RENEW Microfinance Institute has seen an increasing trend of saving culture in the last two years in the country. This was highlighted during the World Savings Day celebration in the capital today. Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck graced the celebration. The event was organised by RENEW Microfinance Private Limited to raise awareness among the people on the importance of financial literacy and to encourage the habit of saving.
From piggy bank-making competitions, and road shows to storytelling competitions, RENEW Microfinance has been carrying out a lot of activities across the country to observe World Savings Day and instil the value of saving and encourage the habit from a young age.
“We conducted a lot of activities across the country. And we have conducted a few activities with students, students with disabilities, monks and nuns since 2020. And we have noticed a lot of change in Bhutan,” said Sunita Biswa, Executive Secretary of RENEW Microfinance.
She added that since the office started celebrating World Savings Day in 2020, they have noticed a lot of people coming forward to save money.
As of today, 28,439 people in 11 districts have savings accounts with the RENEW Microfinance.
Dr Tobias Peylo, an Economics and Finance Professor from Kempten University in Germany said that microfinance is essential for Bhutan as its economy is significantly made up of small businesses and farmers.
“The loan aspect of the micro-financing, everyone, the farmers, the small traders are now offered the opportunity to grow their business. Sometimes it is just a small investment they need. To foster that, they need a small amount of money, and that can be offered by Microfinancing. So, I think microfinance is very beneficial in Bhutan,” said Dr Tobia Peylo.
“It is very difficult to avail loans from the other banks for people with no assets like me. So, I think it is very important for people like us to avail loans from Microfinance if we want to start a business,” said Bisnu Maya Mongar, a shopkeeper.
“I learned what a piggy bank is. From now on, I’ll save whatever amount of money I get in my piggy bank,” said Kinley Rigsel Wangchuk, a student of Dechencholing Higher Secondary School.
RENEW introduced Microfinance as a project in 2012 to improve the quality of life and the status of vulnerable women and their families, mainly in rural areas and empower them.
Karma Samten Wangda
Edited by Sonam Pem