Over the last few weeks I have been spending some time exploring business models that address issues related to access to financial services and products for base of the pyramid consumers. Through this effort I came across eMoneyPool, a Phoenix, Arizona based business venture which is using technology to revolutionize an activity practiced across the globe by many different cultures for hundreds of years – money pools. Money pools are essentially shared savings programs where groups form contribute savings to a shared fund and take turns withdrawing large sums from those “pools”. eMoneyPool is revolutionary, because it is bringing these group savings mechanisms online and expanding dramatically the potential customer base. It is a concept which got them initial recognition and funding from the Phoenix based incubator SEED SPOT, featured on the White House Business Council as well as more recently investment and recognition from the SOURCE and Accion Venture-Lab. Read on to find out more.
This week I want to profile a social venture which was shared with me by a reader. Thanks for sharing. I hope more of you will by filling out this online form. The idea is one which was started by a couple who both had a passion for something different – one for women empowerment and the other for clean technologies. But together they shared a passion for making the world a better place and decided to merge their ideas into one common cause. The result was Empower Generation, a non-profit which is spreading clean energy in Nepal one woman at a time. They are still small but growing, to date they have sold 825 solar lights reaching more than 4000 homes in Nepal. They have also been featured in Scientific American and other blogs.
A post surfaced across my Facebook feed today highlighting the 2012 results of an organization started by another classmate and friend of mine. It is a very interesting organization doing cutting edge work in behavioral finance and microfinance and well worth examining here. In fact Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) which has built a psychometric testing methodology to measure the credit worthiness of the unbanked has been so innovative last year it won the G-20 SME Finance Challenge, has also been featured in global media giants like the Financial Times and partnered with the likes of the IFC and Aspen Network of Entrepreneurs.