Thitsar Ooyin, a microfinance institution of which GRET is the majority shareholder, obtained a loan of one million dollars from Dutch development bank FMO. This will enable it to open new branches and create new credit products for rural populations in Myanmar.
Thitsar Ooyin is a socially-driven microfinance institution, headquartered in Hakha, Chin State, a mountainous and remote state in Myanmar. The institution is currently active in some of the most isolated regions of Myanmar, providing microloans primarily to women, with a particular focus on rural areas the benefit poor disadvantaged communities. Its model makes it possible to build a strong client base in difficult circumstances, thereby creating a significant impact on rural people’s livelihoods.
“With this new funding, the Thitsar Ooyin microfinance company will be able to provide more economic opportunities to families and better contribute to its vision of improving the livelihoods of rural populations in Myanmar” – Lai Uk Nawl, chairperson of the Thitsar Ooyin management committee and Chin general manager.
Thitsar Ooyin (which means “Garden of Loyalty” in Burmese) is a microfinance institution created by GRET in 2018, with a view to taking over the microfinance activities that GRET had been implementing in Myanmar for more than twenty years. Thitsar Ooyin’s mission is to provide responsible financial services to low-income families and small and medium-sized enterprises by developing long-term access to quality services and empowering families by strengthening their management capacities. As of September 2018, Thitsar Ooyin, which provides group and individual loans mainly to women, has a loan portfolio of 3.2 million USD and serves 20,552 clients, of whom 90 % live in rural areas. This is achieved thanks to over 100 dedicated employees across its 9-branch network located in Chin State and the Sagaing Region.
With this funding, Thitsar Ooyin will be able to further expand its operations by opening new branches and creating new credit products for the rural populations of Myanmar, hence growing its loan portfolio, primarily composed of livestock loans, agriculture loans and trade loans. The funding was made available through FMO’s MASSIF fund, which reaches out to end-beneficiaries by funding local financial intermediaries and institutions that can contribute to their development. With the fund, FMO can invest upstream, taking high risks, and by doing so, catalyse new investors into the financial inclusion space, which includes FMO.
“This investment will help improve access to finance in rural areas for underserved small entrepreneurs, especially women, thereby reducing inequalities and supporting job creation”, adds Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer of FMO.