Mokokchung | July 26
The Mokokchung Entrepreneurs Consortium through its Micro Finance Initiative supported by the Government of Nagaland has been identifying and supporting genuine local entrepreneurs in Mokokchung by way of extending small and micro loans since the initiative was formally launched in May, 2013.
In July 2017, MEC diversified its microfinance initiative by launching a new scheme called ‘La Catalyst’ with the objective of catering exclusively to women entrepreneurs’ financial needs. Under the new scheme, MEC extends microloans with minimal interest rate to marginal women entrepreneurs and businesses run by women.
Through La Catalyst, MEC identified 20 women entrepreneurs who were given microloans of Rs.50, 000/- each to be recovered over a period of 52 equated weekly installments. They were the first batch of beneficiaries under the newly launched scheme. As per MEC sources, all of the 20 beneficiaries have successfully recovered their loans.
Another fourteen women were given microloans under the scheme in September 2017. The shortlisted candidates for the third batch of beneficiaries under La Catalyst will be given their loans during the forthcoming Tsungremmung Hornbill Festival 2018.
Chairman of MEC, Tsukti Longkumer, said that the beneficiaries under La Catalyst scheme were all diligent women and that all of them have so far been successfully repaying their loans. Unlike some other beneficiaries, those who avail loans under La Catalyst have been found to be investing the loans granted to them in their businesses. “We keep trace of each beneficiary. La Catalyst beneficiaries are most trustworthy. All of them invested the loan granted to them in their respective businesses. Some have expanded their ventures while others have diversified their businesses in their own way,” said Tsukti Longkumer. A total of 34 women have been benefitted till date under La Catalyst.
Takumpola, a 55-year old vegetable vendor who sells exclusively locally produced vegetables and agri products at Salangtem New Market, Mokokchung is one of the La Catalyst beneficiaries. She has been running her business since 2009. The mother-of-four local vegetable vendor is a first-batch beneficiary of MEC La Catalyst scheme who has successfully recovered the microloan granted to her. “I am so thankful to MEC for granting me loan. I would like to request MEC to grant me more financial assistance as I want to further expand my business,” she said.
Marginal business women like the beneficiaries of La Catalyst are often neglected by the real financial institutions.
A 42-year old mother of four school-going children, Imodangla, is another beneficiary of the La Catalyst scheme who started her vegetable business in the year 2015. She diversified her business with the loan granted to her by opening a chicken stall.
“My meager earnings are the main source of income for my family. I am very grateful to MEC for supporting me and I request MEC to grant me more loan as I want to purchase a chicken dressing machine,” she said.
Another beneficiary of La Catalyst, Lanurenla, who is the proprietor of Kichu Chicken Stall located near Imkongmeren Sports Complex, Mokokchung, is a 50-year old single mother who has a school-going child. She is a second-batch beneficiary of MEC La Catalyst scheme who is recovering the microloan granted to her with consistency with the hope of winning MEC’s trust.
While thanking MEC for granting her loan, she added, “I would like to request MEC to grant me more loan after I recover the first loan so that I can buy a freezer for my chicken stall.”
Through the La Catalyst scheme, MEC aims to help marginal local women business owners even in the unorganized sector including small home based businesses. With more women entrepreneurs coming forward requesting loans under La Catalyst, MEC chairman Tsukti Longkumer said that they have not been able to cater to the demand for loans.
“La Catalyst was launched with just Rs. 10 lakhs as seed capital. We are trying to infuse more capital from other sources so that we can meet the demand,” he disclosed.