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  • in many parts of the world.

  • When you applying for a business loan a bank, the bank is going to take down various pieces of information about you, such as your age, your name, education and address, and input the information into a risk model to figure out if you're going to pay that money back and together additional information about you.

  • Now that we live in the glorious age off artificial intelligence and machine learning, even more information can be collected about you and analyzed to figure out what makes you successful in business.

  • That is, unless the data being collected about you has nothing to do with what really makes you successful.

  • This would seem obvious, right?

  • If you're going to use technology to determine the creditworthiness of a business or an individual, you should make sure that the data you're using is at least relevant by geography, culture and demographic.

  • And that's how it works in most of the Western world, and the result of that is the generation of wealth and prosperity.

  • But in Africa we have a problem.

  • It's tough Sahara in Africa, where we operate, finding the right kind of data and sourcing that data to make these decisions is incredibly difficult customers, a Finn filed.

  • The information is localized at a bank.

  • It's not shared.

  • It's not Federated in a general sense, like you would with a crypt with a credit bureau.

  • And those decisions are hard in Africa.

  • We should be completing on a global basis, but we're not.

  • And that's because the financial institutions in our ecosystems don't have the technology or the risk models tow harness the wealth potential accurately on what I mean by that is that the traditional methods currently used to evaluate the creditworthiness on the risk profiles of these businesses completely ignore the vast differences and the cultural realities off ethnic and religious groups across the continent.

  • And I really do think that in order for them to compete on a global scale, Africans must start to generate and transfer wealth authentically, and the only way to do that is to build our culture and our history directly into the financial ecosystem, our business, our banking and our technology.

  • So a few years back when we started this journey, we noticed that the banks and the micro financed institutions who had set up shop across Africa didn't seem to be able to make a dent in the more than $300 billion business credit gap.

  • Which two was?

  • Means that the companies are supposed to be helping actually are not growing or generating wealth at all.

  • And I got feeling was that this is because they actually do not understand African businesses or entrepreneurs.

  • So in 2013 I co founded a company called November with my business partner, Marvin Cole, with the goal that we would try to figure out how to get these businesses to grow correctly on.

  • We started by studying various tribes in Cameroon to figure out what is it that makes them successful, and how do they respond to financial obligations Now Africa has thousands of ethnic groups and more than 2000 different languages, and the cultural diversity and traditions make for a very complex landscape.

  • So if you want to start talking about business and financial products, you must.

  • You really need a deep understanding of the nuance and the history and respect the elegance required to code for the financial products and the business environment off the vast African market.

  • And this is why we decided to use artificial intelligence on our own proprietary technology to embed ethnic and cultural data into the risk models, algorithms and the products that we have since developed.

  • So here's an example.

  • If you take an entrepreneur who goes into a micro finance institution to apply for a loan, these types of businesses are often from the informal sector.

  • They often use their family members as employees.

  • They don't keep a balance street, and they're certainly not working to a well written business plan.

  • And they are sometimes functionally illiterate, and by that we mean they are able to read and write, But they may not be formally educated in business, and these applicants usually get turned down by banks, and this is the reason why they go to micro finance institutions.

  • But the micro financed institutions, when determining risk about these groups, can only really use what is at hand information like you look like a woman agenda, your age, your bank account, how you deposit your capital and collateral.

  • Hopefully that collateral has the kind of land title that they can use for these loans, but with the model that we use, we added an additional maybe as much as 400 additional data points.

  • Things like language, dialect, family structure, personal and professional relationships, number of wives and even tribe.

  • And that's because we believe that this is the kind of information plus some other pieces that you truly need toe understand African business risk.

  • So what about the house?

  • The man who applies for a loan.

  • Now in his neighborhood, he has a shop and eat.

  • He sells candles, and in August and September, he's selling back to school items the rest of the year.

  • Maybe small electronics, and his shop is usually always open, except for about 4 to 6 weeks when he's closed for Ramadan.

