Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Small business loan

On a personal note we have become involved in a small test project where we went in with a local American couple to loan a local guy the money to purchase a tuk tuk, so he can afford to live and feed his family.  Our friends, Will and Anna had several experiences to vouch for his integrity, so we took their word for it. At some stage you have to trust somebody.  Will and Anna own the "Maybe Later" Restaurant and Bar on Beach Rd in Sihanoukville.

Until now he had been a moto dop (scooter taxi) but his scooter was on it's last legs and it's very hard to make any money when it rains as no one wants to catch a scooter, his name is Chron Heak and we helped fund his tuk tuk.

He had enough money for the deposit, which he used to get the project started. We met him in Phnom Penh and handed over the rest of the money.  We had a contract drafted in Khmer and English explaining we had the right to repossess the tuk tuk if he didn't make the payments. Of course were ever mindful of the seasonality of Sihanoukville and allowed him to vary the loan payments as well as draw down on them if he paid back quickly and had an emergency. We also charged no interest and allowed four years to pay it off.

We had always been interested in micro-finance, albeit this was larger then typical micro finance deals.

We took a  few photos the day after he arrived back from Phnom Penh
Heak driving, Anna, Will and myself in the back

About a week later, he invited us over to his place to see where he lives, supporting his mother, and two nephews.

The kitchen
Inside the house

Top of the stairs

View out the front, over an industrail compound

Heak is convinced he and his neighbours will all be evicted soon, as there is more industrial land out the back, "What then ?" I asked, " I do not know" he answered forlornly. A fact of life if we in the West want cheap runners or clothing etc

The neighbourhood
We'll see how it goes and if the loan is paid back, how do you judge the guys integrity ?


Post a Comment