We’re building on the thesis that female-headed households with greater financial stability, are shown to improve social outcomes for the whole household. Kids stay in school longer and there is less likelihood of anti-social behavior. We work with female, informal trader who live and have their livelihoods based in urban townships - We’re talking about female vendors, who have a stall on a pavement in their neighbourhood, at a taxi rank or on a busy road. They could be selling fruit and veg, sweets, cooked meals, baked goods or clothes. The informal nature of what they do means they have limited opportunities to access credit and other formal financial products that could help grow their businesses. Their option is to seek funding within the township – here capital is limited and expensive and this is a barrier to growth. This is the fundamental problem Spoon addresses.

Whilst the objective is to stabilize incomes so that our customers are able to transition from subsiste...
We’re building on the thesis that female-headed households with greater financial stability, are shown to improve social outcomes for the whole household. Kids stay in school longer and there is less likelihood of anti-social behavior. We work with female, informal trader who live and have their livelihoods based in urban townships - We’re talking about female vendors, who have a stall on a pavement in their neighbourhood, at a taxi rank or on a busy road. They could be selling fruit and veg, sweets, cooked meals, baked goods or clothes. The informal nature of what they do means they have limited opportunities to access credit and other formal financial products that could help grow their businesses. Their option is to seek funding within the township – here capital is limited and expensive and this is a barrier to growth. This is the fundamental problem Spoon addresses.

Whilst the objective is to stabilize incomes so that our customers are able to transition from subsistence to more stable and profitable enterprises, we also aim to bridge the gap between the formal and informal sector. We currently facilitate savings and we provide a group-based micro-credit product. This allows us to build a positive credit history and rating so that our customer have an opportunity to access more sophisticated products on the financial services continuum.

Spoon Money’s innovation can be described as a community finance model. We’re building towards a double-sided platform where on the one side we can offer our customers access to a catalogue of carefully curated products and services and on the other, provide the formal sector access to what is a hard-to-reach and largely invisible audience. For our customers these may be financial products, services like business training and formalized access to wholesalers and retailers. For the formal sector, we’re hoping to stimulate the development of products and services which are highly relevant and value-adding to this segment.

For now, our group-based credit product leverages stokvel practices characterized by trust, support, community-focus and social capital. Customers access this through our community-based agent network.
In terms of savings, we provide access to capital markets which our clients would otherwise have no way of accessing. We invest savings this into an accessible money market fund as well as and a long-term equity fund (for long-term wealth creation).
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Nicky Swartz
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Nicky Swartz CEO Self-motivated, diligent, hard-working, professional, active citizen, creative thinker, socially aware, ambitious