Online Matchmaker Fights Poverty by Funding Businesses

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Danish entrepreneur is trying to end poverty in Africa through microcredit — funding African businesses by connecting them with investors from around the world.

Tim Vang is the co-founder of MYC4, a web-based marketplace that lets investors bid to provide loans to small and medium-sized African businesses.

Bidders compete in an online auction, with those offering money at the lowest interest rates financing the loan. Typically, around 50 investors will part fund a single loan. All the businesses applying for a loan have been vetted and judged to have good growth prospects.

MYC4 says the model gives African entrepreneurs access to credit at low interest rates, while allowing lenders to make a profit from the interest. It’s a system MYC4 claims can help eradicate poverty in Africa by building its economies from the bottom up.

Over 18,000 investors from 107 countries have so far invested more than €12 million in 6,346 African businesses, according to MYC4.

Vang discussed his business-oriented approach to fighting poverty with CNN’s Max Foster.

Source: CNN (link opens in a new window)