Paul Buchheit invests $100,000 in Zidisha loans

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Julia Kurnia, Mar 3, 2014.

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  1. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, announced today that he is partnering with Zidisha to finance up to $100,000 worth of loans for our member entrepreneurs.

    The funds will be distributed in amounts of $10 for every share, tweet or retweet linking to our website and using the #zidisha hashtag. Check out Paul Buchheit’s campaign announcement to learn more:

    We have a record number of fundraising applicants this week, and we need your help to ensure these funds get to them while spreading awareness of Zidisha.

    Here’s how to participate:
    1. Check out the fundraising loan projects at Zidisha and pick out an entrepreneur you think deserves support. Click on the entrepreneur’s photo to open his or her profile page.
    2. Click on the campaign banner at the top of the profile page to share the profile URL via Facebook or Twitter.
    3. Don’t forget to ask your friends to cast their votes as well.
  2. KirstenShute

    KirstenShute Gold Member


    Concerning Paul Buchheit's donation, I assume these are the funds being used for the $25 lender invite credit? The wording in the explanation section is a little confusing. It says:

    "Terms and Conditions

    Invite credits may only be used to make loans. They may not be withdrawn or used for gift cards. Repayments of loans made using invite credits will be credited back to the account of the donor who funded the invite credit program."

    First of all, I assume the "donor" means Mr. Buchheit and the "account" is his Zidisha lender account, but it doesn't say so directly, and the wording is a bit ambiguous. At first I thought it meant that the repaid funds would return to the lender doing the inviting.

    Second, I think it would be more of an incentive for people to accept invitations if the lending credit, once repaid, would go back to their own Zidisha accounts. Why do I think that? Because choice seems a big part of Zidisha: unlike non "peer to peer" microfinance platforms, people get to choose who they lend to. One person I invited expressed interest in being able to reinvest the starting credit, and I was a little disappointed to tell her she couldn't do that. I'm grateful for the donation and the initiative to attract new lenders, but I think it might be better explained (to the new invites and to the inviters) and possibly changed so that the repaid funds can return to the respective lender accounts. Thanks,

    Kirsten Shute
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
    K M and Wiredfox like this.
  3. Wiredfox

    Wiredfox Gold Member

    Yes, I was confused about this too...
  4. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi Kirsten and Wiredfox, thanks for this feedback.

    Currently, the invite program is being funded with a portion of the donation from Mr. Buchheit. We did not specify that in the "How it works" page because it is likely that other donors will someday join in supporting the invite program.

    The reason repayments are returned to the donation account is to make those funds available for other lenders to participate in the invite program. The intent is not to financially compensate anyone for participating in the program, but rather to provide a risk-free way to try out the Zidisha lending experience, and to provide additional credit to support one's chosen entrepreneurs. Our concern was that if we were to distribute the credit as cash to the invite program participants, the funds would quickly be used up, providing a temporary influx of capital in our lending platform at the cost of making the invite program unavailable in the future.

    Based on your feedback, we've edited the "How it works" page to make it clearer that repayments do not go back to the individual lenders. That paragraph now reads as follows:

    "Invite credits may only be used to make loans. They may not be withdrawn or used for gift cards. Unlike self-funded Zidisha loans, repayments of loans funded with invite credits are not credited to individual lending accounts, but are instead credited back to the account of the donor(s) who funded the invite credit program, in order to allow other lenders to participate in the program."
  5. KirstenShute

    KirstenShute Gold Member

    First of all, I'm sorry for sounding self-righteous and grumpy last time I wrote. At that point I was a bit frustrated that the lender credit hadn't been an incentive for anybody I know to join. It makes sense that the $25 can't be withdrawn, or else you'd just have people taking away money, but I still think it would be a better incentive if the money could return to the lender's own Zidisha account as a special non-withdrawable fund. Then again, I know almost nothing about website programming and I imagine this might be a challenge. All in all, I should be a bit humbler :)

    - when did that happen? Am I missing something?
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