Ms. My and Mrs. Cuc live in Soc Trang province in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, where they struggled to provide reliable incomes for their families.
Ms. My wanted to start her own business while Mrs. Cuc wanted to expand her vegetable stall at the local market, but both lacked access to capital. Low-income women in remote areas are all too often starved of financial opportunity in Vietnam. Most formal financial institutions view them as high-risk and high-cost.
AOP’s Program for Microfinance (APM) aims to break down these barriers, especially for women. APM helps disadvantaged households take out micro-loans that help them increase their income and save for the future.
Ms. My’s Story
After she began making soursop tea for her family, Ms. My discovered there was a growing market for her product. Previously, she struggled to provide for her family by selling the soursop fruit to middlemen, but was unable to earn a reliable income.
With a micro-loan from APM and additional capital from her family, she invested in buying a dryer, making product packaging, and registering a household-scale business.
Ms. My also attended training in how to grow soursop to meet VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) standards, which she said helped improve the quality of her product and reinforce customers’ trust in her tea.
Currently, Ms. My produces and sells 30-35kg of soursop tea each month, earning over AUD$350, which is much higher and more stable than before. The tea has been embraced by Ms. My’s customers, especially because of its three-star rating from the Provincial High-Quality Product Program, which certifies agricultural goods such as soursop in rural areas.
“The joy of my family now is not only in the positive material changes but also in the spirit,” said Ms. My.
Mrs. Cuc’s Story
When Mrs. Cuc wanted to set up a stall at her hamlet’s market, she turned to APM for assistance. With an initial loan of AUD$160, she was able to rent a stall to sell her home-grown produce.
“In the past, besides working in the fields, my husband and I grew vegetables in our small garden and sold them at the market to cover daily living expenses,” said Mrs. Cuc.
When she was ready to expand her business, Mrs. Cuc again turned to APM, taking out a second loan of AUD$550. She was able to add more vegetables to her stall to meet her customers’ needs. Her vegetables are always the first to be sold and Mrs. Cuc had become a good friend to the women who come to buy her produce every day.
Last year, with the profits from their business, Mrs. Cuc and her husband renovated their house, which is now safer and more spacious than before. Mrs. Cuc says she wants to continue growing her business and build a brighter future for her family.
Donate now to help more women like Ms. My and Mrs. Cuc access finance and start their own businesses.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).