My initial idea proposed in my post, “Communities as an alternative, rewarding, and personal investment opportunity ” (also posted below) (https://openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/ideas/communities-as-an-alternative-rewarding-and-personal-investment-opportunity#comments-section) lacked some specifications about how the educational component of the platform would play out.
For a community to be financially empowered, not only does it need to receive loans and funds, but it needs the support to financially operate on its own-to understand how to make use of loans and how to pay back debts.
In turn, as suggested through comments and through the NYC OpenIDEO MeetUp, the post “Microlearning: a new approach to empower microcredit borrowers and their communities through financial literacy” (https://openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/ideas/microlearning-a-new-approach-to-empower-microcredit-borrowers-and-their-communities-through-financial-literacy) seems like the ideal way to tackle the educational component. The creating of mirco-learning courses evaluated with tests will encourage people to see the improvements and benefits of learning about micro-financing. Additionally, helping peers is an element that must be pushed and persuaded in a community. As mentioned in the idea, staggered loans will be installed to access each new round of financing by passing each exam sections.
I hope to explore this idea further by joining the team working on the proposed challenge post.
image source: wikipedia
This idea consists of creating a new platform to help communities with on-hand resources in need of financial support. It will link these communities with people wanting to make investments through online media and the power of awareness.
Relating to my research posts from a few weeks ago, this idea arose from a combination of different programs and initiatives (https://openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/research/alternative-ways-for-financial-empowerment).
It takes aspects from 3 main ideas:
1. Micro-financing, with its main goal of lending money to smaller organizations or individuals that may not be liable to a larger bank institution
2. Peer Lending systems (lending club), in which, you encourage individuals to lend to one another. Through such systems, there is an increase in awareness, making the lending system more personal
3. Looking at systems such as “Heifer International’- encouraging communities to work together and creating a self-sustainable group of people.
Having stated my influences and inspirations, here’s how the system will work:
*Investor: Any individual with savings looking for a personalized alternative way to invest (lend) their money.
* Platform: Our online portal serving as a connector between communities and potential investors.
The platform will seek out communities around the world that have strong resources (farming community, cotton or silk, food productions…) and that need funding.
We will approach these communities about our existing platform; to explain how it works and to see if the community is interested in receiving loans.
If the community accepts, educating them about how lending and investing works will be a key aspect in ensuring that they can benefit from the system.
Once those steps have been taken, the community will appoint a mediator- someone that will connect the platform with the community- someone with whom we can communicate, and someone that the community respects and would like to work with.
Launching the online program. Here is how we activate the network of investors to learn about communities around the world that are seeking to make a difference. Each community will get their own page, a personal approach about the community, where it is, and the resource it has and wants to grow. Sharing their story and increasing awareness!
Invest. At this point, the community is open to taking loans from people that want to invest. The system can be altered and catered to each project individually.
Assessing the investors and their sources is key from our side of the platform. We need to insure that everything is controlled and regulated.
Creating partnerships and relationships across platforms. It raises awareness and a long-term partnership to help communities in need.
Follow-Up between investors and communities, to monitor how the communities are doing, and help with questions, advice, as a resource for them.
Communities repay their investors, and hopefully stand on their own-self-sustainable.
This system creates a strong partnership encouraging people to help those who need it most to stand on their own two feet. The community has a responsibility towards their investors and they learn about investing and managing themselves, their new-found business, and enventually become self-sustainable. The investors, learn about communities that are out-there, help people grow, and can involve themselves anyway that they want on a very personal basis.