Social Startups

Milaap Gains Ground in Microloans Where Kiva Lacks

Milaap, like Kiva is a web based platform where individuals can make small loans to people in the low-income group, where they significantly differ from Kiva and others is in the type of loans they offer and in the fact that they are the ONLY one that can offer this for India. The fact that Milaap is the only web based micro-lending platform that has got special permission to allow foreigners to make these loans to poor in India is a historic milestone and puts them in an extremely unique position.

First Micro-lending Platform to Enable Flow of Foreign Capital into India

Milaap is the only micro-lending platform in the world today which allows anyone in the world to lend to India’s low-income population. No other platform including Kiva was able to offer loans to India to date. Yes, that’s right, India though a country with massive poverty and many around the globe keen to help, foreign micro investments were a total no no due to the governments tight banking regulations. Milaap, from the very start was focused on breaking this barrier, and their bull headed lobbying with the government resulted in them getting a special permission to accept loans on their platform from both domestic and foreign lenders.

Loans that Make Sense

Milaap is also unique in the kind of loans they offer. Kiva and others offer loans to individuals to start small businesses, Milaap on the other hand is focused on making loans available to low-income families to buy products and services that would greatly enhance their productivity. Microfinance till date has been centered around providing loans for starting businesses, the reality however is that starting a business is very hard and presents chanllenges way beyond just getting the funding for it. As Anoj Viswanathan, co-founder of Milaap puts it, “Microfinance Institutions are helping poor start businesses but not really helping them meet their day to day needs. Through our loans people can get access to water, light, education and other essential things that would help increase their productivity and income.”

How it Works?

Go to their website (milaap.org) and log in via Facebook to make a loan. You can browse for borrowers based on the kind of loan they need ( Education, Health care/Insurance cover, Energy, Water, Farming) or based on the period of repayment. The minimum loan amount is $50 (Rs.1000) which you get back as per the repayment timeline and you have the option to either re-loan or withdraw your money. 100% of your loan is transferred to the borrowers. Milaap does not charge lenders a fee to loan. Further, on Milaap’s platform the borrowers are able to get loans 50% cheaper than the existing credit programs which makes it easier for borrowers to repay it comfortably. Milaap is only servicing the India market.

For more details visit, Milaap.org

You can reach the author, Deepa Chaudhary via Twitter

Filed under: Social Startups

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Deepa Chaudhary

I have extensively worked at grass-roots from working in the slums of Mumbai to being on the frontline of numerous disaster relief efforts. I'm passionate about social entrepreneurship and I love discovering and writing about new trends in the social good space.