  • Now he can't go to micro finest institution because most micro finest institutions actually do not carry Islamic products, the type that are non interest bearing and banks are going to think he's a high risk because of the changing nature of his business.

  • So you would likely turning him down.

  • And that would be that.

  • But we know that that would be indeed and be a mistake because we no one understand that.

  • Traditionally speaking, if he is Hauser, there is a chance he's got more than one wife, and if he does have more than one wife, it means that he's actually a very good risk for us.

  • And he's the kind of customer that we like to to fund.

  • And that's because polygamy, which is still practiced in Africa, actually access of form of life insurance.

  • It's strategic.

  • It's a sign of wealth, instability.

  • It is not a sign of romantic instability.

  • And what about ethnic groups like the Buffaloes by Rambo ballooned Oh, Althea Rocco's groups that have a rich agricultural way of life Now groups like this.

  • They are driven by their social standing and operate within a cash economy with close ties to informal loan and saving groups that we call in Jiang G's and banks are unable to justify lending to groups like this because they often don't have enough banking information or the type of bank accounts that they could monitor or even the property with the right collateral to be used.

  • Now, if you really want to understand the risk, you should start evaluating their relationships with council leaders and tribal leaders, not necessarily their banks or their balance sheets.

  • These groups are compelled by the family and tribal obligations and the super.

  • Careful with that money, and they're very careful with business.

  • They dare not lose their social standing because it would be the equivalent of losing a credit score.

  • Now, if a banker of micro finance institution were to try to lend money to these groups, it actually would not be that effective at helping them to generate rock more revenue or build wealth.

  • They're long agricultural tradition is something that we would instead leverage, and we find that they will do better.

  • Getting support with warehousing, logistics and that sort of thing alone is probably just not the best type of product for them.

  • So these are just a few examples, and hopefully you will see what we saw, just how huge this opportunity can be.

  • Banks in Africa don't build mobile APs or the technologies that will allow them to do things like measured thesixty s of a woman's vegetable farm, or to incorporate how well a parent pays their Children's school fees into a risk model.

  • So we thought that we should use technology that would build a roast model to do exactly that and bill technology and products to match, and so far it's working.

  • We've deployed more than 25 million to 260 companies are more and help them to achieve seven times the amount of revenue and in some cases as much as four times the amount of inventory available to sell.

  • And in Subsaharan Africa, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of how to build the right technologies to help African businesses make it into the future and understanding how to do that begins with understanding the human beings.

  • Right now, 1.2 billion human beings on the African continent will soon be 2.3 billion.

  • Over the next 30 years, on by 2100 1/3 of the Earth's population will live on my continent.

  • That's a lot of potential entrepreneurs who could be generating wealth for themselves, their families, communities and the world if the path to wealth generation was defined for them.

  • Now let's sue Mt.

  • Imagine around the world.

  • If financials products were designed with the cultural nuance and sensitivity towards the businesses that they seek to support, would this mean more wealth in America's Heartland, with the lifetime service and experience off a retiree, be an advantage when applying for a start up loan.

  • What about women entrepreneurs whose cultures make it more likely that they will be stay at home moms?

  • Could this lead to loans Tailor made for the woman building an Internet business out of her living room or financial service is for Native Americans who understand how to build wealth from the land and the natural resources.

  • The reasons why we do this is for the same reasons that Pandora chose to map the music Gina or the reasons why geneticists rushed to map the human genome.

  • It's to find truth and to find understanding so that we can develop tools, tow, harness our own potential and realize our best Selves in digitizing our future.

  • We will preserve the beauty off our culture and unlocked the code to our best wealth traits.

  • And if we do this, Africans will become global citizens with less reliance on charity.

  • Becoming a global citizen also means that we have a place of the table as equals.

  • Lastly, the real reason we must do this is because we want to build a foundation for our future that is rooted in who we authentically are as Africans.

in many parts of the world.

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B1 wealth africa risk micro loan financial

A new model of microfinance for Africa, and beyond | Viola Llewellyn | TED Institute

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/04
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