Andre Voisin, founder of Partnerhand, explains why the business should win the Startup of the Year category of the Guardian Small Business Showcasecompetition:
Partnerhand is the UK’s first online platform which facilitates the formation of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCA’s) allowing individuals to access interest-free loans and reach saving goals.
Our story has been in the making since 2010 when we filed our patent on the business method and painstakingly developed the business.
Since last year, having received a seed investment from VC firm Evertices Ventures, we have grown a team of one to a team of six and have just closed a partnership with the founders of 2WLS.com. This has enabled us to enter the Moroccan market, where ROSCA’s are used offline by over 6 million unbanked individuals.
We are also in the process of closing a deal with an NGO backed company in Colombia to reach a market of 9 million Village Saving Loan Association’s (VSLA). We predict 2016 to be the year of microfinance in the UK, with Partnerhand leading the charge.
All entries which meet the competition criteria are published and our judging panel select a shortlist of the top three for each category. Winners are announced at an awards ceremony in summer 2016.