Sustainable Cambodia
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MicroBusiness & Crafts

Our micro-business program is largely based on the most successful rural village development program in the world today: The Grameen Bank model which originated in Bangladesh by Muhammad Yunus and is now in thousands of villages around the world. Like all successful models, it is simple:

The Village Development Committee reviews the business ideas of the villagers. Those with plans that show the ability to repay a modest business loan within 10 months (usually 6 or less) are divided into sub-groups of five (nonrelated) families each. In each group, only three of the five families can have a loan outstanding at any time. All five families desire loans, so they apply pressure on each other to repay their loans on time. The loan fund is started with seed money from Sustainable Cambodia, but all principal and interest stays in the Village Loan Fund for future loans, so the capacity of the village to provide working business loans increases over time. The initial loan is typically only US$20, but this is enough to start a meaningful income-producing business in the villages.

We are also working with villagers in exporting of crafts through fair trade groups, and we have training programs to help villagers in business and personal empowerment.