The financial system has failed most Americans by not providing returns or access to short term cash needs for everyday people. They’ve ignored our communities and our needs. So we created something different. Something more human. We went back to the basics, creating a community where people could support each other financially.
We call this community finance.
People should be able to help people. We should be able to transact with each other directly. And we should be able to benefit or profit from that. This concept is not new. It’s just not popular because it doesn’t profit those with economic power. We believe everyone has a right to support our fellow humans and benefit equally from the financial system. This is a human right. It should not be reserved for institutions or the wealthy. This is the core of SoLo. People helping people
We give power to the people. We built SoLo for radical transparency, starting with 100% voluntary fees for borrowing. Borrowing members set their own terms for their loans. They have complete control of every facet–from payment date to an optional tip for their lender. Our approach to transparency is also about giving people choices. Transparency and choice are key as communities are built on trust. And community is our platform, powered by the people we serve.
Optionality–choice–is SoLo. Our voluntary fee structure means there are no mandatory fees for receiving a loan. We’re the 1st platform of our kind to do this. Borrowing members choose to give a tip to their lender as a token of gratitude–or not. They choose to give a donation to SoLo to offset operational costs–or not. It’s not about the terminology, it’s about the control to make choices themselves. It’s exhilarating. This is radically different and should never be compared to the imposed fees that are associated with a traditional loan product (where APR is imposed by the lending institution and is a condition of receiving credit).
Community finance only works if the community has access to capital as well as ways to grow it. Most Americans not only lack access to emergency funds, they also lack access to grow the funds they do have. We’re giving people choices about where to put their dollar–and the ability to earn a competitive return. Lending members have control of when and how to deploy their money, based on what’s important to them. Whether a member chooses to lend altruistically or for a return–their money supports and benefits the community.
Where are we headed
Have you realized it yet? SoLo could be truly transformative, if the world is ready.
Let’s be real. Financial institutions have been massively discriminatory. We are at a tipping point. It’s inevitable that people will soon demand more control of their money and how to put their dollars to work.
We believe people, given intelligent tools, would ultimately make better, more impactful decisions regarding their funds. We believe humans are more empathic than the world has led us to believe. We believe that given the choice and opportunity, we innately want to do well and do good.
Eventually, it won’t be wise to seek a loan or return from an institution versus your community. People who could never access capital or reasonable returns will have an option through community finance. Global communities will flourish powered by other global communities as technology enables their connection where banks failed them.
We know this is going to take time–but not because people don’t deserve or desire this change now. It’s because the financial and regulatory systems weren’t designed for community, equality or you. They don’t believe in the people. They never have.
They are wrong. Community finance is working and SoLo is a success story. We are capable of achieving financial autonomy for ourselves. If you believe in that, please join our fight.