What is the Borrow Wisely! Campaign?
The Borrow Wisely! Campaign is an international initiative to promote international customer protection standards and financial education, initiated in 2014 by the MFC and 12 of its leading members (Agency for Finance (Kosovo), AgroInvest and MicroDevelopment (Serbia), BaiTushum (Kyrgyzstan), Crystal (Georgia), EKI (Bosnia and Hercegovina), Farm Credit (Armenia), Horizonti (Macedonia), IMON (Tajikistan), Mi-Bospo and Partner (Bosnia and Herzegovina), VF AzerCredit (Azerbaijan).
What is our goal?
We aim to educate large numbers of clients about how to borrow money safely, harnessing the positive power of loans and avoiding the pitfalls of too much debt.
Borrowers need understand that they have the power to borrow wisely is in their hands, and that they can avoid the risks of over-indebtedness by asking themselves key questions to get to grips with how much they can safely borrow.
What will we do?
The campaign targets clients and potential clients of microfinance institutions. Campaign partners’ field staff will use posters, leaflets brochures and videos to communicate the importance of borrowing wisely. We developed a simple “pre-loan” checklist of questions that clients should ask themselves before taking out a loan, to ensure that only borrow safe and responsible levels of debt. These questions are:
- How much can I afford to borrow?
- Do I know how much I will pay?
- Do I fully understand the contract?
- What should I do if I am not satisfied?
- How to control debt?
Where the campaign running?
In 2016 the campaign is running in 15 countries across ECA region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Tajikistan.
Who are the campaign partners?
21 institutions: MFC members are participating in the Borrow Wisely! Campaign in the field. These are: Farm Credit, Armenia, Nor Horizon, Armenia, ECLOF, Armenia, Finca, Armenia, Ucora, Armenia, AzerCredit, Azerbaijan, EKI, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lider, Bosnia and Herzegovina, MiBospo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Partner, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SIS Credit, Bulgaria, Adie, France, Crystal, Georgia, Kepa, Greece, AFK, Kosovo, Horizonti, Macedonia, Microinvest, Moldova, AgroInvest, Serbia and Montenegro, Vitas, Romania, Hope, Ukraine, Imon, Tajikistan.
What are our partners saying about the Campaign?
“Since its inception, Horizonti has seen itself as a socially responsible lender, focusing its services in line with clients’ needs and their capacity to manage debt. But, we need to be better about communicating this to the general public. The “Borrow Wisely!” Campaign is an excellent opportunity to reaffirm our ethos of customer care, and our commitment to responsible finance.” says Vase Davaliev, Executive Director (Horizonti, Macedonia)
“Crystal is notable for its strong commitment to social responsibility and transparency, and strong focus on implementing the best international practices in client protection. However, where providers are not working together on client education, we will not make substantial and visible changes in the market, and our ability to lend responsibly lending will be weaker. Hence, we are happy to join MFC’s “Borrow Wisely!” Campaign and make our humble contribution to the improvement of general lending environment in microfinance, and improve the reputation of the sector as a whole.” Malkhaz Dzadzua, CEO (JSC MFO Crystal, Georgia)
“The Borrow Wisely Campaign organized by Farm Credit Armenia last year was very successful. Clients saw that the FCA is not only in business to be successful and profitable, but also to increase farmers’ financial literacy. I hope that by keeping up the continuity of the campaign, the farmers will be more financially literate and can manage their finances better.” Sarqis Grigoryan, Manager, Artashat Branch (Farm Credit Armenia)
What are the 2015 Campaign results? What did clients think about the Campaign?
Over 31 days, 21 Campaign partners in 13 countries engaged with 300,888 clients and potential clients. The Campaign evaluation results are available here
Interested in getting involved? Please contact Kinga Dabrowska.