When the brainstorm for this project started, we tried to decide on which SDGs to focus on. Although we each had different goals in mind, we decided that poverty was an underlying cause for many of them.
For this reason, we decided to focus on economic development and research that small businesses played a large role in kickstarting local economies and empowering communities. Microfinancing is a way to support these small companies, but we found that many of these loans can be risky when the business owners don't have enough training on administration. For this reason, business training and mentorships are conditions to the loans in our platform. The peer-to-peer aspect encourages people in developed countries to care about philanthropy without an economic burden on them. Operating costs are covered by a 1% interest that individuals pay on the loan. This project was a way to truly incorporate the interests and abilities of all the members of our team; blockchain, sociology, business and coding of webpages.
By providing a platform for peer-to-peer lending, we are cutting out the "middle man" of a bank, where there can be sunk costs. Donators have the incentive of using SowGrow as they know the money is being transferred conditionally and thus towards the right cause. They also gain social capital and the warm glow of giving. On the receiving end, entrepreneurs in the developing countries get mentorship, funding, and support to pursue their venture and benefit their community.
We strive to provide foundational business education and advise business owners on the next steps they can take to grow and provide more value in their country. For a sustainable business model, we require business owners who have been given advising resources to advise other entrepreneurs in their area.
Our goal is to bring sustainable business education, practices, and resources to entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Because there are so many things to solve when considering the SDGs, we struggled to come up with an idea that had an effective impact on developing communities.
Upon coming up with our idea, we were also unsure about how we should best approach the profit/nonprofit side of the organisation. This was eventually solved with the realisation that in order to solve SDGs we must do good via the nonprofit sector. Social capital is enough to incentivise the donators.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Working together as a team. Brainstorming hard to come up with a succinct idea - please test our knowledge!