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Deputy Prime Minister presents K500, 000 cheque to Women’s Micro Bank to develop financial inclusion in Esa’ala district

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Women’s Micro Bank Limited (WMB), branded as MAMA BANK has acknowledged and thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Esa’Ala  Hon. Davis Steven and Esa’Ala District Development Authority (EDDA) for presenting a cheque of K500, 000  to Women’s Micro Bank to develop financial inclusion in the whole Esa’ala district, enabling the local mothers to have easy access to financial services and credit facility to boost their small businesses, and their children to imbibe savings culture. 

This stems out from an agreement that was inked earlier this year on 28th April, 2020 when WMB and EDDA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement for the people to have their own bank to do their banking services through Women’s Micro Bank. Women’s Micro Bank will now begin to deliver and support to open bank accounts for their further activities in informal and agriculture in Esa’ala through its institutional management and deliverable channels.  

During the presentation held in Port Moresby, on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Esa’ala, his wife Mrs Davis presented a cheque of K500, 000 to Women’s Micro Bank and witnessed by EDDA office bearers, among others. Hon. Steven upon presenting the cheque said that his government wants to enable both private and public sectors to contribute meaningfully towards his district’s economic development through a holistic approach by creating an enabling environment. “Through this funding, I want to convert all my informal women in the Esa’ala district to a next level by enabling the private and public sectors to provide that means to achieve the economic aspirations of the women and district. I am currently working with Oil Palm Growers to include them in doing savings for their future and with boat owner to enable informal sector with everyone’s active participation” Said Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Davis Steven.  

The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister also thanks Women’s Micro Bank to come on board to help his district people for imbibing savings culture by opening savings account for all women and their children. He further elaborated that Esa’ala DDA is committed to develop the MSME sector in its district by helping all informal MSMEs and formal SMEs.  He further elaborate that it is his dream to bring banking services to his people in his electorate and support them by putting money into their account rather than putting money in their hands. He further congratulate Esa’ala DDA representatives who has tirelessly worked towards supporting his mission and asked them to showcase this partnership as role model to whole country.  

In receiving the Cheque, WMB’s CEO, Mr. Gunanidhi Das on behalf of WMB’s Board and Management thanked Hon. Davis Steven (MP) and the office bearer of EDDA for having faith and trust in WMB to manage this fund for the benefit of the women and people of Esa’ ala.  The CEO of MAMA BANK explained that the Women’s Micro Bank is trying to implement the real microfinance concept in the country through technology enabled solutions. Empowering and building the financial capacity of Papua New Guinea through group mechanism with demand driven savings product and easy access to credit facilities will see an Economy of Scale for informal sector, resulting in a sound Savings Culture leading towards a greater impact in their lives in terms of financial independence so that every women and girls can be able to make informed decisions in meeting their personal as well as their family’s current and future needs. He further emphasized that the real economic empowerment of this country is possible through women economic empowerment. The presentation will see the empowerment of women and their family in Esa’ala District.

This funding will now enable Women’s Micro Bank to operate in Esa’ala district through its established agent office in Esa’ala. Women’s Micro Bank is in process to establish their presence in Alotau for ease of doing business in Esa’ala. This will enable an all-inclusive approach wherein banking services in Esa’ala will be supported through Alotau basically for ease of doing business, marketing and branding. 

Mr. Das emphasized that Women’s Micro Bank Limited is the only licensed financial institution in Papua New Guinea with an explicit focus on women. MAMA BANK is the TRU TRU bank for its members and adhere to the slogan “SAPOTIM MERI KIRAPIM BISNIS KIRAPIM KANTRI” MAMA BANK believes that women are the gateway to economic empowerment of the country, thus, entrenched its business philosophy in “Women Economic Empowerment.” We believe that when money goes to the women’s hand it reaches 100% to family’s welfare and guarantee higher utilization of total disposable income.  

He further emphasized that MAMA BANK always asked its customer to do Savings first and Savings should be first expenditure of Income not last. This has bear the fruits during COVID-19 emergency period and all the customers of MAMA BANK are happily using their savings money during lock down period.

