Accompanying the development of women, becoming one of the best microfinance institutions in Vietnam is not only a mission but also a common ideal of the staff of Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution (TYM).
30 years of commitment and dedication
Founded in 1992 by the Vietnam Women’s Union, formerly known as the Affectionate Fund, TYM operates with the mission of improving the quality of life of low-income individuals and households, with special priority given to poor and disadvantaged women, contributing to hunger eradication, poverty reduction and empowerment of women. During TYM’s 30 years of persistent and non-stop innovation and creativity, thousands of women have escaped poverty sustainably or become honored micro-entrepreneurs. The period of three decades is long enough for many generations of Vietnamese women, especially poor and disadvantaged women, to know and become attached to TYM.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Vui (Vinh Phuc) has joined TYM since 2011. Through many cycles of loans, her family’s economy is now more stable and she has expanded her production and business activities, creating more jobs for seasonal workers.
TYM’s microfinance services focus on solving women’s livelihood problems based on an understanding of each individual’s conditions, circumstances and needs. In particular, loans are TYM’s main products, which are diversely designed with flexible repayment procedures, no need for collateral, which are repaid weekly/every 4 weeks, creating favorable conditions for women to have stable, long-term capital. Along with credit support, TYM helps women accumulate assets with flexible savings products from a very small amount (only 5,000 VND/time). These savings programs allow TYM members to build a habit of savings and accumulating assets so that they and their families can have financial stability.
Not only pioneering microfinance services exclusively for women, TYM also pays special attention to developing non-financial activities such as training and capacity building, health care, and many community activities. TYM also actively participates in local community activities such as environmental protection, social security, supporting the “New countryside” program by donating funds to schools and health stations in local authorities to purchase additional equipment for these facilities. Especially, in the context of Covid-19, over the past two years, TYM has also added many activities to support epidemic prevention for localities and TYM members.
With the orientation of sustainable and comprehensive development for members, TYM pursuits both economic and social goals. All financial and non-financial efforts of TYM are not outside the goal of accompanying, following, and making positive contributions to the journey of poverty reduction, raising awareness and awareness of gender equality, creating opportunities for women and children affirming their position and role in economic and social life.
Passion for poor women
30 years of establishment and development is also 30 years of TYM’s constant efforts to become a fulcrum for sustainable development for poor, low-income women. In order to better meet the needs of its members, TYM regularly researches changes, diversifying products and services. TYM also continuously strives to expand distribution channels to increase access to microfinance services for women through geographical expansion.
More than that, TYM also strives to add value to members as well as the community through promoting education activities, capacity building training, women’s care activities, committed to implementing customer protection principles. All the enthusiasm and efforts for that social mission were built and fueled by the dedication and commitment of generations of TYM staff, from those who have been with us for many years to the younger generations.
The 30-year milestone recognizes the values that TYM has built, based on its mission. Thanks to credit provided by TYM, rural women have gradually changed their lives and positions. They can both do business at home and take care of their children, take care of their families as well as create more jobs for the people in the neighborhood.
Member Nguyen Thi Xuan (Do Luong – Nghe An) confided: “Before joining TYM, my family was in a difficult economic situation. My husband works at a carpentry workshop, I make rice paper at home. The income is only enough to cover living expenses of the family and raising 3 children to attend school. In 2007, when I got a loan from TYM, I realized that the repayment method was suitable for my family’s income, so I boldly borrowed to buy more ingredients for making rice paper. After many loan cycles, my family has expanded the production scale. My family’s economic condition is getting better and better, 3 children are fully educated, 2 of them are working and have stable income. With the current production model, my family supports 5 local workers to have stable jobs.”
Ms. Xuan’s story is just one of many women who have had the opportunity to escape poverty through more than 1.7 million loans from TYM. Through 30 years of development and growth, TYM’s activities have contributed to improving the quality of life and status of women, strengthening social security in the locality where TYM operates, and contributing to the realization of the national target on sustainable development.
The fulcrum of women
To always be a reliable fulcrum for women, TYM constantly focuses on developing its team, innovating products and services, and applying technology to its operations.
For TYM, nearly 600 experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated staff in the cause of accompanying the next step for the development of Vietnamese women is an invaluable asset. They are not only loyal to the mission of the organization, but also staff with solid expertise and deep understanding of TYM members. TYM officers at each facility have close contact and often interact with members apart from weekly cash collection sessions and through friendly meetings and visits. That attachment helps TYM staff not only be ordinary credit officers.
For members, TYM staff is also a consultant on how to do business, how to use capital, and how to save money. More closely, TYM staff is also a psychologist, a trainer, a salesperson to help members, or a companion to members whenever they need. Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan (Me Linh – Hanoi) who has been with TYM for 21 years shared: “I am attached to TYM until today because of the affection of the staff at TYM. They are enthusiastic, affectionate, close, friendly with members. During the model visits or capital appraisal, the staff always exuded the spirit of mutual affection, concern, support for women in all aspects, timely encouragement so that they could overcome all difficulties and work for a brighter future.”
Aware of its role in the new era and in the trend of digital transformation of the financial industry, TYM has made a timely transformation to more effectively approach and support women. TYM has built and officially implemented core banking software into TYM operations (from October 2020). This step helps TYM improve the organization’s operational efficiency while helping to improve products and services in both quantity and quality to bring more benefits to members. With this milestone, TYM became the first microfinance institution in Vietnam to apply core banking software, creating a premise to bring TYM’s services closer and more convenient for women. TYM also researches and develops applications on mobile platforms for members and staff by itself, constantly improving governance capacity on digital platforms through activities such as research on credit scoring tools, building and operating management software, contributing to promoting the strong development of TYM in the future. TYM also actively organizes training on digital technology application and encourages members to apply technology to business.
By the end of September 2022, TYM operates in 13 provinces and cities, serving over 180,000 poor and low-income women. At the 30th anniversary of its founding, with the commitment to accompany and follow in the footsteps of TYM, more women will certainly benefit from TYM’s microfinance solutions. All staffs of TYM hope that, from the fulcrum of TYM, Vietnamese women will increasingly rise up, affirm their position and contribute more to the sustainable development of their families and localities.