Bloom Microventures

Tours Transforming Lives: Combining the power of microfinance and responsible tourism to fight poverty.

Monday 2 June 2014, by aleix

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Bloom Microventures is a non profit social enterprise currently operating in Vietnam. Bloom Microventures offers “microfinance tours” to low income communities in developing countries. Travelers go on their microfinance tour and meet with local micro entrepreneurs while exploring the natural and cultural sights in the location. This gives travelers an opportunity to interact with the local community. The fees paid for the tour is disbursed as microloans with the entrepreneurs with whom the travelers have interacted. Travelers can follow the progress and repayments through their online project center.

In Vietnam, Bloom Microventures works in close collaboration with a local Non-Governmental Organisation called the Microfinance and Community Development Institute (MACDI). MACDI provides support to Bloom Microventures in finding new borrowers, provides basic accounting and technical training for the borrowers, and facilitates the collection of interest and principle payments. Through the partnership with MACDI, Bloom Microventures hopes to increase the incomes of impoverished households, create a habit of saving among the target populations, and support the development of small scale enterprises.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The aim of the microfinancing is to provide poverty-stricken people with the kind of very small loan that would normally be unattainable from traditional banks, who either don’t deal in such small amounts or would need some sort of collateral as security against larger amounts.

Unfortunately, due to scarce funds and wide-reaching poverty in the world, microfinance institutions are unable to provide for everyone in need. Which is where microfinance tours come in: they can reach deep into communities and help people that are generally too far on the periphery to have access even to microloans.

The main challenge of Bloom Microventures is to take profit of the touristic potential of Vietnam by taking the travellers into different trips to show them how people are living in poor conditions, to interact with them and meet their culture in order to raise awareness of the needed help of these areas.

The fees paid by the travellers is invested in native people that they meet during the tour in form of low-interest microloans so they can start-up their projects to prosper in their lives. Thanks to Bloom Microventures, poor people in Vietnam is having a possibility to improve their quality of life by providing them the sources. The microloans are usually very small – just enough for someone to buy a few chickens or a pig – but providing people with vital boosts taking them from having nothing at all to being able to make substantial improvement in their lives.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

The business idea of Bloom Microventures go further than caring about profit for the founders. As a non-profit social business they emphasize on ethical values rather than take profitable behaviour in terms of money. The main goal of the company is built from the concerns of the founders about the unjust inequality in the provision of credit for entrepreneurs. We’re owners of our lives but we cannot choose the place to born. Unfortunately,people around the world does not have the same opportunities in terms of economic wealth and Bloom Microventures tries to reduce this gap by giving microcredits to those people who doesn’t live in the best environment to grow their businesses.

Furthermore the original way to help poor entrepreneurs is one of the main points for the continuous company development not only for the future loan receivers but also encouraging a responsible and real tourism. Tourism it seems to increase year by year, and this is directly correlated with the success of the firm, so the probabilities of growing seems to be clear.

Bloom Microventures goal cannot be more ethical, trying to give a chance to improve lives of those people who has not had the same lucky as us by providing an small loan that can help lots of families to be self-sufficient. Furthermore, company owners doesn’t expect any other reward more than the happiness of their little entrepreneurs. Exemples as this, makes us believe that we can build a fairer and more sustainable world.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

It is proved that the responsible tourism tours through microloans offered by Bloom Microventures make a strong impact on the Western visitors who get enrolled in this activity. Almost every one of Tripadvisor’s reviews have rated it as ‘Excellent’ and it is ranked #11 out of 362 in popularity index of activities in Hanoi, which shows that the business goals are being achieved and it is perceived as an inspiring and useful experience for both lenders and borrowers.

However, there are only 71 reviews currently, a fact that may signal that for the future success of Bloom Microventures it should be interesting to improve the marketing and advertising techniques in order to attract a major number of tourists. Furthermore, the few non-Excellent reviews point that the tour is a bit draggy and long, so it would be a good idea to put attention to improve the dynamism of the activity.

FInally, regarding to the growth and future challenges of the business, Bloom Microventures could study the expansion of their activity to other zones or countries, because nowadays the help is only provided to certain poor communities in Vietnam. As it is seen, the business idea is really inspiring and useful, but it could have a realer impact if it could be implemented in a major number of areas.

Bibliography

http://www.bloom-microventures.org/

http://yourstory.com/2011/09/funding-entrepreneurs-through-travel-bloom-microventures/

Responsible Tourism in True Form: Bloom Microventures Comes to Vietnam

http://www.exotissimo.com/travel/vietnam/daytrips/full-day-community-exchange-bloom-microventur/

http://www.yourtravelchoice.org/2012/06/bloom-microventures-microfinance-tours-lift-women-out-of-poverty-in-soc-son-vietnam/

Tourism as an innovative source of micro-credit scheme

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293924-d2141270-Reviews-Bloom_Microventures_Private_Tour-Hanoi.html#REVIEWS

Location: Ha Noi (Vietnam)

Sector: Human health and social work activities

Official website: http://www.bloom-microventures.org/

Key figures:

Annual profit: Non-profit company.
Number of employees: 8 employees and 3 external advisors.
Countries of operations: Vietnam.

Nbr. visits: 455