Mrs. An T. (pictured in the photo with her daughter), 63, is a widowed mother with five sons and four daughters. Four of the children are married and live outside the family home, one is a garment factory worker and three assist their mother in the business. The family lives along the Tonle Basac River, a tributary of the nearby Mekong River, about fifteen kilometers from Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.
Although An is old, she is still strong enough to work. An grows jasmine flowers. She also buys additional jasmine flowers and bananas from fellow villagers and lets her daughter sell them in the Phnom Penh market. An is asking for a loan of $700 to purchase more small jasmine trees to plant and bananas to resell.
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.