In 2008, a former aid worker and two local motorbike repair shop owners in Nagchu, TAR trained 12 Tibetans from several different townships for four months. Upon successful completion of the training, the 12 apprentices paired up and decided to start their own motorbike repair shops in their respective communities. TVP arranged for a coordinator to visit the project sites and provide a day of business education training using the book, “Starting Your Business.” Six businesses received loans of $6,900 (or $1,153 per shop) from TVP with 3% annual interest for two years. With successful monitoring and evaluation, each business was able to pay off 100% of its loan with interest and all of the businesses are still in operation today. When Chinese migrants came to the area looking for opportunities to set up repair shops, they were forced to move on because the communities in the area already had Tibetan repairmen that were skilled, spoke the local language and were trusted by local customers.
In early 2011, Nagchu alumni decided to form their own lending group as the Nagchu Enterprise Co-op. The Co-op, led by three people, was created to support members’ businesses and manage new loans. TVP decided to provide $14,000 for 7 new loans. Some loans were given to new businesses and others were given to owners of existing repair shops that wanted to expand by selling parts and performing additional services such as repairing tractors and trucks. TVP and members of the Co-op made an agreement that the interest earned on loans and a small percentage of income from members’ businesses would be given back to local communities.