By Sam Trauffer, KF11

You probably don’t know a lot about this small country in Central Asia called Kyrgyzstan. The things that you know might be negative since the country has suffered in recent months: in a bloody revolution in April, the former president accused of corruption and nepotism was ousted. After weeks of instability, violent clashes broke out in the city of Osh in the South of Kyrgyzstan, leaving up to two thousand dead and hundreds of thousands on the run. The good news is that two weeks ago, a referendum on a new constitution was held with no problems, paving the way to more democracy in this country. But maybe the good news didn’t make it to your door…

Good news for Bai-Tushum and Kiva…

So I would like to use these lines to provide you with more good news from Kyrgyzstan: This week, Bai-Tushum & Partners, one of the leading Microfinance Institutions in Kyrgyzstan, posted its first Borrower Profiles on the Kiva website! After all the preparatory work, going online was a moment of great joy for the whole staff of Bai-Tushum. And this joy is shared by Kiva, who gained an experienced and highly professional partner in a region where Kiva is not yet strongly represented.

The happy staff of the marketing department after the publication of the first profile

… good news for the Borrowers…

But the collaboration between Kiva and Bai-Tushum is not only good news for these two organizations, but also for Bai-Tushum’s clients. They benefit directly from Kiva funds because Bai-Tushum created a specific Kiva-Loan with attractive features: it is tailored to target the especially vulnerable population and it offers a 5% discount on the interest rate when the loan is fully funded by Kiva lenders and the borrower has no late payments. Thus, Bai-Tushum passes down some of its financial benefits from the collaboration with Kiva (0% interest funding) to its borrowers! Passing down benefits to the customer fits perfectly into the philosophy of Bai-Tushum, where the customer is king. The company offers a wide variety of loan products with repayment schedules that can be individually tailored. This way, borrowers can determine their repayments in accordance with seasonality and other individual aspects of their business. Flexibility and individuality are central to Bai-Tushum’s success.

… and good news for the Lenders!

Thus, none of the upcoming client profiles will look the same: the partnership of Kiva and Bai-Tushum will originate hundreds of unique stories about entrepreneurs from the north shores of Lake Issyk Kul to the south-eastern Vergana Valley, which are all united by their determination to improve their lives trough hard work. And there is no doubt about the ability of Bai-Tushum’s staff to depict these lives in fantastic stories:  in a recent competition among Central Asian MFIs, Bai-Tushum won three out of four awards in the category “Client Stories”! Convince yourself and have a look at Bai-Tushum’s fundraising borrowers and their stories.


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