This blog took me the longest time to write. With a heavy heart, I would like to announce that we will be not be making new loans available online for funding by lenders. Repayments on the already funded loans will continue as usual.
It was not an easy decision to take. Some of our supporters and also board members thought this was not the right decision to take. We mulled over it for several months.
When we launched in 2009, we had no idea whether loans would get funded. We have been most fortunate in having a community of lenders who have always stood up to the challenge and funded every entrepreneur that we have had online. It has been miraculous in so many ways. The support of the lenders and our supporters from all over the world; and the impact we could make to make people’s lives has kept us going. To us it always seemed that we were falling short of the high expectations of lenders and our supporters, and we ought to do even more.
After the India microfinance crisis in 2010, we relaunched with loans from Sri Lanka in late 2012. We saw 2014 as the year where we would expand. But that was not to be despite our best efforts. We planned to launch in India in partnership with a wholesale microfinance lender ( i.e. an organization that lends to microfinance institutions) and we spent several months working on a partnership with them, however the partnership did not fructify. We tried other alternatives as well, but those did not also work out. It has been a big learning experience for us.
We do not see this as the end of journey. We are launching a new initiative that focuses on basic literacy for the entrepreneurs. It is an area that needs much work, but most governments focus on literacy amongst children and adult literacy gets far less attention.
We will be initially piloting this initiative in India and over a course of time we plan to launch this in other countries. We will be sharing more details of our new initiative over the next few weeks.
And thanks once again for all your support. It inspires us to do more.