For the past two years, the students of Haverford Microfinance Consulting (HMFC) have been shifting their focus from Access to Finance in the developing world to Access to Finance here in our own region. After a thorough strategic review, they have become involved with Kiva Zip, an on-line crowdfunding platform that uses some of the social capital concepts that have helped make microfinance so successful. While they are still interviewing candidates for their first Trustee endorsement on the platform, they have offered their services to help Kiva Zip clients endorsed by other Trustees who are actively raising funds.
HMFC Co-President Shan Shan discusses their efforts below.
Hi! I am co-president of Haverford Microfinance Consulting (HMFC) and I would like to share with you our experience of working with our first client, Geneva Joy Hughes.
Geneva is the owner of Boothtastic, a digital photo booth rental company. At the beginning of this semester, she reached out to our club in the hope of getting some help on web presence and web design as well as accounting and money matters. After discussing with her Kiva Zip Trustee, People’s Emergency Center and reviewing her personal and business profiles, we agreed that she was definitely a client we would like to work with. At the beginning of March, we invited her to campus and discussed both the current situation of her business and her plan for future development. She also shared her stories and we were all impressed by her persistence for her goals and her passion for her photo booth business.
In order to help her attract more lenders, we helped her polish and articulate her use of the loan on Kiva Zip. We also constructed ideas on redesigning her website in terms of setup, features, and themes, a work still in progress.
The most challenging part is fund-raising on Kiva Zip. Geneva has actively reached out to her friends and other potential lenders in the past few months. We at HMFC have done our best to help, too, by designing and distributing on campus a flyer about Boothtastic and creating a Facebook event to invite our friends to lend to Geneva. We also reached out to microfinance clubs at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore for help.
Currently, Geneva has raised 75% out of $5,000 with only 8 days left to fund. She only needs $600 to complete the raise! Next week, we are going to invite her to campus to do a photo booth even in the DC during dinner in the hope of getting students to consider lending to her.
If you are interested in Geneva’s business or impressed by the efforts that she and HMFC have put into the fund-raising process, please go to the website of Kiva Zip (zip.kiva.org) and lend to her. If she ends up not getting the total amount that she wants, all the money will be returned.
As little as $5 can make a big difference. Your help will be highly appreciated by HMFC members and Geneva.