Moving forward with the cooperative in Hlaing-Bwe

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Registration document of the cooperative

Barely two months after the organizational meeting in November 2015, the Department of Cooperatives formally registered the township-level cooperative assisted by PlaNet Finance on Janaury 8. To date, more than 600 members paid a total of 10 million kyats (US$7,812) as share capital.

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Designing loan products for the cooperative

The cooperative is now in the process of learning the ropes of providing services to its members with PlaNet Finance conducting the Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC). Last December 2105, the Training on Governance and Leadership was held for members of the Board of Directors and followed by a Training on Lending Operations and Workshop on Loan Product Development last January 20-22. As a result, four products were developed – Small Business Loan, Agri-production Loan, Livestock Loan and Market Vendors Loan.

The other CFC offering will include Training on Savings Mobilization and Product Development in February; Financial Management in March; Audit and Supervision in April and Membership Development in May.

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After the formation, the real work begins

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Three main activities were conducted in December 2015 as a follow up to the cooperative formation. The first is the collection of share capital from those who would like to be members of the cooperative. During the general assembly in November, 81 shares were paid-up by 27 members amounting to 405,000. Kyats. By December 31, 2015, a total of 1,856 shares were paid-up by 599 members amounting to 9,230,000. Kyats or US$7,211. at the exchange rate of US$1.00 = Kyats 1,280. The remaining half of the members of savings groups are expected to pay their share capital within the month of January.

The second activity is the registration of the cooperative with the Ministry of Cooperatives. Documentary requirements were prepared by the cooperative with the help of PlaNet Finance and CDA technical people and were submitted to the Hlaing-bwe Township Cooperative Office. After a thorough review, the township cooperative office endorsed the documents to the Kayin State Cooperative Office who forwarded the documents to the Department of Cooperatives in Nay Pyi Taw. The Department of Cooperatives received the documents on January 6, 2016 who will do the final review and decide on the application for registration. It is expected that the registration process will be completed within the month of January 2016.

As part of the capacity building program for the cooperative, the third activity is the implementation of the Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC). The CFC is a basic training program for the leadership and management staff of the cooperative that includes the following modules:

Module 1: Governance and Leadership
Module 2: Credit operations and loan product development
Module 3: Resource mobilization and savings product development
Module 4: Financial management
Module 5: Audit and Supervision
Module 6: Membership development and continuous financial literacy

The Governance and Leadership module was conducted last December 7-8, 2015, with 11 participants from the Board of Directors of the cooperative. It was aimed at providing knowledge on the roles and functions of the Board of Directors.

Module 2 on credit operations will be held on the third week of January 2016 to enable the Board to design a loan product and prepare them in providing credit services to its members.