Little Loans for Big Dreams.

September 19, 2022

U Nyunt Thein at his tea shop in Myanmar

Some people in developing countries struggle to access finance from traditional banks. That's the situation for 70% of adults in Myanmar. A lack of finance means a lack of opportunity for budding entrepreneurs who have a business idea that could lift them, their families, and communities out of poverty.

Our partner charity, ADC Microfinance, has supported more than 3 million dollars in low-interest micro loans since 2008. The distribution of more than 12,000 micro loans has given thousands of people in Northwest Myanmar an opportunity to build their own pathway out of poverty – people like U Nyunt Thein.

Nyunt Thein lives in Kalaymyo with his wife and three children. He runs a small tea shop in front of his house. While it’s called a tea shop, he doesn’t actually sell tea! He doesn’t have the furniture or tea cups to do so. Instead, he is known for his delicious homemade snacks, including samosas, Burmese tempura, Ei Kyar Kway (a bit like churros!), and Shwe Yin Aye (a cold dessert of sticky rice, sago pearls, and pandan jelly noodles). He sometimes travels to a nearby village to sell his samosas too – they sell for 100 kyat, about $0.07 NZD.

Nyunt Thein is a long-term client of ADC’s Myanmar partner, Zozam Microfinance Company. ZMF employ local staff to evaluate business plans, consider loan applications, and distribute ADC-funded micro loans. Nyunt Thein has been accessing micro loans for five years and has achieved so much in that time. As well as expanding and repairing his home and tea shop, Nyunt Thein has bought a motorbike (to transport samosas), made a new well for fresh water access, and built a new brick toilet facility.

U Nyunt Thein with his wife and child outside their Kalaymyo Tea Shop.

These simple but huge leaps in development that benefit Nyunt Thein’s family and community are among the many examples of how microfinance can make meaningful and tangible differences to those who were previously unable to access capital. ADC supports entrepreneurs who just need the cash and some support, alongside their ingenuity and know-how, to bring their brilliant income-generating ideas to life and contribute to the greater good of their communities.

Nyunt Thein’s current loan of approximately $325 NZD will be used to invest further in his tea shop. The exciting arrival of electricity into his village makes the prospect of making and selling tea much more accessible.

Nyunt Thein is grateful for ADC’s support over the years, and credits it for encouraging him to work so hard. He said, “ If you take a loan, you have to repay it regularly. It’s really encouraging. It’s so kind of ADC and ZMF to bring microfinance to our village.”

Words and images supplied by ADC Microfinance

Support ADC Microfinance with your 1%

1% of the average Kiwi's income is just $10 per week but it enables ADC Microfinance to issue 3 business development micro-loans to budding entrepreneurs in Myanmar who have an idea that could lift them and their community out of poverty. Support ADC Microfinance with your 1%.

JOIN the collective NOW