Women business owners of 20 craft and agricultural enterprises who are members of the Agricultural Women’s Association will receive loans from the state-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc (SME Bank).
The loans will be offered at a low interest rate of 5.5% with favorable terms to restore business after Covid-19.
This plan was announced during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the SME Bank and the Women’s Farm Association on July 4.
SME Bank CEO Lim Aun said the $340 million SME Co-Financing Scheme (SCFS) is targeted at priority sectors identified by the government. The sum was divided into two phases – $100 million (Phase I) and $240 million (Phase II).
Phase III – also called Tourism Recovery Co-Financing Scheme (TRCS) – which is a support project for companies involved in the tourism value chain, amounted to 150 million dollars. It started in July.
“The three phases, including the bank’s $500 million direct loan, have helped many sectors, with funding for women being a priority and further encouraging by offering special terms, such as lower interest rates through compared to those offered to male entrepreneurs,” he said. .
Thus, Kunthy, chairwoman of the board of directors of the Women’s Farm Association, said that the memorandum of understanding aims to strengthen and support businesses, which are mainly run by women.
They are made up of members of the Women’s Farm Association, who will benefit from “more special conditions” from SME banks than from other banks from which they are accustomed to borrowing to develop their business.
Kunthy said that SME Bank is a bank that not only lends to women entrepreneurs, but also studies the consequences and listens to the business issues they face.
The SME Bank also does not have strict conditions like other banks.
“SME Bank has seen the situation faced by every woman-owned business and understood the difficulties they face, so our cooperation will further facilitate existing banking terms and conditions,” she said.
Currently, the association, which is more than five years old, has members from the capital, provinces and cities.
The activities of women farmers play an important role and act as a driving force for economic stability, job creation, innovation while fostering a competitive business environment.