Black Thursday! STOP THE CYCLE OF GBV!

Violence is one of those epidemics that doesn’t respect limits or borders. To stop the cycle of GBV, one of the most important step is to identify the different ways that violence manifests itself. We like to believe that we learn and reproduce it and, in turn, teach and validate it. But just as you can learn it, you can unlearn it and stop the cycle.

This Black Thursday, our female staff at POM Branch and Head office came together to conduct an awareness on most common types of violence, what triggers GBV and how victims can get help. The awareness session was very emotional and informative as some female colleague’s shared their stories and life experiences of DV and how they survived it.

As a Women’s oriented bank focusing on providing financial services to all women and their family members, we join hands together with other women and like minded organisations of our great nation in this fight against GBV and we say NO to all forms of Gender Base Violence.

Respectim Meri, supportim meri , stopim GBV, kirapim kantri

#JusticeForPNGWomen #EndTheSilence #SayNoToGBV

#ENDTHESILENCECAMPAIGN #WomensMicroBank #MamaBank

Women’s Micro Bank partners with Agro Dev Trade Ltd to Support Highlands Coffee Farmers.

Women’s Micro Bank Limited (WMB), branded as MAMA BANK has taken a step further to support coffee farmers in the highlands region through a Memorandum of Agreement signed with Agro Dev Trade Limited (ADT), enabling the coffee farmers to have easy access to financial services, particularly imbibing savings culture for their better future and access to credit facility offered by MAMA BANK to upscale their coffee farming activities. The signing was witnessed Vice Minister for Coffee and Member for Daulo Open Hon. Pongio Ghate, representative from World Bank, CIC, DAL, UNCDF (PFIP), CEFI and key management from ADT and WMB.

WMB and ADT recognize that ordinary rural farmers of the of the highlands region which covers Jiwaka, WHP, EHP, SHP, Enga and Hela should have affordable and adequate financial inclusion products and services such as demand driven savings product, term deposits, access to finance to enable them to play a more active role in the economic development and contribution of their provinces and country.

WMB and ADT are prepared to consider the provision of credit facilities to coffee growers who are unable to provide security of a type or in an amount which Commercial Banks would in the normal course of its operations, otherwise require. With this agreement, WMB and ADT will initiate and establish Coffee Value Chain Rehabilitation Scheme in order to assist the ordinary people endeavoring to participate more in to coffee production activities in a sustainable way. To begin with, WMB and ADT agreed to pilot the scheme in Dei district of Western Highland Province and in Kainatu district of Eastern Highland Province. After successful piloting, this scheme can be replicated in other part of the highlands region. Through this agreement ADT will act as an AGENT of WMB to facilitate financial inclusion product and services in their operating area through a cashless model.

During the ceremony held at WMB Head Office in Port Moresby, the chairman of WMB Mr Ricky Mitio highlighted the importance of financial education to the coffee farmers and both WMB with Agro Dev Trade Limited looks beyond the horizon by filling the gaps of overlooking agriculture commodities that contributes significantly in the nation’s GDP from which constitute 80 percent of Papua New Guineans who survive through agriculture-based activities. “Coffee is one of the most important cash crops in Papua New Guinea, with export revenues consistently topping US$100 million per annum. Referencing back, the total coffee production for 2016 was nearly 1.2 million 60-kg bags (70,260 tonnes). Globally, PNG is ranked 18th in the world for coffee production for 2016/2017. Therefore, this agreement is very significant for the country as highlands region is the leading coffee producing region for PNG. Coffee is a sustainable product. Coffee is here and going to stay here. Proper management of income from coffee will give financial self-confidence and security to all farmers” said Mr. Mitio.

