Lendahand is a social enterprise. We are competing with commercial parties for customers, employees, investments (money) and media-attention. But all of this we do because we want to create impact. Our goal is to contribute to a world with equal chances for everyone regarding to jobs and basic needs. Project on our website seem to be a success and we often rerceive positive reaction from people who are supportive of what we do. However, like every fastgrowing company, ambition goes hand in hand with chaos. We want to explain our shortcomings (those we are aware of). Luckily, at Lendahand we have a steep learning curve!
We are not able to measure our impact
Through our platform businesses in emerging countries receive capital to stimulate further growth and development. We attempt to measure the impact that we create, but to be honest we don’t yet know the exact impact. Are there any trickle down effects that make the impact larger than we think it is? Are there any unintended consequences that partially offset the generated impact? Lendahand’s right of existence is based on a combination of financial and social impact. Not being able to measure the latter might be one of our biggest shortcomings. But not for long as soon a PhD student will start at Lendahand to do research to our impact. We are also initiating partnerships with third parties to get more insights in the impact that we create together with you.
The end borrowers still have to pay high interest rates
Lendahand runs an online platform, we don’t own any expensive buildings and are not bothered with legacy IT systems. We’re constantly short-staffed. We are mean and lean. Still, the end borrowers in emerging countries are paying an interest rate that’s not particularly lower due to our presence. Speaking in our defence: we’re quite a young company with high potential economies of scale in the coming years. To add to this, the amounts lent through our platform are simply too small to have an actual impact on the ‘price of money’. Still, it bothers us. As a Fintech company we hope to make use of developing technologies such as blockchain, psychometric credit analysis, etc. We want capital to flow as frictionless as possible from the investor to the entrepreneur. We’re positioned to utilize technology, scale up, and so lower interest rates. Until then this bothers us.
The Lendahand Foundation isn’t adequately integrated into our business model
Most people probably don’t even know, but next to the Lendahand online platform there is also the Lendahand Foundation. This foundation provides training to the entrepreneurs who were funded through the platform. A lot of power is generated from the combination of loans and training sessions. Unfortunately, the foundation doesn’t always get the TLC it deserves from the team to become more effective. This is a shame, since the foundation empowers our proposition: more social impact and creditworthy entrepreneurs! The good news on the other hand is that you can contribute directly to providing training for entrepreneurs via the Foundation's website.
We’re not always able to distinguish important things from unimportant
The legendary Johan Cruyff once said: “Of all the unimportant things in life, football is the most important.” At Lendahand we are unfortunately not able yet to always distinguish the important things from the unimportant. As a small and growing company we deal with many opportunities and as many risks and uncertainties. In the midst of the chaos we sometimes focus on the things that don’t really matter. We increasingly try to challenge each other on this and so understand better and better how to make the distinction. We have people with different backgrounds and disciplines so this works quite well.
One thing we all agree to: of all important things in life, money is the least important..
We need more feminine power on our ship
Out of the 8 people working fulltime at Lendahand only one is female (she definitely counts for at least 2 guys, but still). A little bit less testosterone and more multitasking skills will do us good. We are working on this. Fortunately things are better on our platform. On average a third of our lenders are women and over a half of the companies that are represented on our website as a project, are led by females.
Lack of (talented) ping pong players.
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