Sogeti, together with Capgemini and MicroWorld, has collaborated to design a digital platform linking up micro-entrepreneurs with micro-lenders within companies. A concrete and pragmatic solution to steal with pride.
An initiative gone global
As many as 500 million micro-entrepreneurs are currently struggling to finance and develop their projects. 80 percent of these are women. Through the MicroWorld online platform your company and your employees can generate a positive change.
120,000 employees around the world working within Sogeti and Capgemini are currently being mobilized – on a voluntary basis – to support the global microcredit platform. The MicroWorld site gives the opportunity to all employees to support micro-entrepreneurs and make a real contribution to the fight against global poverty by fostering micro-entrepreneurship.
The website enables sums of money from as little as 20 euros to be lent to micro-entrepreneurs around the world. Each lender is able to get aquainted with and then select the person/project of choise and track progress on the site thereby measuring the real impact their loan is making on the development of each project at any time during the term of the loan. Once the loan has been repaid, the lenders may either withdraw their money or reinvest it in other projects. Employees are also able to create communities to gather lenders and help finance a project by inviting their colleagues, friends and family – or even clients.
What is MicroWorld?
MicroWorld is an online solution, an intelligent website that allows individuals and businesses to finance projects of micro-entrepreneurs around the world by making online loans. Born from a partnership between the non-governmental organisation (NGO) PlaNet Finance and Groupe Allard, the website offers a marketplace of online financing, news and insights on the microfinance field, and a place where lenders can organise their lending activity within an online community.
How are micro-entrepreneurs and projects selected?
The various micro-entrepreneurs and their projects are selected by the local investment partners of MicroWorld, the Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). These MFIs are all highly-reputed and firmly established with a wealth of experience in the field of micro-credit. They have the expertise and resources required to assess entrepreneurs’ potential projects and the adequate infrastructures to support, training and accompany micro-entrepreneurs.
It is the MFIs, in agreement with MicroWorld, who select the projects to be published and offered on the MicroWorld site. Each MFI is audited on an annual basis and the local MicroWorld representative makes sure that each project exists and that the micro-entrepreneur is able to pay back the money lended.
Does my money really go to the borrower I selected?
Unlike humanitarian donations, solidarity loans guarantee lenders that 100% of the sum loaned will be paid to the selected micro-entrepreneur. However, since the procedure for financing a project and transferring funds can be quite lengthy, it is possible in some cases that the MFI will advance financing for the project from its own funds, so that the micro-entrepreneur doesn’t have to wait.
What is the procedure for repayment?
The micro-entrepreneur repays his loan according to a precise schedule established with the MFI. When all the repayments have been completed, the MFI transfers the funds to MicroWorld who then makes the amount in question available to the lenders. The transfer of the funds from the MFI to MicroWorld is made in one single payment to limit the number of money transfers and to guarantee the MFI partner a minimum level of stability with regard to its outstanding liabilities.
Are there any risks involved?
As for any loan, there is a risk of non repayment of which the lender must be aware when deciding on the amount to loan. However, with MicroWorld, in the case of non repayment by the micro-entrepreneur, the MFI partner takes the place of the borrower for the reimbursement of the sums in question.
What is in it for you and your company?
This initiative concretely allows individuals and companies to safely lend small sums of money to finance micro-entrepreneurs who are unable to access traditional banking services. This initiative is a perfect fit for your employees to get engaged and reinforces your company values as well as your social responsibility and environmental policies.
How to get started
Curious about the digital platform? Want to make a positive change for micro-entrepreneurs? You can easily try out the platform.The website is available in English and in French. And it is really easy to get started:
- Visit the platform (sogeti.microworld.org)
- Read the FAQ on the websites to get answers to your questions
- Browse presentations and movies
- Become a member
- Choose your project
- Lend €20 or more
- Invite your friends
- Track progress
The platform is social so for the fun of it you can create your own community, e.g. for your team or your office (the sky is the limit) and invite people and encourage them to support a specific project and then successively follow the progress. For now you can lend money in euros and pay with your credit card our with PayPal. Available projects last between 6-18 months after which you will be reimbursed.