Future of the Business World: Students in Vietnam Give Small Loans to Low-income Borrowers

by Diana Drake


One comment on “Future of the Business World: Students in Vietnam Give Small Loans to Low-income Borrowers

  1. As a believer in the idea that everyone is born an entrepreneur, I always envision building an equitable world where individuals have an opportunity to self-explore their business ideas to lift themselves out of poverty; for that, I am eternally to find Vy who shares the same vision for the future!

    One of the most distressing consequences of globalization is the increase in the wealth of a few, while hundreds of millions of people still live in poverty. Even in a smaller scale, in my 3 years of living in the countryside of South Korea, I’ve witnessed the existence of systematic wealth inequality, in which the“single parent, elderly generation, and low-income entrepreneurs,” could not receive any financial support as they were viewed as a discredited minorities of our society. Learning this since 9th grade, I volunteered at a program to support financially disenfranchised minorities by providing food and necessities. After a few years,, I noticed the essential reason why South Korea lacks financial support for the minorities; the Korean society is dominated by the idea of meritocracy where intolerable structural burdens of inequality are borne entirely on the people of low incomes. In essence, if you cannot prove your capabilities as a member of a Korean society, he or she will be deemed as a socially worthless individual: explaining why Koreans are so obsessed with becoming successful.

    Specifically, during my volunteering hours at Anna’s House, a church near the city of Pangyo, I met multiple elders, and single parents with children visiting our shelter for food. Every weekend we were able to give out at least 300 self packed lunches to those who needed them and that is when I encountered Chaeyoung-lee, a truly inspiring single mom of three children with an exceptional understanding of fabrics and materials. She explained, with her charming eyes, “Though I don’t have the money to start a business, I dream of becoming a CEO of my own socially conscious clothing brand, Chae’s Couture, that donates 5% of our profit to single moms who share the same entrepreneurial dream as mine. .”
    This single conversation with Ms. Lee ignited my passion to find practical ways to financially support the minorities with entrepreneurial skills to unravel their talents to make the world a better place.. In finding ways to end this continuing wealth disparity, I have come up with a solution of mine: building a micro-finance organization that will enable even the poorest of the poor to get their foot on the ladder of development.

    Today, I founded an organization called Korea Cambodia Cow Bank, a student-led organization that provides both financial and non-financial support to underprivileged entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Our organization is different from other micro-finance organizations, in which we loan out a heifer to a female cow, instead of money, as a means to start their own agricultural business. Then our loans will be repaid either through receiving a newborn female calf or part of the profit made by selling a male calf. With the new born female calf, we would loan it out to another family in Cambodia to continue the cycle. In August last year, we explored multiple local villages in Cambodia such as Ratanak Kiri, Kampong Thom, and Preah Vihear to seek entrepreneurs who needed the most support. With the help from Dr. Sisandra who provided helpful resources to raise the cow, we were able to find our first group of entrepreneurs in the village of Ratanak Kiri. Few months ago, we successfully provided Ms. Skra Chea, with the heifer for her to start a farming business. Providing other resources for her to raise the crops and to sell the harvested crops, I am eagerly waiting for Ms. Chea’s call about her successful results this Autumn. From this small first step, I will soon be able to create a systematic cycle that can provide the overlooked entrepreneurs in Cambodia with opportunities to launch their own business and to obtain sustainable profit.

    After reading this article I’m so glad that there are peers who also recognize that all people, regardless of race, gender, age, and financial status, have a remarkable reservoir of energy, knowledge, and creativity to become an entrepreneur. With my peers who seek to make a difference in society by providing support for the socially neglected groups of people. With my unending passion to financially support the minorities in our society, I hope to envision our society to realize the lack of financial support to those who have plausible skills and talents to brighten up the society with innovative business ideas!

    Thank you Wharton for the podcast!

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