Managing Director of ADT, Mr. Jacob Taru, welcomed the move by Mama Bank as ADT have been trying to find ways to improve production to a sustainable level. “All the studies have been done” he said. “We know that the key to driving production growth for farmers’ lies in with availability of capital which can only be achieved through a strong savings culture and equipment availability to increase the size of their farms, which obviously is the access to funds that banks can provide to support farmers. One of the main objectives of this agreement is to uplift the production of coffee by provision of appropriate and easily accessible savings and small loans to coffee farmers to improve existing small income generating agriculture activities. Coffee Farmers must see Coffee for what it is called Money Tree. Saving and reinvesting coffee money back to coffee is the only way to survive. Linking with a lead firm to go together targeting specialty coffee market is the goal. A win-win for all.” Said Mr Taru.

The agreement encompassed the top-down institutional planning and bottom-up operational activity through ADT, creating a single framework with clear coordination and provision of inclusive financial product and services for coffee farmers, enabling them to demand driven savings product, access the credit facility to boost their farming activities and financial literacy training services offered by WMB.
The CEO of WMB Mr Gunanidhi Das on his closing remarks explained further that the Women’s Micro Bank is trying to implement the real microfinance concept in the country. Empowering and building the financial capacity of Papua New Guinea farmers through group mechanism with demand driven savings product and easy access to credit facilities will see an Economy of Scale for Agri-Value Chain Businesses, resulting in a sound Savings Culture leading towards a greater impact in their lives in terms of financial independence so that every person can be able to make informed decisions in meeting their personal as well as their family’s current and future needs. He further emphasized that the real economic empowerment of this country is possible through women economic empowerment. The agreement will leads to empower the women and their family in highlands region.

He thanked ADT to come onboard to allow a partnership to facilitate access to financial services that is very viable and important to their farmers. In acknowledging the ADT, the CEO of WMB advice all the farmers to form in small self-reliance groups or small farmer’s producer group to help each other and become the catalyst for growth for their family and for the nation. Further imbibe a savings culture among Coffee growers and creating a reputable credit history is the aim of WMB.
He further emphasized that Savings should be the first Expenditure of Income not last. He also requested all the Farmers to come and do banking with their own bank with innovative savings products and simple loan products. Recently BANK has come up with biometric enabled technology solutions where in all the MAMA’s money is safe from fraudulent activities and urge all the MAMA to register their finger prints as early as possible to safe guard their hard earn money.

“FROM TABLE MARKET TO TRADE STORE, TAXI SERVICE AND RENTAL PROPERTY” A CLIENT’S SUCCESS STORY

Meet Mrs. Elizabeth Tandapi, an informal table market woman developed into a businesswoman through Women’s Micro Bank.

“The dream that I had since day one is a dream come true today, from table market to trade store, taxi service and rental property.” Testified Elizabeth Tandapi, one of the pioneer customers of Women’s Micro Bank.

Hailing from Enga Province, Elizabeth Tandapi is one of the pioneers of WMB. Her dream was to become a businesswoman when she joined Women in Business Foundation (WIBF) in 2009 inspired by the charismatic lady Late Janet Sape. At that time Elizabeth was doing informal table market in Port Moresby to support her family. Using a small 100 cm by 100 cm table, she was selling dough nuts, ice blocks to sustain her livelihood. From the little earnings, she budgeted for her family’s food and did her savings with WIB with a dream to become a successful businesswoman. Elizabeth was one of the first customers (19th Customer, Meri Moni Savings Account number 00019) to open bank account with WMB after attaining the license from BPNG in May 2014.

Following the legacy of Late Ms. Janet Sape, Elizabeth stood firm, committed and worked hard towards achieving her dream. In 2014, Elizabeth’s savings was more than K10, 000 in her savings account when she obtained her first loan of K10, 000 in August 2014. Valuing the savings culture she hesitate to withdraw her money and obtained a loan which she used and built a trade store and migrated from table market to trade store by selling all grocery items. Elizabeth’s motivation began to rise and she envisioned how she will develop her entrepreneurial ambitions. With that motivation, Elizabeth repaid her loan accordingly as per the loan repayment schedule without any defaults. During the tenure of WIB, she has already got three small loans to support her table market so had the knowhow of loan repayments.

