Bui Thi Chem

Bui Thi Chem was born with a poor family and like many other women in the Vong Ngan commune, she works hard in the fields every day so that she can provide for her family. Before receiving a loan from MFCDI, Bui Thi Chem would wish for more capital for her business but other banks would not let her take out a loan because she lacked the collateral.

“I start from nothing, at that moment, my family do not have enough rice and clothes, no capital for business, so my husband and I would need to be the wage earner day after day. We wanted to have the money for business but we are a poor family so we do not have a property for mortgage and we cannot access the loans from the banks.

“But with the help from MFCDI, I was able to take out a loan without the need of having to mortgage. Furthermore, I can pay back my loan monthly and I don’t need to pay it back in one big amount of money. In 2009, I met with the loan officer from MFCDI and received a loan of 5,000,000 VND to produce oyster mushrooms. By the end of that year I had earned 10,000,000 VND and I wasn’t stopping there. The next year, I took out a second loan of 8,000,000 VND and along with the money from my oyster mushrooms, I was able to invest in goat breeding. By 2011, my family had earned nearly 30,000,000 VND.

“It was so empowering to see my hard work paying off. MFCDI’s work inspired me to begin my own initiative called the ‘Vong Ngan Weaving Cooperative’ in which I have 35 women working together to use their skills in weaving clothes for the community. This is especially important to me because apart from increasing my family’s income, I am so happy knowing that I am able to create stable jobs for the women in my community. This means 35 families have enough money for rice and clothes and that hundreds of children have the chance to go to school. My family’s average income has increased from 6,000,000 VND per month to 12,000,000 VND per month and I have high hopes for the future because I know I have the support from MFCDI.”

During August 2013, Bui Thi Chem was awarded the best micro-entrepreneurship award from her efforts establishing her own business as well as creating her weaving cooperative. Bui Thi Chem was also selected to be part of the ‘Livelihoods for Poor Women in the Northern Provinces’ project operated by MFCDI in which she has learnt how to manage her cooperative more smoothly and confidently.

When Bui Thi Chem recalls memories from her journey, she is grateful knowing that she has overcome the most difficult days and is thankful for the continuous support she is given from MFCDI.

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