Client success stories
Taking a Chance on New Entrepreneurs: Access to Microloans Stimulates Business Development for PLHIV
After many years serving in the army, Mr. Truong Ngoc Hong returned home to face a battle as a civilian - HIV infection. Mr. Truong struggled to find steady work, and was shunned by his peers due to his HIV-positive status and his inability to provide for his family.
He became a freelance worker, repairing motorbikes and working as a motorbike taxi driver. But with only a few simple tools to support his newfound trade, his ability to generate income was limited.
In 2011, Mr. Truong applied for a loan through the USAID-funded Workplace-Based Prevention and Employment and Supportive Services for High-Risk Individuals in Vietnam Project, which pilots a partnership with the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) to provide an accessible and comprehensive package of treatment and livelihood support services for people living with or affected by HIV and former drug users. This project helps them enjoy greater accessibility to microfinance and improve their capacity to develop and implement small business plans so that they can move towards independent jobs, stable lives, and sustainable reintegration into the community.
Following Truong application for financial support, USAID project walked him through the VBSP process and he was approved for a 10 million VND loan, which he used to buy a new set of tools to provide better quality service to his clients. He also got business development training, regular encouragement and coaching from the program, which made him feel cared for and more productive.
On his repayment due date on September 15, 2012, Mr. Truong repaid his first loan in full, and submitted an application to borrow a second loan.
"I took a chance on the first loan to him...but he was so earnest in paying his loan installments that I offered to lend him the second loan of 20 million VND for two years. He refused and just wanted to borrow only 15 million VND for one year and asserted that he could afford to repay as regularly as he did for his first loan," said his credit group leader, who asked not to be named.
Now on his feet, Mr. Truong can afford to pay for his son education and provide for his family. "I would like to receive another loan from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies to procure more and better tools to provide better service, increase my income and savings to be able to have a house of my own one day."
By end of September 2012, the USAID project has provided business development counseling and training for 272 target clients, of which 185 received small loans to start up and expand existing business activities, such as petty training and small-scale services. The project model has been used to advocate for government funding. As result, VBSP has reported that HCMC government approved approximately $400,000 to expand lending to this target group in HCMC beginning in July 2012.
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