When you’re successful in business I believe it’s necessary to give back to your community. This is exactly what our Muslim female clothing e-commerce startup Modanisa is doing.
In partnership with Kiva, an online platform connecting lenders with low-income underserved entrepreneurs, Modanisa is supporting the small businesses of Muslim women around the globe. Since June 2014, Modanisa has offered loans between $225 and $2,750 to 53 different women running businesses in sectors like food, clothing, higher education, and cosmetics.
The support is offered in the form of an interest-free loan with a payback period. The interest-free nature of the loan shows that it’s not designed to generate a return for the lender. The purpose of the payback period is only to ensure that, after receiving the loan, the recipient works hard to generate income. If it had been designed as a grant, this would have self-selected applicants with a lower likelihood to work hard to pay back the loan, thereby defeating the purpose of supporting low-income underserved entrepreneurs.
I hope that Modanisa achieves much greater business success in the future so that it can support even more women entrepreneurs. And I hope that it serves as a role model for other startups. You don’t need to be a large company to experience the joy of giving. Everyone can give within their own means.