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Please RSVP Now: Will P2P Financing Succeed Where Microfinance Has Failed?

By Jana Melpolder on June 2, 2015

 Lusaka Salon – June 11th – RSVP Now

Micro-sized loans, often with macro-sized interest rates, were the craze back in the go-go ’90s, and fueled the rise of microfinance organizations around the world. Then Kiva began to connect lenders with borrowers on a platform that highlighted individuals, keeping the MFI as the unseen broker in the middle. Yet borrowers were still paying sky-high interest rates while several MFI’s enriched their investors.

Fast forward to the mid-2000s, and new P2P fundraising platforms emerged for political campaigns, independent movies, and the latest gadgets. Today, commercial start-ups like Zopa and Lending Club are scaling ways to help P2P lenders earn interest from extending credit to borrowers.

Across Africa, Zidisha bills itself as a true, low cost p2p lending platform with scaling potential by moving to a pure P2P play, no MFI needed. Is the future of P2P lending finally here? Can a non-profit lending platform have impact in the fintech sector?

Please RSVP now for the next Technology Salon Lusaka to dig deep into the P2P lending opportunities in Zambia and other Southern Africa countries. Our discussion will be lead by these noted thought leaders:

You are invited to join in the lively conversation – all participants will have an equal chance to explore questions like:

  • Can virtual P2P lending succeed without the infrastructure and high rates of MFIs?
  • How will sites like Zidsha convince investors to lend to entrepreneurs for for free?
  • Who is a typical borrower? Why do they need the cash? Why would they borrow from Zidsha?
  • How will traditional banks react? Or mobile money plays like M-Shwari?

Please RSVP now to join us at Population Council. We start promptly, and will have hot coffee, tea and treats for morning rush but seating is limited. So RSVP now to be confirmed for attendance. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waitlist.

What is the P2P Financing Opportunity in Zambia?
June Technology Salon Zambia
8.00 – 10.00 a.m.,
Thursday, June 11th 2015
Lusaka, Zambia
RSVP is required for attendance


How Can Mobile Technology Empower Marginalized Citizens?

San Francisco Salon – June 15th – RSVP Now

Marginalized groups around the world have long suffered a stifled voice, curtailed voting rights, limited access to health information and services, and the inability to influence governmental policies.

Mobile technology presents an opportunity to transform this historical pattern by enabling more people to participate in “active citizenship” – engaging with their community and their government on a local, national, and international basis. Efforts like IPaidaBribe in India, #BlackLivesMatter in the USA, and the Arab Spring across North Africa show how people can leverage mobiles to effect change.

Please RSVP now to join the next San Francisco Technology Salon to discover and explore which accessible and affordable mobile technologies are being leveraged to drive these changes. We’ll have a lively conversation centered around questions like:

  • Which mobile technologies are best at promoting “active citizenship” among marginalized groups in low and middle-income countries?
  • How can active citizens move government from indifference, to awareness, then action, using mobile technologies? How does this apply to access to and quality of health care?
  • What are the challenges and risks for citizens when governments use the very same mobile tools to control and quash dissent?

Please RSVP now to join the discussion, which will be lead by Aaron Mason of Orion, and feature two experts who bring a wealth of experience to the debate:

We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush, but seating is limited to ensure an intimate experience. Be sure to RSVP quickly. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!

Mobiles for Citizen Engagement
June Technology Salon SF
Monday, June 15, 2015
9:30-11:30 am
Vodafone Americas Foundation
Redwood City, CA 94065



About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:

  • technology’s impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.

Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people – and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged.

It’s also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!

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Written by
Jana Melpolder worked for over two years as an editor for ICTworks. She is passionate about bringing human rights issues to the forefront through ICT in the developing world, and she has reported on development programs from several countries including Bolivia, Ghana, Thailand and India. Follow her on Twitter: @JanaMelpolder
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