We’re on a roll about investing in women! So how does an oppressed and under-served population get funding to launch a business? Atikus Insurance may be able to help.
The company, founded with the goal of unlocking the economic potential of underserved people by providing them with equal opportunities to commercial loans, gives financial institutions the incentives and insurance they need to make loans to under-served populations with a particular emphasis on female entrepreneurs.
According to the company’s website, Atikus underwrites and insures loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises, using their J.E.M. Guard product and unique LoanSkout mobile application. They combine a proven insurance model with dynamic mobile technology, revolutionary data analytics, innovative financial literacy training, and a dedicated focus on gender equality. The goal is to help banks worldwide mitigate risk so they will extend a greater number of loans to under-served entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Founded by Kate Woska and Shane Fuhrman, the inspiration for the company stemmed from Woska’s travels in Africa. She observed many talented men & women with innovative business ideas that could lift them out of poverty and improve their communities. But there was no way for these individuals to get the capital they needed to finance their businesses. This fueled Woska’s mission to create a new model for lending to qualified but overlooked individuals, and at the same time ease worry for the lender.
Atikus is among the 20 world’s hottest startups according to MSNBC, and many believe that this socially focused company has the potential to be a “game-changer” in Africa, especially for women entrepreneurs. They’ll be testing this innovative business model in Rwanda later this year.
We look forward to following Atikus and seeing the impact they have for entrepreneurs in Rwanda and beyond. Take a look at their website and stay tuned to the next phase of this “HOT” company!