The Start of Something New: Expansion in Central Bali
At the end of 2009, Koperasi Mitra Usaha Kecil (MUK) was a microfinance presence
in West Bali, operating at its headquarters office in the village of Blimbingsari
and a single branch in Melaya. As we approach the end of 2010, MUK’s footprint is
steadily expanding. Earlier this year, the microfinance cooperative established a
second branch office in Pejarakan, Singaraja in North Bali. And MUK is gearing up
to open its third branch in the coming month, which will be based in the village
of Baturiti in the Tabanan region of central Bali.
Baturiti is in the mountains of Bali, and with fertile land and cool temperatures
has many thriving agriculture businesses. The area was carefully chosen for MUK’s
next branch given its rural location (as MUK targets low-income rural clients), the
wide array of businesses in the area – including agricultural crops, animal husbandry,
and retail, and the results of an area survey to determine the potential demand for
MUK’s financial services. Importantly, when MUK begins to roll out loan and savings
products in the Baturiti community, it will continue to survey clients to ensure
products meet demand, or are adapted as needed.
Before business opens in the area, there is still a lot of work ahead for the staff.
An office location needs to be found, field officers need to be hired, and a license
needs to be obtained from the local government. On my first and final visit to Baturiti
two weeks ago, however, we took an important step forward for the new branch: signing
up over 30 new members in the region. For a microfinance cooperative in Indonesia,
these new stakeholders are a necessary step in the process of expansion and will
help establish MUK’s presence in the village.
4 7 November 2010 Bali, Indonesia.
Thriving agriculture in Baturiti
A local business in Tabanan
Signing up members in Baturiti
Manager, Pak Gede, sends out letters advertising Baturiti job openings