Traditional financial institutions do not or are unable to extend credit to many smallholder farmers and laborers in Kenya. In response, employers often offer loans to their employees. Decentralized finance (DeFi) can help employers offer credit at lower interest rates and reduce the administrative burden.
Mercy Corps Ventures and the Celo Foundation recently partnered to launch a 4 month employer-based lending pilot with agriculture company Cinch Markets in Nanyuki, Kenya. Cinch employees were able to access loans in M-pesa of $50 to $150 dollars at 8% APR through their feature phone. In this workshop, we will give participants the chance to try the technology, discuss the lending pilot, and explore how DeFi can create new and better models for employer-based lending and community-based finance.
**If possible as a second option to this session, we’d like our third speaker to be Abigail Munende, a member of the Kotani Pay team in Nairobi, Kenya. Unfortunately, Abigail is unable to travel from Kenya and attend SOCAP, and so we would like to have her join virtually. A third option is Alexander Fankuchen, CEO and Co-Founder of Cinch Markets, who may be able to travel from Nairobi to San Francisco.**