Project Everest

Work Update

[Work Update]: SoCon Fiji - Monthly Goals - July 2018

This month, Social Consulting 1 is focusing on increasingly accessibility to microfinance. Our first goal is to understand the environment by undertaking a thorough competitive analysis of the microfinance space in Fiji and the South Pacific as a whole. Through this process we will identify what is effectively delivering value in this market and what pain points are not currently being addressed.

 

Our second goal is to build and test the viability of a proposed business model through empathizing and iteratating. To determine the inputs and components we need to secure access to data regarding financial activities, barriers to finance, and technologies available and adopted in our customer segment. To do this we will be contacting stakeholders to request access to secondary data. We also need to build a credit risk model by collecting relevant data from customers to mitigate the risk of loan defaults. It could follow that there is a credit rating scheme, which could be contingent on the following:

 

  • Data available: amount of data that can be analysed on the customer’s phone (online payments, phone log, and social media and telecom data)
  • Education: digitizing training to secure repayment (see Rose’s post)
  • Endorsement: others with a high credit rating recommending an individual for a loan verifying their ability to repay
  • Past financial behaviour: analysing any previous financial activities and any past loans acquired

 

Additionally, we will need to understand the loan provision, monitoring and collection process required. To do this we will be analysing the environment to determine what methods would be the most viable. Digitizing our loan provision will reduce risk and increase accessibility to those who are rural while ensuring the scalability of the model. We will also be looking into the viability of mobile money, as this would make our service accessible to those who are unbanked. To understand the viability of our proposed model, we are also looking into conducting a USSD survey in the later stages of the project.  

 

Our third goal is to assess the viability of our model through testing our MVP. We are looking to carry this out by providing loans to the Fuel team’s customers as several have voiced concerns about paying upfront. This would provide us with the opportunity to observe behaviours and understand barriers regarding repayment through revisiting and empathizing with the customers.

 

edited on 5th September 2018, 23:09 by Justin Hakeem

Sapphire Loebler Jul 5, 2018

Sounds like a great plan Ineke! Can I ask how the decision to survey USSD use came to be? Do you know what the content of that survey would look like at this stage? Just curious as I am working on a similar element.

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Rose Martin Jul 10, 2018

Just going to chime in for Ineke here;
The idea for USSD for this was to test the insights found from micro-experiments such as the fuel experiment. Ideally, by doing a micro-experiment looking at one customer segment e.g. customers purchasing fuel stoves, we will gather some insights as to what exact risk factors are affecting clients when applying for loans. However these insights will be, by nature, simply insights from one customer segment. Thus USSD is one way to test this on a mass scale to see if these 'micro' insights are actually 'macro' factors that affect the wider population.

Let me know if you want me to elaborate! Hope you are doing well xxx

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Christina Gell Jul 5, 2018

Hi Ineke! With testing your MVP on fuels' customers, how to you intend to secure the payments? What does an online micro financing service MVP look like in Fijian villages/ what are your initial thoughts on implementation. I am curious as to see what it looks like in real life! Looking forward to seeing you smash it.

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Ineke Mann Jul 13, 2018

Hey Christina! Our initial payments were collected in cash as we were observing the factors that would affect ability to repay and testing what repayment period and interest rates would be best. Moving forward we are offering loans through mPaisa (mobile money) and monitoring these loans through text reminders. If you have any additional thoughts let me know!

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Justin Hakeem Aug 23, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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