Mercy Corps facilitates increased access to financial services in the livestock sector

On Wednesday, January 31, at the Open Society Forum in Ulaanbaatar, Mercy Corps Mongolia brought together development agencies, financial institutions, government personnel and small business owners working in the livestock sector for a round table discussion on financial inclusion.

The function had two primary objectives:

1. To identify high-potential business linkages and partnerships between international projects, financial institutions and NGOs capable of facilitating improved access to financial services for micro to medium-sized enterprises in the livestock sector.

2. To present to industry stakeholders a working draft of Mercy Corps’ first guide to building capital and building small businesses along the meat value chain.

Following presentations by meat producers, herder cooperatives, banks, and other institutions was a substantive conversation in which participants—many who were meeting for the first time—exchanged new ideas facilitated business linkages, and found common ground on which future interventions can be staged.

In fact, the fifty-some participants agreed to join hands and publish Mercy Corps’ comprehensive guide to financial services; conduct capacity-building workshops on financial literacy and behavior change, and to keep all parties accountable at future roundtables which several participants felt would bring together the demand and supply side of financial services in pursuit of financial inclusion.

What started as a conversation about financial inclusion has the potential to become a vehicle for economic development within the livestock sector. The more partnerships that are facilitated in future such events, the more communities it will reach, and the closer Mercy Corps’ flagship Resilient Communities Program will come to supporting the development of a competitive, export-oriented meat market sector strong enough to withstand the shocks and stresses endemic to the country.

Next quarter's roundtable is slated to be hosted by Khan Bank, one of the biggest and most influential financial institutions in Mongolia.

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