This June, 2004, marked the completion of the first phase (4 years) of the Kosovo Grameen Missione Arcobaleno Microcredit Fund (KGMAMF), a Grameen Trust Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) project in Kosovo. This project started its operation in June, 2000, with financial assistance from Missione Arcobaleno , Italy.
The founding Project Director of KGMAMF, together with a six member team set up operations in June 2000, recruiting staff in Kosovo to build up local capabilities. The first team completed its tenure and returned to Bangladesh in 2003. Currently, KGMAMF branches are fully run by 21 local staff, with supervision by only two international staff from Grameen Trust – the Project Director and the Accountant.
Gold Member Ms. Asnisha Pasiaqua received a microenterprise loan for her grocery shop
The Kosovo project is operating through 4 branches in the Peje, Prishtina, Prizren and Gjilan regions of Kosovo. The project has disbursed in excess of 11.4 million Euros up to June 2004, successfully meeting its target for the first phase. The project has cumulatively reached 6,654 rural women members, reporting a repayment rate of 96%. These achievements were possible due to the strong commitment, dedicated leadership, and the hard work of all staff at KGMAMF. During this phase, KGMAMF established itself as a leading microcredit organization in Kosovo, particularly assisting the poor households affected by the conflict in Kosovo.
The project has entered its second phase in July 2004. At the outset of the new phase, project management introduced new loan products following the Grameen Generalized System (GGS) , with the objective of making the loan procedure simpler and even more user friendly for the borrowers.
Under this system, borrowers will enjoy the flexibility of repaying the loan according to their needs, with the loan term ranging from 3 months to 2 years. KGMAMF gives borrowers the opportunity to receive fresh loans after 6 months. KGMAMF gives borrowers the option of paying back in larger installments during the peak season and smaller amounts during the dull season.
From the beginning of the second phase until November 2004, a total of 118 members took fresh loans amounting to Euro 66,168. The project has introduced GoldMembership for those members who have 100% repayment record and whose business is doing well. The branch manager will nominate a member as a GoldMember according to project criteria. The final selection is made after a visit to the member’s business premises by the Project Director and Accountant.
The project gives GoldMembers the opportunity of availing microenterprise loans. It provides Euro 4,000 for 2 years and Euro 2,000 for 1 year microenterprise loans, compared to the existing General loans which is for Euro 600 – 1,500. So far, the project has provided micro-enterprise loans of Euro 14,000 to four GoldMembers. They have used these loans for mini garments and internet café business, expansion of furniture factory, grocery shop and carpentry shop. The first GoldMember recognized by the project is Ms. Asnisha Pasiaqua, a member of Center no. 1 of the Prishtina branch. She took Euro 4,000 for her grocery shop and factory.
The project has developed a 5-year business plan for its second phase, during which it plans to reach 7,000 members with a cumulative disbursement of Euro 50 million. It hopes that during its second phase it will attain 100% operational and financial viability. The project management also hopes to introduce more borrower friendly programs, such as loan insurance, life insurance etc.
Report by Abdul Hai Khan and Tasmina Rahman