SEAM Development is specifically set up to support Entrepreneurs to establish, or build a small business
SEAM (South East Asian Microfinance) Development was started in 2012 by Tim and Rosemary (Rose) Cooper, following a visit by Rose to develop TESOL training in the remote northwest of Myanmar. This isolated area has about half a million people.
During her four week stay training teachers in 2011, she fielded a number of requests for financial assistance to help start small enterprises. There was opportunity to start small businesses, but the enquiring people needed the support of someone providing small loans to get started, as the cash economy was very small.
As a result of these enquiries, SEAM was set up to provide small loans, which has enabled over 70 entrepreneurs to start up or further develop their small businesses. Their success has helped to improve their overall standards of living for many families.
Tim and Rose had been interested in microfinance previously and had supported projects in the Philippines. They took an extended visit there with Tear Fund in 2001, looking at successful microfinance developments, and felt that they could help establish a similar project in Myanmar.
Following recommendations from established organisations in Kalaymyo, SEAM has employed two-part time staff: a Client Manager to introduce potential clients and vet their business proposals, and a Financial Manager who handles the client records and banking. They are required to present monthly client progress report, financial accounts and bank statements to the Board in NZ.