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Empowering Members of Investment Clubs through Savings and Investment Forums

Strengthening Investment Clubs among Older persons

Photo of Joseph Joram
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

The idea is designed for persons above 50 years, who have no idea of how to manage old age in the wake of financial insecurity. The idea aims to empower thousands of older people to feel and become more secure financially through clubs that enable them to share, learn and invest in business enterprises. It makes a lot of sense to invest as a large unit than individually and investment clubs offer such opportunities. Psychologically people become more confident and able to make informed decisions

The concept of older people coming together to work towards a common goal as investors has been very supportive in giving life meaning. Rainbow Savings and Welfare Organization is a non governmental organization based in Kenya, giving older people opportunities to save, invest and work towards reaching their club goals. Depending on their needs. Older people have diverse needs. There are those who seek to invest their savings in land, housing, business etc working together as an investment club. Social workers and credit officers attend their meetings to offer guidance and support enabling club members to remain focused. Many have successfully realized their dreams through this initiative. The investment clubs provide a focused investment opportunity. 

The need to strengthen these clubs is critical through discussion forums on various business opportunities that offer huge returns through collective savings as opposed to individual savings. This is especially important in that the capital invested comes from various individuals putting less strain on their savings. Discussion forums and training offer them opportunities to learn where and what to invest in making decision making easier. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

An experiment that may be tried is to create an investment forum involving older persons with a view to sensitizing them about various investment opportunities that may be available for them. The forums will focus on creating awareness on investment clubs and its potential in addressing financial insecurities. It is anticipated that the idea of investment clubs will be attractive and consequently generate the formation of diverse investment clubs where members will focus on club investment.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Sharing ideas

Tell us about your work experience:

I have been involved in establishing an entrepreneurship program for refugees years ago as well as worked with mothers of street children promoting their efforts to join a local savings cooperative.

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm currently a member of a credit union

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Joseph! A great idea! Could this also apply to other settings? Can you see this in the US? What would you see as the role of credit unions? I can't wait to see how your idea develops. 

Photo of Joseph Joram

Hi Kate, Certainly yes! the idea could be replicated in any part of the world including the US. The role of the credit union would be to enter into contracts with members of credit clubs, safeguard their savings, organize forums for discussing investment options, ensure club members meet regularly to review and shape their investment vision, participate in club forum discussions, facilitate discussions, engage investment experts in discussion forums, support in developing business/ investment plans and supporting club members make informed decisions on club investments by taking them through real life success stories.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Joseph and Kate.
Thanks for sharing these thoughts Joseph!  I have read about investment clubs and savings groups within African countries on other OpenIDEO challenges.  I have read a few things over the years about individuals forming investment groups in the US, a group of women for example coming together and working on learning about investment opportunities.  I am unaware of any formal organizations that provide social service and financial counseling to investment clubs in the way you describe here in the US.  The approach might exist.  It would be interesting to find out.  I am a fan of this idea as a practical and empowering approach.  
Perhaps for this challenge an idea could be that a Credit Union in collaboration with a community affiliated organization, (many credit unions in the US are affiliated with community service organizations),  can advertise a new club - an investment club.  Space may be provided at the community organization.  Social work support may be provided via the community organization, and financial support via the credit union.  It would be interesting to bring together voices from the Credit Union and members of the greater business community regarding discussions on investment opportunities.  

Photo of Joseph Joram

Absolutely! Apparently in a recent meeting with members, I noted that information on investment was among the main concern meaning that people are more interested in knowing how their savings can best be put to investment.