In March 2001, the Agency for Finance in Kosovo (AFK) disbursed its 100th loan to Mr. Xhevdet Dranqolli, a 39 year-old tailor from Peja, Kosovo. The 100th loan signifies AFK's successful transition to a local finance institution. Launched in September 1999, AFK started as Mercy Corps' Small Enterprise Development Program, initially providing credit to small and medium-sized businesses in the western region of Kosovo. Repayment of loans were made in goods and services, which were distributed by Mercy Corps to vulnerable families and community projects.
Like most local producers, Xhevdet lost all of his machinery and inventory during the war. In order to restart his life and business, he sought financial assistance from Mercy Corps' Small Enterprise Development Program. He received 10,000 DEM (approximately $4,500) and purchased machinery, raw materials, and hired six women. The loan was repaid on time in the form of clothing and distributed throughout the Peja region by Mercy Corps.
In April 2000, with additional funding provided by the United Nations Development Programme, AFK began distributing loans on a cash repayment basis, with repayments going into a revolving loan fund. AFK also expanded its client base and geographical coverage. In November 2000, AFK began its transition into a fully nationalized institution. Mercy Corps provided AFK with sophisticated loan tracking and accounting systems, and continues to assist with management and fundraising activities.
After successful repayment of the first loan, Xhevdet applied to the AFK for a second, larger loan to increase production capacity. On March 15, 2001, he received a loan of 15,000 DEM (approximately $6,800) and purchased two additional machines. The loan, the 100th disbursed by AFK will be repaid in cash in monthly installments.
To date, the AFK has disbursed 100 loans totaling $1.4 million.