Our world is constantly changing. We are closer and closer to each other although we may live thousands of miles away. One of the most fascinating examples of this to me is how social ventures are leveraging the Internet to engage the global community in raising resources to support their mission. We are seeing new platforms for peer-to-peer online lending such as Zopa, Prosper or RangDe in India. We are also seeing exciting developments of online platforms to raise capital for microfinance institutions and micro-business owners such as Microplace, Kiva and 51Give in China.
So, I was encouraged when I heard recently about a new venture in beta testing which is focused on Africa, called MyC4. MyC4 is an online community which provides a dynamic platform to create and support new enterprises and commercial innovation in Africa. The vision of the site is to end poverty, and MyC4 has a strict selection process which identifies entrepreneurs looking to develop companies that provide healthy economic prospects for growth. The screened entrepreneurs then post their ideas labelled as an Opportunity online so that visitors to the MyC4 website can bid on (to invest in) any open Opportunity on MyC4. The bidding process is based on a ’Dutch’ auction which basically means, the more people that are interested in investing, the more favourable the terms (e.g. interest rate) become for the African business. Check it out and give them feedback on the beta by clicking here: http://www.myc4.com/