The vision of CEP is to see significant improvements in the living conditions of the working poor and low-income people in Vietnam through CEP's efforts. CEP has always been a leading professional microfinance institution in Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh city’s Confederation of Labor chose the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh as an archetype to pilot the model of job creation and welfare improvement for the underserved in Vietnam.
In the early 90s, Ho Chi Minh city’s Confederation of Labor advocated associating Confederation activities with social activities in order to achieve the goals of poverty reduction, job creation, and unemployment alleviation among low-income workers and laborers. One of the obstacles job creation faced was the lack of available loans so the poor could not start income-generating businesses.
Ho Chi Minh city’s Confederation of Labor carried out many surveys and studied effective models of job creation and welfare improvement for the poor in some countries around the world. In particular, the Grameen Bank model of Bangladesh is considered to be the most suitable model for the socio-economic context of Vietnam at this time: providing loans and small deposit products to poor households in both rural and urban areas, contributing to impoverishment reduction very effectively.
Piloting a number of small credit and savings activities in urban and rural districts of Ho Chi Minh City, following the model of Grameen Bank.
July 1991, Ho Chi Minh city’s Confederation of Labor piloted a number of credit and savings activities in District 1, Go Vap District, Cu Chi District, and Can Gio District following the model of Grameen Bank. Initial results were very positive and effective in helping poor workers with small capital to create income-generating activities to permit gradual increases in well-being.
Officially established the "The Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor” (Abbreviation: CEP).
On November 2, 1991, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City decided to permit the Ho Chi Minh city’s Confederation of Labor officially establish the "The Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor" (Abbreviation: CEP) with an initial capital of 460 million VND. The purpose of CEP was to build close relationships with workers, offer small loans to help them create income-generating activities to permit gradual increases, and reduce poverty.
Established 7 branches in Ho Chi Minh City and was honored to receive the Third Class Labor Order.
From its establishment to the end of 1998, CEP gradually expanded to provide microfinance services for more than 98,000 poor households in Ho Chi Minh City through the foundation of the system of 7 CEP branches in varied districts. In recognition of CEP's positive contributions to the poverty reduction program, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam awarded CEP the Third Class Labor Order.
The Governments of Vietnam and Australia have signed an agreement on the project "Expanding CEP's Microfinance Operations".
In mid-2001, the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Australia signed an agreement on the Project "Expanding CEP's Microfinance Operations". This project provided possibilities for CEP to establish more branches, strengthen organizational capacity, and expand the outreach of serving low-income workers and working people across 24 districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
CEP received the Second Class Labor Order for its practical and highly effective contribution to poverty reduction in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2001 - marking 10 years of operation, CEP provided financial and non-financial products to over 211,000 working households through a network of 11 branches in the area of HCM City. To date, CEP is serving over 24,500 borrowers. CEP is honored to receive the Second Class Labor Medal for its practical and highly effective contribution to poverty reduction in HCM City.
CEP established the first branch outside Ho Chi Minh City in Binh Duong province.
With the effective operation model and remarkable achievements, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor advocated replicating the CEP operating model, expanding the service scope for underserved customers in the nearby provinces. In 2007, CEP established the first branch outside HCMC in Binh Duong province.
CEP established 08 more branches outside Ho Chi Minh City.
CEP established 8 more branches outside HCMC and continued to focus on increasing the scope of products, providing financial services to workers and low-income laborers in rural areas and other places in Southeast provinces and the Mekong Delta.
CEP was awarded the First Class Labor Order for its positive contributions to poverty reduction efforts in Vietnam.
By 2011, which marked the 20th anniversary of operation, CEP had provided financial and non-financial products to over 1.5 million impoverished households through a network of 26 branches, contributing to poverty reduction for thousands of poor households. To date, CEP serves over 193,000 customers. CEP was honored to be awarded the First Class Labor Order by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for its positive contributions to the efforts of reducing poverty among the underserved in Vietnam.
CEP celebrated its 25th anniversary and was honored to receive the Emulation Flag of the Prime Minister.
By 2016, CEP had passed a great 25-year journey. From an initial capital of only 460 million VND in 1991, CEP then developed capital of over 2,771 billion VND. After 25 years of operation, CEP had provided capital to more than 3 million poor households with a total loan amount of over 28,000 billion VND, creating a sense of savings in the poor community with a total savings balance of over 1,000 billion VND. At the end of 2016, the total number of customers being provided with small loans was 310,000 households with a total loan outstanding of over VND 2,700 billion. According to those achievements, CEP was honored to receive the Emulation Flag awarded by the Prime Minister.
CEP officially transformed into Capital Aid For Employment Of The Poor Microfinance Institution (Abbreviated: CEP Microfinance Institution)
October 2017, CEP officially transformed into Capital Aid For Employment Of The Poor Microfinance Institution (Abbreviated: CEP Microfinance Institution), under the Law on Credit Institutions inspected and supervised by the State Bank. After the transformation, CEP continued to be consistent with the non-profit goal, supporting poverty reduction for workers and low-income people through the provision of microfinance products and services.
By the end of 2017, CEP continued to grow strongly and expand its service coverage to 342,000 underprivileged customers through a network of 34 branches with 17 branches in Ho Chi Minh City and 17 branches in Ben Tre and Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Long An, Tay Ninh, Tien Giang, and Vinh Long.
CEP celebrated its 30th anniversary and was honored to receive the Emulation Flag of the Government, the Certificate of Merit from the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, and the State Bank of Vietnam.
The year 2021, marking a 30-year journey of formation and development, was also a challenging year for CEP activities in the severe situation of the Covid-19 epidemic. CEP devoted all its efforts to ensuring operations, services, and customer support in the most responsible and effective manner. At the same time, CEP continued to make strong breakthroughs, applying technology to meet the development speed in CEP activities promptly: applying Saigonbank's model of collection and payment system to make payments and transactions, automatic electronic communication between CEP and customers; launched "App CEP - Accompany through difficulties" to help customers quickly access loans and savings products and promptly update support policies and community development programs from CEP.
Over 30 years of operation, CEP has funded more than 4.8 million low-income laborers with a total loan amount of nearly 68 trillion VND; creating a sense of saving among low-income workers with a total savings balance of more than VND 1,500 billion. CEP has grown and changed a lot over the past 30 years, but one of the most important cores has not changed: our purpose, mission, principles, strong commitment, and effort, the best of the staff to fulfill the mission and goals of the organization. With these achievements, CEP was honored to receive the Emulation Flag of the Government, the Certificate of Merit from the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, and the State Bank of Vietnam.
CEP continues to expand its activities through the establishment of a branch in An Giang province and a network of offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh province.
In early 2022, CEP established the Long Xuyen branch in An Giang province, which is the 36th branch of CEP and the 19th branch outside Ho Chi Minh City.
During the year, CEP focused on recovering and continuing to develop operations in the new situation after the Covid-19 epidemic, promptly meeting the capital needs of low-income people, and focusing on serving workers directly in industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. In March, May, and October, CEP respectively opened an office at Tan Thuan Processing Zone (belonging to the Nha Be branch), District 7 office (belonging to District 8 branch), and Trang Bang office (under the Tay Ninh branch), creating chances for workers to access CEP products and services in a timely and effective manner.
CEP continues to promote technology application in operations, digitization, and channels diversification in an effort to improve operational efficiency; organizes the program "CEP love sharing - accompany workers and laborers overcoming difficulties due to Covid"; actively go with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor in the project of preventing "black credit", helping workers improve their financial knowledge, proactively accessing official credit from CEP with low-interest rates, contributing to jointly organize the Trade Union to take care of and protect the legitimate interests and improve the quality of life of workers.