AKFC Fellow Joins FMFC

A new AKFC Fellow Striving to Make a Difference in the Kyrgyz Republic

First MicroFinance Company recently welcomed Canadian, Hayley Combaluzier to the team in July 2017. Hayley is one of this year’s International Microfinance and Microenterprise Fellows taking part in Aga Khan Foundation Canada ’s (AKFC) International Youth Fellowship  (IYF) program. 

Over the past 28 years, AKFC has deployed more than 400 young professionals through the IYF program to work in various countries in Asia and Africa. FMFC has hosted four Fellows and has greatly benefitted from their diverse backgrounds and skill sets. 

Hayley is a graduate of Carleton University’s Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree program, with a double concentration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Having launche d two startup businesses during her studies, Hayley has already started to develop a broad range of skills in product design, marketing, branding, graphic and web design, business strategy, and project management. 

“I was happily surprised to see that my position would be based in Kyrgyzstan. I had no idea what to expect, but this country is beautiful and everyone here has been extremely hospitable and kind .”

Hayley has joined the Research and Product Development department and is involved in the implementation and management of FMFC’s paperless loan application process and credit scoring system. She is also working on proposals for new loan products and researching the needs and opportunities that exist in Kyrgyzstan for financial services.

“At FMFC I get to see and contribute to the large amount of work that goes into designing, promoting and monitoring new and existing loan products . It’s interesting to see the product mix and internal operations transform overtime as new innovations and new customer needs arise.” 

Hayley got to take a trip to visit some FMFC clients homes in Naryn and is deeply inspired by the degree of social and economic impact FMFCs services can have on people’s lives. 

“Visiting clients in Naryn opened my eyes to our client’s daily lives and living conditions. It put some much needed context around the work I am doing and inspires me to help in any way that I can.”  

The Fellowship will conclude in March 2018 and Hayley is determined to make the most of her time in Kyrgyzstan with FMFC. 

“I’m very fortunate to be part of FMFC and the greater Aga Khan Development Network. This is a great personal and professional development opportunity that will greatly advance my early professional career.”  

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