Project Everest

[Experiment Results]: Problem Identification - Micro-Businesses - Social Consulting Fiji July 2019

[JUL 19] Problem Identification Experiment Results - Micro-Businesses- SoCon 2 Fiji 


Link to the Experiment Design Post:

Lean Phase: Problem/Customer Segment 

Assumption: Individuals must complete set requirements to access a minimum loan. 

Success Metric:

% of FIs that have set loan requirements.


In this experiment we achieved a green light as we found 100% of FI’s have set loan requirements. 

On average, all the FI’s rate their current marketing methods 3.8 out of 5. (1 = not at all and 5 = very effective). This rating is calculated by asking FI’s to reflect on their marketing methods as well as considering their responses, behaviour and use of language.

More specifically, the FIs have identified the following factors when lending: 


A. Identification:

11/11 FI’s require Photo ID which is one of the following:

  • Passport 
  • Voter Card 
  • Drivers License 

10/11 FI’s require a TIN (taxpayer identification number)

5/11 FI’s require a Birth Certificate 

4/11 FI’s require some form of Proof of Address which can be one of the following:

  • Utility bill
  • Rental agreement 
  • Land title 
  • Drivers license 
  • Voter card 


B. Documentation:

4/11 FI’s require some form of a Business Plan or Projection  

9/11 FI’s require Financial Statements which can include a range of: 

  • Balance Sheet 
  • Profit/Loss Statement
  • Cash Flows 

8/11 FI’s require at least 3 months of  Bank Statements 

7/11 FI’s require Business Registration Certificate 


C. Other:

2/11 FI’s require you to have a Guarantor to access a loan 

7/11 FI’s require Security to be held against the loan   

3/11 FI’s run Interviews in which they determine if the customer is able to apply for a loan.


Results Spreadsheet:


Key Results and Data: 


Validated Learning:

By evaluating the results, we found that all FI’s have strict requirements in place for loans. It is hard for customers to be able to obtain these requirements easily without any assistance.

Overall, we discovered that most FI’s have distrust against farmers and small businesses due to:

  • The risk and the difficulty to provide clear documentation such as a clear business plan, a forecast and financial statements
  • The unpredictability of these businesses (farmers having seasonal income) and new businesses having low security to back the loans up

We also learnt that most larger banks refer customers to Fiji Development Bank for start-up businesses and agricultural loans, as FDB was instituted by the government to support start-ups and farmers. FDB has lower requirements and lower interest rates.

We also discovered that banks claims they put the interest of the customers above their profitability needs. FI’s have procedures and recommendations to help most customers obtain loans if they are unable to reach them by pointing customers towards the right direction.

Some FI’s are identified as not requiring financial statements as they have alternatives in place. In these situations, the FI looks at customers on a case-by-case basis, for example whether they are an established business or whether they have a solid cash forecast by tracking the movement of cash in and out of the individuals account.

One FI is also identified as not requiring bank statements, because one of their requirements is to have an account with them, so they already have access to the loanee’s bank accounts

Next Move: 

From the data SoCon1 and SoCon2 teams have collected, offer testing will be conducted. FI offer testing is a process which allows us to confirm PEV’s relationship with FI’s that identify the problem that they turn customers away. This is a vital step to ensure the SoCon team will be providing a solution to micro-businesses that suffices FI loan requirements.

Offer testing will commence over the next two weeks. The results of both experiments will be used to inform the development of an MVP.

edited on 17th July 2019, 22:07 by Jamie Butler
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