“It was my dream to become a businesswoman and to become equal with men given the challenges we womenfolk in PNG face daily as men tend to consider us as inferiors even though we contribute a lot in the family. So I want to break that cultural barrier and be equal with men by becoming a successful businesswoman,” said emotional Elizabeth. She explained that just after one year from the first loan of K10, 000, she used part of the proceeds to purchase a second-hand taxi to run a taxi service in Port Moresby.

On March 2016, Elizabeth obtained her second loan of K25, 000 with an ambition to scale up her business, which she ventured into building a five (5) bedroom rental house. She said that she haven’t been to any formal education or business courses, however, with the Financial Literacy Trainings and Business Development Skills Training that she obtained from WMB, she is able to manage and run her business. She paid off the loan within schedule time and doing savings regularly to obtain a bigger loan upscale and diversify her business. Elizabeth is now running a trade store, a taxi, rental house and recently she purchased a land. Elizabeth’s plan is to upscale her trade store into a mini shop, build two (2) more rental houses and build a proper parking bay for her taxi and purchase one more. During covid-19 lockdown period she took a small loan of K2, 000 to support her business cash flow and has confessed the importance of savings culture that embeds WMB’s business philosophy as experienced now where all the women are happily using their savings money during this covid-19 lockdown period. Elizabeth plan to take up another loan when the Covid-19 situation improves so she can continue on with building up her business. When asked what would be her best advice to other women, smiling Elizabeth said “Simple, start small, have a goal, work hard, seek fund support from our own Bank, honor your commitment, stick to one bank who can be in your help at any time and rest will follow suit. Like me, “from table market to trade store, taxi service and now rental property.”

Women’s Micro Bank Acknowledges Wewak DDA of K1 Million Cheque to Develop MSME in Wewak District

Women’s Micro Bank Limited (WMB) has acknowledged and thanked the Hon. Member for Wewak Mr Kevin Isifu and Wewak District Development Authority (WDDA) for presenting a total of K1 million Cheque for MSME Credit Revolving Fund to Women’s Micro Bank to manage and develop MSMEs in Wewak district, enabling the local people to have easy access to funds to boost their small businesses, and also have access to other financial products and services offered by WMB. 

This stems out from an agreement that was inked earlier this year on 26th February, 2020 when WMB and WDDA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement for MSME Credit Scheme for the people, particularly women of Wewak district. Women’s Micro Bank will now begin to deliver and support the small business activities in Wewak as it has in place all its institutional management and deliverable channels for this credit revolving fund. In accordance with the terms of agreement entered, WMB’s lending department will be following WMB’s credit policies in offering loans to women in Wewak. WMB and WDDA has recognized that ordinary village based Women in the Wewak District of East Sepik Province should have affordable, sustainable and adequate access to funds to enable them to play a more active role in the economic development and contribution of the District.

During the presentation held at YC Hall at Wewak town, the Member for Wewak and Chairman of WDDA, Hon. Kevin Isifu (MP) presented a Cheque of K1 Million to Women’s Micro Bank and witnessed by WDDA CEO and Office bearers, DA and Deputy DA for ESP, President for council of Women, Advisor to Commerce, Women in Business Foundation Representatives, Human Development Institute Representative, and AOG PNG Church Networks Representatives among others. In receiving the Cheque, WMB’s Senior Officer, Ms. Cynthia Kwamillon on behalf of WMB’s Management thanked Hon. Kevin Isifu (MP) and the office bearer of Wewak DDA for having faith and trust in WMB to manage this funds for the benefit of the women of Wewak.

Ms. Kwamillon, speaking on behalf of the Bank’s Management emphasized on the implementation strategy of this funding. She stated that this fund will be used for a full scale financial inclusion programs for the women of Wewak. Ms. Kwamillon outlined that customers’ onboarding will be for new as well as the existing ones, whereas, for the eligibility for MSME loans, customers should have any informal business activities or a new business activity, and guarantee should be given by their family. Also, Ms. Kwamillon further clarified that only women are eligible but men can come through women. WMB will start with small amount for new customers trying to venture into MSME activities with greater emphasis to be given to groups of women coming as a group to do economic activities. Good borrowers with good repayment history and savings culture will be treated as elite customers by WMB. Ms. Kwamillon further clarified that this amount will be rolled over with many customers. That means when one borrower do the repayment, that money will be given back to another person. Hence, this fund will be revolved for the benefit of all the women in Wewak.

