TYM Fund: 20 years – a journey of efforts and achievements

Formerly known as “the Affectionate Fund”, the Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution (TYM) under the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) has been providing support to disadvantaged women for the last two decades. Setting an example as the first microfinance practitioner in Vietnam, TYM always operates with the noble social mission of improving living conditions and enhancing the social status of women in families and society. At the same time, TYM continuously engages in efforts to accomplish tasks assigned by the VWU.

The Affectionate Fund was established in 1992, using an operating model adapted from the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Despite making some adjustments to the model to make it suitable to the Vietnamese context, TYM is still faithful to the basic principles of microfinance, supporting members to help them. TYM members are well aware of their responsibilities in repayment, leading to their internal motivation to work and achieve their highest capabilities. Furthermore, TYM always focuses o­n training activities and implements them smoothly through credit and saving services, so combined with the financial support received, members have guidelines to participate in business and manufacturing. Therefore, the TYM Fund can maintain a consistently high repayment rate and support the members to improve their family’s economic condition.

One clear indication of TYM’s achievements is the selection of TYM’s members to be the winners of the Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards (CMA), a noble prize announced every year by the Citi Bank Foundation, Microfinance Working Group, and the State Bank of Vietnam, honoring microfinance members effectively using their micro-loans. 2010 CMA winner, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lan, said: “In 1996-1997, my family economic condition was very difficult. My elder daughter had a heart condition so I had to sell many items of the family, such as my motorbike, to afford her treatments. I also tried to do extra work such as making liquor and raising pigs to earn more money. With the first loan I received from TYM, I invested in a motorbike garage for my husband. Since then, our lives have improved considerably. In 2006, the business was going smoothly, until unfortunately there was a sudden fire explosion in the garage that destroyed all of our assets and seriously injured my husband. Thanks to the support of TYM staff, and some financial aid from TYM’s Mutual Assistance Fund, I could stand up after the shock.” Currently, Lan is disbursed with the maximum loan of 25 million VND, which she uses to operate a grocery store at her home. Her business is very successful and all three of her children have been able to continue their schooling.

Lan’s story shows the effectiveness of TYM’s financial services that help poor women to escape poverty and improve their living conditions. At the same time, the humanity of TYM’s work is also illustrated with the unity and readiness to share the burden when unexpected events happen in a member’s family. Therefore, TYM is closely connected with its members and builds up the image that the Fund is their second family.

The TYM management board understands that o­nce we do microfinance well and efficiently, we can support more and more women to gain access to loans and savings, and in turn support the social mission of the VWU. o­n TYM’s 20th Anniversary, former Vice President of the State, Madam Truong My Hoa, said: “In the early 1990s, o­ne of the focused tasks of the VWU was to support poor women in economic improvement and to contribute to the Doi Moi (Renovation). Therefore, VWU leaders were very determined to study and select the highest ranked model of microfinance in Bangladesh and the Philippines, and adjust and apply it in Vietnam. That was the birth of the Affectionate Fund project.”

After 20 years of operation, the Affectionate Fund project has been transformed into the Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution- the first formal microfinance institution in Vietnam licensed by the State Bank. More proudly, o­n its 20th Anniversary, the TYM Fund was honored to receive the Labor Medal First Order, granted by the Party and the State. That prize and the success of thousands of women members are the great prides of the TYM Fund and serves as their motivation to continuously become more committed to their social mission.


Translated by VWU International Relations Dept