Updated: Jun 13, 2020
SoLo Funds, founded by Travis Holoway, is a mobile microlending platform that connects lenders and borrowers to provide more affordable access to loans under $1,000. When you hear the term “microlending” you may think of small numbers. However, that is the power of community! SoLo Funds reached $2 million in loan transactions within 11 months. Travis decided to pursue the idea for SoLo Funds due to symptoms of “black debt.” As a college educated and employed adult, he often got requests to borrow money from family and friends. They were usually for small amounts. However, this pattern can put barriers on the lender's ability to save and invest-- necessities for building wealth. Additionally, this process is a short term solution if the borrower continues to return with more requests.
Besides borrowing from family and friends, payday lenders are another popular option for microloans in the Black community. Yet these loans can have interest rates that average 300-500%. These payday lenders are usually in inner cities and rural communities that are unbanked or underbanked. SoLo Funds is an affordable alternative where you can decide your interest rate.
Not only are they known for high interests rates but additionally they have long lines. Travis explains how a lack of time time is a symptom of systematic oppression as he stated,
One way I realized that Black people have continued to be oppressed is in the time that we waste.
As Travis also mentioned the long lines at payday lender can also be found at the free clinic and check cashing services. The individuals who make the choice to wait in these lines often don’t have another option. Having choice is an important aspect to financial freedom and Travis created more for the communities that face this problem everyday.
So, how does bringing things mobile change this?
The payday lender is a “convenient” option because it is right there in your neighborhood. However, what if it was in your pocket and you could have access to loans anywhere in the world. Now, the need for this is even more prevalent. Since Covid-19 started, SoLo Funds has seen a 57% increase in revenue. Travis explains this as
[We are] Providing a resource that did not exist before we were there. There was no place else where you could create your own terms as a borrower and borrow more affordable than ever and you can do so from a mobile device.
SoLo Funds allows you to gain emergency capital as an individual. This is also a common need for businesses. Start preparing and protecting your business by joining our savings club. You will save and grow an emergency savings account with 4 other founders while gaining the skills and connections you need to scale. Apply to today!