Currently we have 67 micro-credits in operation. The sort of small business that we support range from a small shop, sewing machines, dried fish, nets to catch prawns and other fish to a beauty salon and many others. We have noted that the man employed to collect the monthly payments has not been firm enough in his efforts and the returns have been too little. There will always be special cases where, due to ill health of personal difficulties, repayment of the loan has proved difficult. In these cases we amend the terms of repayment to fit the situation.
Klaas and Monique gave extra focus to this problem during their visit. The spreadsheets were updated followed by house calls to those in arrears and ultimatums given with regard to reducing or ending the deficits. Being confronted with the Dutch business approach was culturally unnerving for many but in most cases the desired result was achieved. Only in one case was it necessary to enlist the help of the local authorities which will result in a term of imprisonment for the person in question.
This is not easily done but was our only course of action in this case. Thankfully there are many other success stories.
One of the first people we had helped was a man with a cinnamon business who came especially to visit us with his success story and expansion plans for the future. Inspiring.
A new project we have set up is a Pilot Project for Mini Micro-credits for 34 women. The local government had asked us to finance this project in which they would take on the task of making the contracts and the collection of repayments. Once the finances had been agreed with one of our entrepreneurs we were able to immediately give 33 women a great boost to their future business plans. All the contracts have been signed and these women have started their projects.