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Using peer-to-peer lending to support smallholder farmers all over the world

Topic Type: 


I want to start a discussion about using peer-to-peer lending to support smallholder farmers all over the world.  Why?

  • To give people like me a chance to make a real difference in the world while making a good return on our investments.
  • Because P2P lending is the best investment opportunity the middle class has ever had.
  • Because I believe trickle-down economics is destabilizing the world and I want to turn the tide.
  • Because poverty is bad.
  • Because small-holder farmers are hardworking people who just need the right tools to grow.
  • Because I believe the technology exists and if we can just get a crowd behind it, we can make impact-first peer-to-peer lending a powerful force in bettering the world.


Why use P2P lending to support small holder farmers in particular?


I believe in bottom up economics. (The opposite of trickle-down economics.)  Local entrepreneurs can develop local solutions to many of the world’s problems, but they need viable markets to grow their businesses in and markets are built on buyers, who have to have money to buy.

Approximately 1.5 billion people around the world are smallholder farmers.  They include 75% of the world’s poorest people but are also some of its hardest working.  I believe that, despite the incredible growth and innovation in other industries, “agriculture remains the best opportunity for…smallholder households to escape poverty.  Studies show that income growth generated by agriculture is up to four times more efficient in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors (Growth Commission, 2008).” By increasing the income generated and retained on small farms, we will not only help 75% of the world’s poorest escape poverty, but also help secure humanity’s future food supply, promote bio-diversity and encourage widespread economic growth.

  • By building the buying power at the bottom of the pyramid, we will generate markets for local entrepreneurs.
  • By increasing the retained income of farm families, we will promote education by enabling them to pay school fees.
  • By increasing the retained income of farm families, we will promote health care by enabling them to pay health service fees.
  • By connecting farm families with the knowledge and power of the internet, we will promote a new generation of global entrepreneurs.


There are a lot of issues to consider in extending P2P lending to the world’s smallholder farmers and I would like to build a community of people interested in discussing them and brainstorming practical solutions for opening up this powerful new capital market.


Please join the conversation by visiting https://www.causes.com/campaigns/100497-talk-about-impact-first-peer-to-peer-lending or emailing me at brianpowell@i1p2p.com.


Interested but not entirely sure what I am talking about?  Check out these websites for a bit of background and inspiration:


Microfinance:  https://www.kiva.org/about/microfinance


Peer-to-peer lending: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-income-investors-should-consider-peer-to-peer-lending-2015-12-29 and http://peerfinance101.com/list-peer-to-peer-online-loans-sites/


Impact-first investing:  http://www.trilincglobal.com/trilinc-blog/impact-investing/


Smallholder farmers:  http://www.cgap.org/news/new-cgap-report-smallholder-diaries



I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!  And please pass this along to any of your friends that might be interested.


Best regards,