Rent-to-Own was recently featured in an article on Forbes.com. The article submitted by Ashoka, highlights Engineers Without Borders Canada, and their support for “Smart Ventures” such as Rent-to-Own.
“As part of EWB’s poverty alleviation efforts, trained engineers collaborate with social entrepreneurs working on the ground to make a difference in their communities. Many of these entrepreneurs are beyond the initial start-up phase, but have not yet reached a point where they can scale-up and attract large investors—Roter terms this the “pioneer stage.” The work of EWB allows people at the pioneer stage to develop strategic and manageable growth within their organizations, which will allow them to develop into large-scale mechanisms for social change.
Rent-to-Own, for example, is a current for-profit venture incubated by EWB. It was founded by a Canadian EWB overseas volunteer and a Zambian coworker and provides alternative asset-based financing to rural Zambian entrepreneurs. The program allows entrepreneurs like Patricia, the baker with “the best buns in Katete,” to make a 10 percent down payment on new equipment, then pay the remainder of the cost in 10 monthly installments. Rent-to-Own is a “smart venture” because it serves a unique niche of developing entrepreneurs who cannot access traditional financing, nor microfinance, in addition to representing an unprecedented alternative to business development within Zambian communities.”
You can find the full article HERE.