Sont Oo Tehtwin : Social microfinance in Myanmar
6branches in 2017
7 535beneficiaries in 2017
8 500training sessions in 2017
In 2014, Entrepreneurs du Monde has established itself in Myanmar with a more social approach to microfinance than commonly found amongst other microfinance institutions working in the country. Entrepreneurs du Monde created Sont Oo Tehtwin (“Entrepreneur” in Myanmar language), a social microfinance programme supporting thousands of extremely vulnerable families. It also promotes responsible microfinance among other microfinance institutions.
Sont Oo Tehtwin sustainably improves the entrepreneurs’ living conditions
Sont Oo Tehtwin supports low income microentrepreneurs in the townships of Dala, Seikkyikhanaungto and Twante, which are all in Southern Yangon. Sont Oo Tehtwin was established based on the microfinance model developed by Entrepreneurs du Monde. It offers pro-poor adapted financial and socio-economic services including uncollateralized loans, savings, training and support, which help beneficiaries to develop their income-generating activities and make sustainable improvements to their living conditions.
A priority for saving
Savings reduces vulnerability to shock life events. The demand for this service is high and SOO promotes it widely. Thus, beneficiaries must save a minimum of €30 cents per week. SOO still remunerates savings at 15% per annum whereas the national minimum interest rate was reduced from 15% to 10% in August 2016. In 2017, the team organized focus groups to better understand the needs and the feasibility to launch a long term savings product.
An offer adapted to agricultural activities
SOO supports some of the most deprived rural families with agricultural loans. Many of them live on less than $2 per day and have even less access to basic services (health, education, energy and sanitation) than in the urban areas. This attention to farmers significantly increased the size of the overall portfolio as first loans in urban areas begin at €50, whereas first loans for agricultural activities start at €250.
An agronomist was hired to develop training modules and reinforce technical capacities of farmers. A new loan product was also launched for gardening of living stock activities with a grace period adapted to the seasonality.
Read the complete Pteah Baitong’s fact sheet
Sont Oo Tehtwin’s financial partners
To expand the outreach of services and support more beneficiaries, SOO is looking for new financial partners.