Ts. Baigalmaa: Personality of women becomes an advantage to increase their creditworthiness

Mongolian Economy interviewed Ts. Baigalmaa, director of Retail and SME Business division of the Golomt Bank.

How do you evaluate social importance of a woman entrepreneur loan?

Women account for more than half of the Mongolian population and their impact on the economy and their skills has been on the rise. In that sense, women who represent almost 60 percent of entrepreneurs working in SME and service sector create wealth and decrease unemployment while becoming a major dynamic of the economy.

The Golomt bank, relying upon its resource and advantage, will contribute to the development of Mongolia by meeting financial demands of  women entrepreneurs, assuring long-term cooperation for them to help maintain their market share and to grow into a businesswoman of  national scale. Our continued support for  women-led businesses is in line with the gender equality policy of the Golomt bank.

How is bank management  creating an open and honest environment where work, skills and experience of female staff are equally assessed? You mentioned that the bank has a gender equality policy. Does that mean the bank pursues a systematic approach to this issue?

Around 15.7 thousand people work in the Mongolian banking sector, of which 66 percent are  women while that  number is 69 percent at our bank. In that sense, there was a necessity to ensure gender equality at the bank.

Starting from 2018, Golomt Bank implemented a “Gender equality policy” and established an environment where gender equality at the workplace and equal participation of every employee for bank activity are ensured. In addition, opportunity to receive similar benefits from the bank’s operation and development policy is enabled.

Thanks to these developments, access to information and an accountability structure are fully ensured within the equal right policy, positive culture is nurtured at the organizational level and employee productivity has  increased.

Opportunity to career building and promotion are fully granted to  female employees at the Golomt bank and the management pays special attention to these issues. To give you an example, women account for 69 percent of senior managers and career advancement of female employees has increased by 4-5 percent over  the last two years at the bank.

How about gender policy regarding bank clients? What tasks have been planned in this field?

As well as gender equality policy for internal purpose of the bank, the Board of Directors and executive management team emphasize gender policy and its economic development aspect when dealing with our customers.. In that sense, by offering more sophisticated and accessible financial services to  women and helping them turn their skill and experience into business opportunities, we established a Gender equality committee in 2020 in order to empower women and implement activities  focused on the prosperity of society.

Women, especially  women entrepreneurs, account for what percentage of total customers  at  Golomt bank?

Women represent almost 70 percent of our customers. Their contribution to the bank’s bottom line  and loan activities have been increasing annually and their financial literacy has also improved.

On top of that, women account for more than 50 percent of total lenders. For them, we strive to offer opportunities that will improve their financial capability and enable them to pursue production and service-related business actively. The number  of female lenders has  increased by 26 percent over the  last three years.

The Golomt bank began offering special loan products for women entrepreneurs . Could you give our readers some more information on that?

In 2021, in order to work closely with women entrepreneurs and to offer them more practical support, we are working on a loan product with very flexible terms which will help them to finance investment and their current assets in order to start a business or expand their current business operation.

This product with a lower interest rate compared to other commercial loans will have fewer requirements and requires less documentation and boasts a very simple process. Besides, the loan term is up to five years and a grace period is very attractive which makes it suitable for customers to stabilize their business, increase capacity or expand their production and service.

Besides the loan products, what other measures are implemented by the bank to support women entrepreneurs?

We work closely with professional accociations and councils who support women entrepreneurs in order to meet their financial needs, expand their business reach and increase their market share. For example, we cooperate with the Asia Foundation Women`s Business Center and BEST project of the Development Solutions NGO to organize mentorships and fellowships for women-led businesses.

On top of that, we have started collaboration with Women Entrepreneur Mentors Club established by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It will enable us to demonstrate roles of women entrepreneurs and their importance to  society, to organize training sessions, to increase access to financial services and empower rural women entrepreneurs.

Source: “Mongolian Economy” magazine

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