Anh Chi Em : Social microfinance in Vietnam
Dien Bien is a northwest border province of Vietnam surrounded by mountains. This is the poorest province in Vietnam with 80% of the population from ethnic minorities who mainly relies on farming and animal husbandry. Due to the low educational level, this is also a province where social evils such as drug addiction and human trafficking are noticeable. Poor people living in remote rural areas are less likely to have access to the banks’ capital due to their lack of collateral. They are also disadvantaged and vulnerable in life.
Anh Chi Em : a social microfinance offering
Anh Chi Em (means Brothers and Sisters), a social microfinance programme, was launched in Dien Bien, in 2007, by Entrepreneurs du Monde to support entrepreneurs with very limited income or assets, weak voice in the community or high exposure to natural disasters. Anh Chi Em‘s team call them “partners” because they consider them as key actors of the social change. To do so, ACE provides loans and savings services adapted with their characteristics, improves their social awareness, technical information and skills.
Methodology of Anh Chi Em
ACE promotes strong group ties among members, who meet on a regular basis to save money, repay their loans, take part in trainings and share skills, knowledge and information. There is no jointly financial liability among members, but instead the social link is promoted and strict rules of regular meeting, savings, group leaders election, etc., are required. Furthermore, this structure allows both ACE and its partners to reduce transport costs and enhance their mutual understanding through frequent meetings.
Incubation by Entrepreneurs du Monde
From start-up to independence, the Anh Chi Em team has been supported by the technical team at Entrepreneurs du Monde, working on nine key points: governance, social performance, strategic planning, human resources management, information and management systems, operation management, administrative and financial management, risk management, advocacy and fundraising. Anh Chi Em has reached a 118% operational viability and is now recognized as a Microfinance Programme by the Vietnamese State Bank.
Anh Chi Em’s partners