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.