In 1995, the Danish Refugee Council established BOSPO, a humanitarian organization. BOSPO started providing micro loans to women displaced by the war in 1996 with support from the World Bank. Since 1999, BOSPO has been an affiliate of Women's World Banking. The organization operates with 147 employees in 28 locations.
MI-BOSPO utilizes two different lending methodologies:
- Solidarity Group Lending, which has been employed since inception and comprises 46 percent of the overall loan portfolio. The loans are specifically for trade, services, production or agricultural activities. Loans range from 1,500KM to 3,000KM repayable for periods of up to 36 months. Interest rates vary between 2.3 to 2.75 percent, depending on each client's repayment records.
- Individual Lending, which was introduced in 2001 and comprises 50 percent of the portfolio. These loans are earmarked for existing businesses and are involved in trade, services, and production. The first time borrower's maximum is 5,000KM and overall maximum is 10,000KM, repayable for periods of up to 60 months. Interest rates vary between 2.3 and 2.75 percent, depending on remaining debt.
MI-BOSPO serves more than 29,000 women entrepreneurs in the north-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Sarajevo and the Banja Luka regions. Clients of MI-BOSPO are clearly defined according to the scope of their business activity:
- Low income women entrepreneurs who are in, or are planning to be, in income generating activities
- Women entrepreneurs running their own profit-accumulating micro and small businesses
- Women entrepreneurs running or actively participating in family agricultural activities.
The Microcredit Organisation MI-BOSPO Tuzla offers financial services to women entrepreneurs. MI-BOSPO believes that women always invest into the improvement of their living conditions and childrens' education, and that by increasing the generation of family income they make possible a more humane approach to the solution of problems within the communities in which they live and work.
MI-BOSPO economically empowers women, because the economically empowered woman can better influence social change and contribute to a better quality of life within her family.
Šerifa Sendić has been the owner of the travel agency “Šeriam” in Gradačac for more then 9 years. “Traveling with Šerifa is more than a joy,” is a comment often heard in Gradačac. When Šerifa was considering expanding her business, she contacted MI-BOSPO, because of their history of providing financial services to business women and their families. Full Story