MicroWorld is an internet platform that allows individuals and businesses to finance projects of micro-entrepreneurs around the world by making online loans. Born in 2010 from a partnership between the non-governmental organisation (NGO) PlaNet Finance and Groupe Allard, the website offers a marketplace of online financing, news and insights on the microfinance field, and a place where lenders can organise their lending activity within an online community.
MicroWorld is run as a social business - combining a strong social mission with business methodology - whose aim is to promote the growth of microcredit in developing countries. The social business model is designed to maximise social impact through efficient, sustainable, and scalable business practices. Financed by private funds, MicroWorld gives its profits directly to the microfinance NGO, PlaNet Finance.
This section of the website contains detailed information on our mission and values, and how we operate. There is an extensive frequently-asked-questions section which explains, amongst other things, how to make a loan on MicroWorld. And for those of you who want to know what microcredit is, we have tried to answer that too.
Why loans and not donations?
By lending to someone rather than donating, you are forming a business relationship with them and treating them as an equal. The connection is based upon mutual respect and a desire to do business. We believe that this is a dignified way to interact with people, irrespective of their situation. Not only this, loans can be recycled over and over, multiplying their effect.
To me, poor people are like bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a flower-pot, you get a replica of the tallest tree, only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted, only the soil-base that is too inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong in their seeds. Simply, society never gave them the base to grow on. All it needs to get the poor people out of poverty is for us to create an enabling environment for them. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly.
Muhammad Yunus, joint-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2006 for his work in microfinance
The relationship created between the lender and the micro-entrepreneur is based on mutual respect and business principles, not charity.
The MicroWorld team is made up of professionals who specialise in web, microfinance, and online banking, who are committed to investing their expertise in the MicroWorld organisation.
MicroWorld’s interface is designed with transparency as a priority. Lenders can find clear and accurate information on the available projects, as well as precisely monitor their investments.
MicroWorld is based on a new economic model combining solidarity, economic viability, and innovative technology.
THE PLANET FINANCE GROUP
Four fields of expertise to develop the micro-finance sector
#1 Training, Consulting and Research
PlaNet Finance provides technical assistance and consulting services to micro-finance stakeholders but also to financial institutions, governments and mobile phone operators that wish to develop financial inclusion. Through research and training, PlaNet Finance contributes to the professionalization of the sector and to the dissemination of best practices.
Internationally, PlaNet Finance develops programmes with a high social impact aimed towards poor populations excluded from traditional financial services. These programmes associate education, health and environmental protection to micro-finance in order to answer the needs of micro-entrepreneurs in the development of their projects.
In France, PlaNet Finance France, through its network of associations, PlaNet ADAM, which stands for Association Detection and Assistance to Micro Entrepreneurs, located in the heart of deprived neighbourhoods, offers assisted programmes to those with limited employment opportunities so that they can turn their business ideas into reality.
PlaNet Finance’s PlaNIS responsAbility SAS, and MicroWorld.org entities provide funding for micro-finance institutions, while MicroCred focuses on financing entrepreneurs. FinanCités supports entrepreneurs in France’s deprived urban areas by taking equity in their businesses and by offering them personalised coaching.
PlaNet Guarantee combats the vulnerability of certain populations through tailored and affordable micro-insurance programmes serving the needs of low income groups. PlaNet Guarantee is building strong partnerships with various sectors (ranging from insurers, reinsurers, banks and micro-finance institutions to development agencies). It also draws on the field experience and expertise of the PlaNet Finance network.
Planet Rating, is an international micro-finance rating agency, which gives all people involved in the sector the information they need to strengthen micro-finance’s reach and impact. Its social performance and finance reports make the micro-finance sector more effective by enhancing its professionalism and transparency.
Ethical and Social Responsibility
The PlaNet Finance Group adheres to an Ethical Charter, which sets out the guidelines to be followed by all its staff and directors. A social responsibility policy also governs its relations with clients, partners, investors and funders. Finally, the PlaNet Finance Group takes all necessary measures to avoid conflicts of interest arising from its various activities.
“By paying constant attention to the quality of the services it provides, its professionalism and the integrity of its team members the PlaNet Finance Group has been able to gain the confidence of its many partners.” Raphaël Palti, Chair of PlaNet Finance’s Ethics Committee - Founding President of Altavia
PLANET FINANCE GROUPAn innovative and socially responsible international organisation dedicated to tackling unemployment
The PlaNet Finance Group’s mission is to enable those in unemployment to access financial services in order to bring about sustained improvements to their living standards. For that purpose, it develops micro-finance products and services. With a presence in 80 countries, the PlaNet Finance Group is now acknowledged as a major player in the war on unemployment through the development of entrepreneurship.
THE PLANET FINANCE FOUNDATION
The PlaNet Finance Foundation, a certified public interest organisation, supports those in unemployment who are excluded from traditional banking systems by giving them the independence to develop their activities which would generate their income. It funds innovative projects with the potential for a strong social impact that have been set up and run by the main development and micro-finance players across the world. It also increases the social impact of micro-finance by spreading the best practices.
If you would like to support the PlaNet Finance Foundation, please go to : www.planetfinance-foundation.org
Jacques AttaliPresident PlaNet Finance Group
“The PlaNet Finance Group emerged from the belief that micro-finance, alongside the three development mainstays of democracy, education and infrastructure, is a key factor in creating effective and sustainable anti-unemployment strategies. With the support of our partners, the group’s ambition is to create a fairer world by giving those who are financially excluded access to opportunities where they can create their own businesses, save and take out insurance against the unpredictable events of daily life.
The coming years will be a turning point for those involved in micro-finance. We will be facing exciting challenges posed by the adoption of new technologies, particularly mobile banking and money transfer solutions, the development of new services, interest rate transparency and making financial services more accessible in rural areas.”
Arnaud VenturaVice-President PlaNet Finance Group
“Since it was first established in 1998, the PlaNet Finance Group has developed a range of activities that are vital to the development of microfinance across the world. Through socially responsible finance dedicated to serving its clients’ needs the group has contributed to the emergence of a positive economy, creating value for all involved. Each year, through its various activities, the group supports and advises several hundred institutions (such as MFIs, banks and governments) and contributes, directly and indirectly, to the funding of millions of entrepreneurs. Above all, from the outset, PlaNet Finance has been a centre of innovation, generating and fostering ideas to grow and reinforce the microfinance sector.
A case in point was the founding of Planet Rating, the first microfinance rating agency to be created following the establishment of PlaNet Finance. More recently, this spirit of innovation has spread to areas such as insurance through PlaNet Guarantee and to social venture capital with FinanCités. It now informs the roles being played by the PlaNet Finance Foundation, which continues to support innovation by investing in projects with a strong social impact, particularly in micro-finance and health and micro-finance and education.”