Mr. B. Sophoin (age 29) lives in a small village near the Mekong River about twenty kilometers north of Phnom Penh. Sophoin and his sister live with their mother. Sophoin attended school only through the sixth grade. Sophoin and his sister are requesting this, their third loan from Maxima, to buy a third horse and a cart. The two siblings have been operating their dirt hauling business for two years. Currently they have two horses and carts but would like to buy two more. A horse costs about (US) $700 and a cart from $200-$300. Their house is backed by the Mekong River and it’s from there they get soil which is used as fill on construction sites. Each year during the monsoon, the river swells and deposits tons of silt along its banks. As the water recedes, entrepreneurs like Sophoin load the soil into carts and transport it into neighboring villages. Depending on how far they have to drive the cart, Sophoin charges between $3.50 and $4.00 per cartload.
MAXIMA Microfinance Plc is a Cambodian microfinance institution founded in 2000 to help low-income rural and urban people and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access financial services. Sustainable access to credit helps to create jobs and enables business owners improve their living conditions, educate their children, provide health care to their families, and more. It also enables the rural poor to remain at home with their families, rather than moving to city centers in search of employment.