Development and Environment.
I believe that the basic idea of financing is to lend money not only in order to make money, but also to promote economic growth and development. Pursuing these sectors of finance, I found the prospect of promoting financial inclusion in the developing world fascinating. I decided to work in this filed.
After volunteering for two months in South Africa, I spent two months in an NGO in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working in microfinance. The experience was highly instructive and fulfilling, personally as well as professionally.
Microfinance is a growing field. At the end of my experience in Cambodia, I was keen to learn more about it, especially the challenges its people faces. And I did that by directly coming into contact with the beneficiaries.
For that reason, I have started working on my own microfinance project. My primary goal is to aid a friend of mine, someone whom I got to know during my stay in Phnom Penh. He is a tuk-tuk driver with some experience in the lending business and he wants to start his own microfinance business. I am planning to give him a loan in order to get the business started by lending the money to people as microcredit. I also hope to donate the interest on the loan to the NGO in Phnom Penh that I worked for in 2012. If he manages to set up the whole project, the loan agreement will be renewed and the terms and conditions adjusted in order to gradually benefit the borrowers.
I am still working on getting the funding together for the project by collecting donations. Additionally, I have also made a partial disbursement in order to get the project on track and to see to it that everything progresses as planned. The idea is to publish the whole process as well as the outcome on my blog to enable people to actually see what is happening to their donation.
If you are interested in supporting my project, please visit www.microfinancecambodia.blogspot.com
Thank you for taking the time to read about my project, if you have any questions on this subject or would like to know more please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org
<Principal image courtesy Ryan McFarland/Some rights reserved>