Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

19 April 2011 at 11:02 1 comment

 Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Here at a growing microfinance bank in Jordan, it’s now always about looking forward. Sometimes, it’s about looking back. Tamweelcom started in 1999. In only twelve years, Tamweelcom has gone from a few hundred clients to over 57,000 currently active clients. If you’re a bank, how do you celebrate your longest-standing borrowers and show newer borrowers that they are valued customers?

A party with a big cake and gifts is one way to do it. I tagged along with Tamweelcom staff to visit two branches where the celebrations took place.

All Locally Sourced: The celebratory cake was prepared by a local baker.

Cake > Staff: The cake takes up half the counter. Dana, one of the staff from headquarters who visited the field offices that day, is a member of the Customer Service Center, which fields client calls, complaints, and questions.

Teamwork: Loan officers work together to divvy up the cake and practice their balancing abilities. Loan officers are often from the same communities as the borrowers.

 All Eyes On Deck: Borrowers eye the cake as it’s being served. Over 98% of Tamweelcom’s borrowers are women and many brought their kids to the celebration. 

Pashmina Time: Borrowers for more than 4 years received Pashmina scarves. Borrowers for more than 10 years, almost since the banks inception, received watches as a sign of gratitude from the bank for their long history and the strong example they set for the newer borrowers. Many of these borrowers began with a small loan ($200-600) for a project from home and have since graduated to loans tailored to small businesses (up to $14,000).  

It’s a Work Day After All: Despite all the festivities, work carries on. Hundreds of clients visit the branch offices each day to make repayments or take out loans. Tamweelcom just established a partnership with Zain, Jordan’s biggest telecom company. Clients can now make loan repayments using their mobile phone.

To make a loan so that future borrowers may have something to celebrate, click here.

Alex Silversmith is a Kiva Fellow working in Jordan.

Entry filed under: blogsherpa, KF14 (Kiva Fellows 14th Class), Middle East & North Africa (MENA). Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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