CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES
KHAMXANG VILLAGE, PHONHONG DISTRICT, VIENTIANE PROVINCE
Kongmany has been making rattan baskets and tables for 30 years. She wanted to expand her business to meet wholesale demand but struggled with cashflow and didn’t have the resources to buy large amounts of supplies upfront. There was no financial service available in her village back then, so she just had to make do with what she could gather each week.
In 2012, EMI started working with her village to offer saving and loan products, so she took out a small loan of five million Lao Kip (approx. USD 550) to help scale up her operations.
“I was excited that I could take a small loan with EMI without needing any collateral, and that they allowed me to make weekly repayments, which has been such a big help with cashflow. I’m so happy that EMI came to offer their services in my village – they made it so easy for me to access the funds I needed to expand my business. Now I can easily buy all the supplies I need to prepare weekly orders for my wholesale customers. I’m earning more from my business and can afford to educate all my children.”
Thanks to EMI, the Covid-19 pandemic had less impact on Kongmany’s family life, as she implemented money management skills learned from EMI’s financial education program and had been growing their savings with EMI, so she had a safety net in place to help them live a little more comfortably throughout the pandemic.
“We planted more vegetables and raised some animals to get us through but were very lucky that EMI were flexible with repayments during this time, which made life a lot less stressful.”
Kongmany admits that EMI’s products have helped make her family’s life more sustainable.
“I’m so grateful that EMI offers fast and efficient financial services in my village – they even make it so easy by coming to us and we don’t need to travel anywhere.”
Kongmany was also thrilled to find that EMI offered additional client marketing services, helping her to promote her products to new customers in different provinces.
“Now I feel more comfortable about the future, and my business makes me feel so happy because I can keep working from my house and grow my business each year. I would like to thank EMI for designing such a good service for the people in my community
BOUNGPHAO VILLAGE, THOULAKHOM DISTRICT, VIENTIANE PROVINCE
Sisouphan is a vegetable farmer from a small remote village three hours travel north of Vientiane, near the Nam Ngum Reservoir.
EMI Field Officers helped him recognise the increasing market demand for organic vegetables while brainstorming on business growth ideas and he decided he wanted to take his farm in that direction, but lacked the capital needed to buy necessary equipment and supplies.
“I knew I needed the funding to get set up, but I could also earn more selling organic products and market demand keeps growing, so I felt it was worthwhile.”
He established a collateral-free loan of seven million Lao Kip (approx. USD 775) with EMI in 2013 and set about improving his operations, with great success.
“Since I’ve been using EMI, I have a car now and my children have all finished high school.”
However, the Covid-19 pandemic was still a difficult time for Sisouphan – when his district was in lockdown, he could not go out to sell his vegetables and his income began to decline.
But thanks to EMI’s support allowing flexibility with repayments, and knowledge learned from EMI’s financial education program, he had prepared a back-up plan by continuing to farm some animals for consumption and budgeting carefully to reduce his expenses as well.
“EMI is different to other services like this, as there’s no need for me to go anywhere, they come to me – I can even apply and make my weekly payments right here.”
Sisouphan says he chose EMI because it was the right fit for his business – he could take out a small loan without needing collateral.
“I think EMI’s services are smart and match with the people in our community well. The staff are always welcoming and make clients feel comfortable if they have any questions or concerns. Thank you, EMI, for designing great products and operations like this for Lao people.”
KHAMXANG VILLAGE, KEOOUDOME DISTRICT, VIENTIANE PROVINCE
Thip lives in a remote village almost four hours from the capital of Vientiane. Travel can be difficult, especially in rainy season, when she must cross the river to get to the local market. Before EMI began offering financial services in her village, Thip was farming basic vegetables and selling whatever fish she could catch but struggled to establish any kind of savings and lived hand-to-mouth just trying to put food on the table for her family. In 2016, Thip took out a small loan of five million Lao Kip (approx. USD 550) without the need for starting collateral and considers herself lucky that EMI began offering financial services in her village.
“I had no idea I could start a small business from home to create additional income for my family, but now I have regular income from making cutting boards together with my husband.”
Thip was inspired when EMI came to her village to conduct an orientation session.
“I discussed with my husband the idea to get funding to start a small business, so we
decided to go ahead and try it. Now, all our family income is from this business and my
daughter has been able to complete her education and secure work.”
Thip says EMI were very kind to her during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing her to reschedule loan
payments when necessary, while still maintaining competitive interest rates.
“There are no other companies offering financial services in my village, so without EMI this would never have been possible.”
Thip loves that she can complete all her banking transactions locally with EMI officers who come to her village regularly, and she doesn’t need to travel to larger towns for these services.
“Sometimes the staff even need to cross the river by boat, but they still come here weekly for us.”
She says an unexpected benefit from using EMI is learning new financial management skills, along with the fact they offer loan and saving products with insurance, so she has confidence about her family’s future; even her family feels happy to use EMI’s services because they can see a clear path for their financial security.
“EMI supports my income because I can get a loan without collateral and pay weekly in my village.”