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Sathapana Limited was established as a Cambodian non-government organisation (NGO) in 1995, under the name of Cambodia Community Building (CCB), to offer financial and health education services to poor communities. After financial grants were finished in late 1999, CCB adopted a minimalist microfinance approach focusing purely on credit loans and saving services. As a result, the lending operations shifted gradually from predominantly village banking group loans to a mix of solidarity group lending and individual lending. The CCB put forth its efforts to transform into a licenced microfinance institution. The CCB registered at Ministry of Commerce in February 2003 with the new name “Cambodian Entrepreneur Building Limited.” In April 2003, CEB obtained a licence of microfinance institution from the National Bank of Cambodia. The name of company was changed to Sathapana Limited (SPN) with Reachasey, the king of animals as its logo in 2008. Sathapana Limited was the first MFI to obtain deposit taking licence from the National Bank of Cambodia in January 2009. Sathapana Limited is operating on the micro, small and medium loans level, with saving and local money transfers.
Highlights of the Evolution:
1995 Cambodia Community Building NGO was established and registered with the Ministry of Interior as a local NGO, and obtained an operating licence in August 1996. The CCB provided financial services and health educational programmers to poor communities.
1998 Community bank model of microfinance services and health educational programmers were offered to women in community banks. Starting in the middle of the year, different products and services were developed and offered to clients, including: solidarity group loans, individual loan products, US dollar currency loans, and the mobile banking model.
1999 Adopted a minimalist microfinance approach by providing purely microfinance services including credit and saving. Reduced the health educational programmers until at the end of 1999 when it was completely eliminated. Fully rolled out the individual lending product, USD loan currency and branch office services.
2000 The CCB managed successfully to transform itself from an NGO type of microfinance provider into a professional MFI operating autonomously from donor funds and assistance by covering costs from its operation without any subsidized funding. Cambodian staff and management successfully led and managed operations to achieve self-financing and sustainability. The CCB was assisted by a total of 83 staffs, operating within three provincial branches plus one district branch serving 5,355 clients and portfolio outstanding reached US$525,704.
2001 Interest rate charged to clients dropped by 50% due to the change in the calculation formula to the declining method. The CCB gained access to commercial loans from the Rural Development Bank. CCB increased its portfolio to US$877,604, serving 3,975 clients and assisted by a total of 91 full time employees.
2002 Like a diamond in the rough, the transformation had been started, and the strategy transformed the staff’s mindset from NGO thinking to profit oriented thinking. Many training courses were provided to assist the transformation under the support of MPDF and GTZ. By the end of 2002, all transformation documents were completed and submitted to related ministries. The CCB increased its operational areas to three provincial branches plus three district branches, having portfolio outstanding of US$1,431,205 with 5,900 active clients and 93 staffs.
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