Goviin Ekhlel, a new non-bank financial institution offering credit to qualified borrowers in the Gobi region, had its official opening ceremony last Friday at the Chinggis Khaan Hotel in Ulaanbaator, the capital of Mongolia.
Goviin Ekhlel is wholly owned by Mercy Corps. Start-up funding was provided by USAID and the US Embassy in Mongolia. Mercy Corps board member Phyllis Dobyns attended the opening event.
Headquartered in Ulaanbaator, with branch offices to be opened soon in Umnugovi and Mandalgovi, Goviin Ekhlel will help meet the working capital and fixed assets needs of creditworthy businesses in the Gobi aimag centers. Goviin Ekhlel will further assist borrowers by making learning a part of the lending process.
"Our aim is to be an example of a transparent, fair and efficient business that serves the needs of our clients," says Christopher Suzuki the Chief Executive Officer of Goviin Ekhlel. "We want to develop long term relationships with our borrowers so that we can assist them in growing their business. If first-time borrowers successfully repay their loans, they may be eligible for further and larger credit amounts with more flexible interest rates and repayment terms. We will also be tailoring financial products that are consistent with the needs of borrowers and the marketplace."
Goviin Ekhlel is looking for registered small- to medium-sized businesses in aimag centers engaged in trade, service delivery, light manufacturing and the processing of agricultural products. All borrowers are required to attend a marketing meeting, submit a complete loan application and show that the borrower resides and conducts its principal business activities in the aimag centre.
Mercy Corps has been working in Mongolia since February 1999. The agency is implementing the five-year Gobi Regional Economic Growth Initiative with funding from the US Agency for International Development. In partnership with Associates in Rural Development, Inc., Pact and Land O' Lakes, Mercy Corps’ programme assists the people of Mongolia's Gobi region to accelerate and sustain market-led economic growth and development.
Mercy Corps is also addressing emergency needs resulting from severe weather conditions and the loss of more than 1.5 million livestock in Mongolia this winter.