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RangDe.Org: India's virtual 'grameen' bank
A non-profit organisation called RangDe is helping many poor households raise small loans for employment and businesses. Anyone can become a social investor on the site and help people in need, while earning an interest of 3.5 per cent per annum
INDIA’S FIRST peer to peer microlending site, RangDe.Org has been recently launched with a mission to make low cost microcredit a reality. RangDe.Org believes that affordable microcredit can help people get the much needed financial support to break the cycle of poverty. One can become a social investor on RangDe.Org by investing Rs 500. A Rang De social investor will get back this money at the end of the loan tenure and earn a return of 3.5 per cent per annum in addition to the social return of having made a sustainable difference.

According to Smita Ram, co-founder and chief executive officer, RangDe.Org, “Microlending stimulates job creation, poverty alleviation and grass-root economic development. Even if 10 million people pledge to make a loan - (a loan and not a donation) of Rs 500 every month, we can reach out to thousands of entrepreneurs in a sustainable manner.”

Through our peer to peer microlending platform RangDe.Org has managed to raise loans for 281 borrowers in three states and disbursed Rs 17,89,000. For instance, Pushpa runs a petty shop in Nagpur, Maharashtra. She wanted a loan to give her shop a face lift and also buy more products for her shop. She got a loan of Rs 5,000 through the social investors of RangDe.Org. Ever since she got the loan, there has been no looking back for her. Her repayments have been coming on time and she does wish that she had received a larger loan so that she could have done a lot more.

Rang De began with a basic tenet that not everybody needs charity. Borrowers on Rang De are people from Indian villages and semi urban areas, who have limited access to financial credit and products. The RangDe site features a range of businesses, from cycle repair shops to rural artisans to dairy products. A social investor can now easily connect with a rural entrepreneur and become instrumental in bringing about a change.

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