WMB will work in partnership with all stakeholders and partners to make it a success for this program. This will be achieved through the support of Women in Business Foundation, AOG PNG Church Network, Human Development Institute (HDI), MSME Council and Wewak Market Mama. With this presentation, this will create an avenue to adequate access to funds, to enable local people to play a more active role in the economic development and contribution of the District, province and the country. The Mama Bank has already prepared and will now implement the provision of loan facilities to borrowers who are unable to provide security of a type or in an amount which Commercial Banks would in the normal course of its operations. WMB will serve the ordinary villagers endeavoring to participate in savings culture and in small-scale informal and agricultural activities.

Ms. Kwamillon emphasized that Women’s Micro Bank Limited is the only licensed financial institution in Papua New Guinea with an explicit focus on women. Women’s Micro Bank is the TRU TRU bank for its members and adhere to the slogan “SAPOTIM MERI KIRAPIM BISNIS KIRAPIM KANTRI” WMB believes that women are the gateway to economic empowerment of the country, thus, entrenched its business philosophy in “Women Economic Empowerment.” We believe that when money goes to the women’s hand it reaches 100% to family’s welfare and guarantee higher utilization of total disposable income.  

She further emphasized that WMB always asked its customer to do Savings first and Savings should be first expenditure of Income not last. This has bear the fruits during COVID-19 emergency period and all the customers of WMB are happily using their savings money during lock down period.

In appreciating the Women Economic Empowerment programs WMB is embarking to develop in Wewak, Hon. Kevin Isifu (MP) also thanked Women’s Micro Bank for coming on board to help his district people for MSME Credit Revolving Fund Facility which created an enabling environment for his government to invest in this facility for the benefits of all women and their children, including men and youths. He further elaborated that WDDA is committed to give another K200,000 to purchase a vehicle and run the MSME credit scheme program to help WMB to develop the MSME sector in its district by helping all informal MSME and SME. The 1 million kina will be utilized for credit to MSME customers and revolve to reach maximum people of his electorate. He further elaborate that it is his dream to bring banking services to his people in his electorate and support them by putting money into their account rather than putting money in their hands. He challenged the people of Wewak to make good use of this economic opportunity and asked them to showcase this as role model to whole country. This investment for the people is unique in nature and timely in this emergency situation and thankful to Mama Bank to begin implement this program amid COVID – 19. This will help resilience people of Wewak after Corona pandemic emergency situation is over. Hon. Kevin Isifu (MP) further thanked District Administrator, Office bearer of Wewak DDA, WIBF Rep, HDI Rep, AOG PNG Church Network Rep, MSME Council Rep, and Wewak Market Mama Rep among others.  He explained that the partnership is trying to implement the real microfinance concept in the district. We believes that any credit scheme should link to the performance to the income generating activities. If a customer is willing to improve her own economy and a bank help in access to finance then automatically nation’s economy will developed. SME can be created and the Government’s ambition of achieving 500,000 SME by 2030 will be fulfilled if MSME sector is taken care properly.

WOMEN’S MICRO BANK GIVES REPAYMENT HOLIDAY TILL JULY 2020

WOMEN’S MICRO BANK GIVES REPAYMENT HOLIDAY TILL JULY 2020 Women’s Micro Bank recognizes that COVID-19 SOE has affected its Business Loan Customers and is offering repayment holidays to its formal and informal business borrowers, till July 2020, to help them recover and stabilize their business.

Women’s Micro bank is now requesting its formal and informal business customers to come forward and register their name for availing this facility.

Also, if any business customers are less affected with COVID – 19 SOE and pay their installments, they will avail an interest rebate to their loan repayment amount.