Wokai participated in the annual conference of the China Association of Microfinance (CAM) in Beijing on October 27th.

Wokai CEO Casey Wilson presented Wokai to a group of over 40 CAM microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other China microfinance players. It was Casey’s first public presentation in Chinese about Wokai. The reaction was extremely positive and resulted in multiple leads for potential field partners.

The representatives of the microfinance institutions that were invited to the conference,

The due diligence process that Wokai completes with all potential field partners consists of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. One of the elements of the qualitative due diligence process includes interviews with staff. In this picture, Wokai CEO Casey Wilson and Microfinance Director Kira Dubas speak with loan managers about their relationships with borrowers and the challenges they face in serving those borrowers.

Wokai visited Hebei province to evaluate Funding the Poor Cooperative MFI for potential partnership. Wokai was accompanied by Edi Sian, a consultant from the Philippines. Edi Sian is working with Wokai to develop a rating and evaluation system for potential field partners. Edi was formerly an investment officer at Microvest, an investment firm providing debt and equity capital and management oversight to MFIs. Wokai CEO Casey Wilson and Microfinance Director Kira Dubas plan to use the experience and lessons learned to create our official rating and monitoring system for potential field partners.

Another element of the due diligence process includes meeting with borrowers who receive the microfinance loans. It is important to see the businesses that are created from microfinance loans as well as speak with borrowers about their experience with the borrowing process. Wokai CEO Casey Wilson guides her team through this expedition.

Wang Jin Xia is a member of the Hubei province FPC microfinance institutions. Wang previously had no home and no job. Her and her husband and her used to travel from village to village to find work. While in one village, they found out about a microfinance. Wang went to a meeting to find out more about microfinance. She wanted to get involved, but no other members were willing to be in a guarantee group with her, as they were worried she would default as she had no home and no ties to the village. Wang proved them wrong. She used her loan to grow vegetables and was able to r epay her loan in full, repaying her loan in full.

Here is a picture of the vegetables that Wang Jin Xia produced with her microfinance loan.

Here is a picture of the green house where Wang Jin Xia and other microentrepreneurs grew their vegetables.

Wang Jin Xia spoke with Casey and the Wokai due diligence team about her experience with microfinance. Six years ago when she borrowed her first microfinance loan, she made about 8,00 kuai a year. She now makes almost 40,000 kuai per year. She has not only grown her own vegetables to sell in the market, but she has also started a restaurant where the team is now sitting.