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(A partnership between UKaid Sakchyam and Nirdhan Uthan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd)

Background

In developing countries like Nepal, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to economic development. They create sustainable employment and are more adaptable to innovations.

Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) can have a positive impact on their members’ socioeconomic status by providing financial products/services that cater to their needs. UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme has been supporting MFIs to launch sustainable and demand-driven financial products/services to help their clients start/expand income-generating activities.

Challenges 

The potential of the SME segment has not been fully exploited due to the lack of formal financial services. The credit requirement (loan size) of this segment is considered too large to be fulfilled by MFIs but too small to be served by the corporate banking model – thus they are often referred as the ‘missing middle’.

The clients of MFIs, despite having the experience often find it difficult to expand their enterprise due to the lack of access to financial services/products developed to suit their requirement. They also have little or no exposure to enterprise/skills training that enables them to run their enterprises successfully.

Sakchyam Intervention

Sakchyam has partnered with Nirdhan Uthan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha to provide entrepreneurship and skill training for loan clients to help them manage and expand their enterprises in the 92 branches of the organisation in 25 districts. Under the partnership, entrepreneurs who have taken a loan of above 150,000 with other 5 members are categorised as Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and are eligible for the training. The training is provided to ensure productive use of loans by the members.

Sakchyam is also helping Nirdhan adopt tablet banking and conduct financial literacy through tablets. A total of 820 tablets have been distributed all 181 branches of Nirdhan across the country.

Results

 As of March 2020, Nirdhan has:

  • Reached more than 7,600 beneficiaries
  • Disbursed more than NPR 2 billion in loans
  • Reached over 57,000 beneficiaries through financial literacy initiatives