Lessons learnt during the visit:
- Ponture has no financial backing and has found it hard to get support from financial institutions. Microlux hooked up with a bank (BNP) already at an early stage and has got its continuous support. However, this also means that Microlux needs to comply with the bank’s internal rules and regulations, and time consuming administration. Our takeaway was that it would also for us be beneficial to have a strong financial institutions backing us but it may also hamper our ability to further our mission and purpose, and may drive costs.
- Microlux is running its operations with a small team of three and at least partly got it financed with grants. We have in the past considered how various organizations may have an interest in supporting both a consultancy arm and a finance arm of Ponture and part of that concept could also be grants for the loan operations
- Compliance is a critical area which Microlux appears to have been at least to some extent covered thank to BNP while we will need to build our own compliance or think about how to “outsource”
- Ponture has in the past largely made a credit assessment based on public data, credit scores and information provided in loan application. Microlux appears to have a much more personal and close approach to the applicants with interviews and exchange of information before a loan is granted. Although Microlux’ method is time consuming, it seems much more effective for purpose of assessment and also ensure a personal commitment by the applicant/borrower.
- There are applications available based on Salesforce on which the accounting and reporting may be effectively run.