Chamroeun at a Glance
Chamroeun was started by Entrepreneurs du Monde as an NGO programme in 2006, with a focus on serving the very poor in Phnom Penh, by providing adapted loans, savings, and micro-insurance services. The first branches were established in the capital around the main market places to address the needs of the small market stallholders, ambulant vendors, and other small scale activities.
At the end of 2005, noting the large underserved poor communities in Phnom Penh, Entrepreneurs du Monde, a French NGO, signed an agreement with the Phnom Penh Municipality and with the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start up a social microfinance project. The project was established as "Chamroeun" (“progress” in Khmer) to provide financial and non-financial services for families in Phnom Penh’s urban depressed areas.
Chamroeun opened its first branch in 2006. At the end of the year, Chamroeun started a partnership with Gret’s SKY project to provide health micro insurance to its clients. This offers complete health coverage for family members such as access to doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs.
Chamroeun launched non-financial services, including various training courses and social counselling. For the first time, Chamroeun extended its activities outside of Phnom Penh, opening a branch in Kandal Province.
In July 2008, Chamroeun continued to build on its success, and increased coverage in and around Phnom Penh; by the end of the year it had eight branches and was serving 6,300 clients. Entrepreneurs du Monde recruited a Cambodian executive director to take over from the expatriate Manager.
In February 2009, Chamroeun received a license from the Ministry of Commerce and was registered as a private company, with two shareholders namely Entrepreneurs du Monde and Mr.HumbertGarreau de Labarre. In March 2009, Chamroeun received a certificate of registration as a Rural Credit Operator from the National Bank of Cambodia. It also opened two other branches in Battambang Province and Siem Reap Province.
By 2010, 10 branches were successfully opened including seven branches in Phnom Penh, a branch in Siem Reap, a branch in Battambong and a branch in Kampong Cham. In this year, Chamroeun also opened five satellite offices in order to be able to provide services closer to where its clients lived.
The 11th branch and the 12th branch were established in Banteay Meanchey and Kampong Thom accordingly. Chamroeun also opened the additional seven satellite offices to be closer to its clients. In 2011, Chamroeun was successfully registered as a Microfinance Institution by the National Bank of Cambodia, marking an important step in its development.
Takeo and Kampot Main Branches were successfully opened in February and May 2012. By October 2012, Chamroeun had 35 service points in 12 cities and provinces.
In 2013 all of the Satellite Offices were upgraded to District Branch Offices. By December 2013, Chamroeun had 40 service points (15 main branches, 25 district branches offices) in 14 cities and provinces.
In 2014, four branches upgraded to main branches, in total there were 19 main branches and 21 district branches in 16 cities/provinces.
A partnership was engaged with WING, a leading mobile payment provider, to facilitate loan payments through mobile transfer agents located in the communities.
Chamroeun signed a partnership agreement with Water.Org under the program “WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Financing Project”. It also moved from Truelift ‘Aspirant’ to ‘Emerging’ Practitioner.
Another partnership agreement with a major mobile payment company called TrueMoney Cambodia was signed to create more payment options for partners. Chamroeun was also recognized with the MIX S.T.A.R MFI award from Mix Market.
Chamroeun changed its name in Khmer word from“ចំរើន” to “ចម្រើន” to comply with Khmer dictionary of Samdech Chuon Nath with the same meaning in English as “ Progress”.
Chamroeun was fully acquired by ReNet Japan Group, the leading e-commerce company in Japan for Recycled and Reused goods.