Mekong Organization of Microfinance (MOM)
The microfinance operations of MOM in Vietnam were initiated by the Women’s Union (WU) of Tien Giang province in cooperation with the Norwegian Mission Alliance in 2002. The project started with the commitment and vision to improve the life conditions of poor and marginalized people in the Mekong Delta area.
To reduce poverty of the poor and the disadvantaged groups through provision of sustainable and diverse services appropriate to the poor.
The vision of MOM is to improve the life conditions of poor and marginalised people, especially poor women in the Mekong Delta area, by mobilizing loans and other financial services to help them to break out of the poverty cycle and improve the living situation for themselves and their families.
Group loans range from $250 to $500 with terms of 12 to 18 months. Compulsory and voluntary (interest-bearing) savings accounts. Business training and child scholarship program.
MOM focuses it’s operations on the poor people of the Mekong Delta, especially poor women, by mobilizing loans and other financial services to help them break out of the poverty cycle. MOM operates 6 branches across the Mekong region . Since inception the institution has made good progress and the company has applied to the State Bank of Vietnam to become a licensed microfinance organization. As a part of the application procedure MOM was given the status of Social Fund which has given MOM greater operational flexibility in the transition period from being an unregulated microfinance project to become a regulated financial institution.
The MOM business model is unique and is characterized by a close cooperation between MOM and WU. In addition to forty MOM officers, more than three hundred WU officers are involved in MOM`s operations. This brings MOM clients and makes the work of MOM credit officers different from the role of credit officers in comparable MFIs. In relation to some of the key MFO functions like client identification, gathering clients and organizing the group meetings, project follow-up and collection of interest and repayments, MOM officers can enjoy strong and consistent support from WU officers. WU is compensated for the cost of these services while this is balanced by a smaller number of staff in MOM than would otherwise be necessary. The MOM business model is constantly being fine-tuned to the developments of the market.