Internship posted by: Zidisha, Inc.
Posted on: September 19, 2013
World's first international peer-to-peer microfinance service has an opening for entrepreneurial intern(s) to achieve the following:
Zidisha Microfinance is the world's first direct peer-to-peer lending service to bridge the international wealth divide, allowing individuals in the US and internationally to lend to and communicate with borrowers in developing countries without local intermediaries. We've been featured in numerous press and media for our groundbreaking work in using internet and mobile phone technologies to connect entrepreneurs in some of the world's most isolated and impoverished places with the international peer-to-peer lending market.
Zidisha interns enjoy a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in microfinance and international development program management, while extending life-changing business growth opportunities to entrepreneurs in some of the the world's most disadvantaged locations. Interns spend the majority of their time meeting with Zidisha entrepreneurs at their business locations and homes rather than doing office work.
Please note that this is an unpaid, volunteer-based position, and all expenses incurred (airfare, lodging, local transport and communication) must be self-financed by the intern. Dates are flexible, with minimum duration of six weeks requested. Fluency in French is required for placement in Senegal.
Zidisha Client Relationship Interns are responsible for achieving the following seven objectives. The activities listed in bullet points under each responsibility are some of the means whereby interns achieve these objectives.
1. Clients have a good understanding of how Zidisha works and are able to interact independently with the website.
· Meet with current clients and applicants in their places of work. Discuss all of the information in the Zidisha Borrower Guide and explain the concept of P2P lending, how loans are financed, the performance rating system and the value of posting comments/engaging with lenders.
· Assist clients and applicants to learn to interact with the website including editing their profiles, uploading photos, posting comments, and viewing loan repayment status.
· Respond to telephone, SMS and email inquiries of clients. (Other staff may assist with this in countries where the volume of inquiries is large.)
2. Clients post frequent, engaging and informative content on their profile pages.
· Interview clients to get to know their businesses, and personal/family situation if they desire to share it. Visit business premises when possible, and homes if invited. Use this familiarity to suggest photographic and text content for client comment entries that would be engaging and interesting for lenders. Explain how international lenders value this content for the personal connection it allows between lenders and borrowers.
· Track the dates and content of comments posted by active clients, and follow up with clients to ensure that the majority post informative comments at least once per quarter. Provide direct, timely feedback each time a client posts a comment to help the client continue to improve comment quality.
· Work with clients to resolve any logistical or technical obstacles to posting comments.
3. Clients remain up to date with loan repayment schedules.
· Prevent any repayment problems before they occur by remaining engaged with current clients, checking in with them by telephone or in person to discuss how their businesses and families are faring, as regularly as feasible given the number of clients in each country.
· Work proactively with any clients who have experienced difficulty paying on time to find solutions for the barriers to timely repayment. If the client is experiencing a temporary cash flow interruption, invite him or her to propose a date by which he or she realistically expects to make up the missed payment. If circumstances have changed such that the original repayment schedule no longer fits the client's needs, work with him or her to propose an appropriate new repayment schedule.
4. New applicants successfully finance loans through Zidisha.
· Increase awareness of Zidisha by encouraging current clients to refer new applicants, enlisting the help of local volunteers to conduct outreach in their communities, and forging partnerships with local nonprofits, companies and other entities that have an interest in promoting Zidisha among their clientele.
· Meet with eligible loan applicants at their business locations. Provide applicant orientations covering material in Zidisha borrower guide. Assist applicants to create borrower profiles and applications, and provide continued support as loans are funded and disbursed.
· Review incoming loan applications for completeness, and work with applicants to complete their applications before forwarding to verification partners for activation.
5. Lenders are well informed of the use and impact of their loans.
· Following each visit to a Zidisha client, post a detailed, informative comment on the client's loan profile page, describing how the business works, impact of the loan, social value created, and something of the client's personality and life story.
6. Other staff and internship candidates can easily access relevant information.
· Maintain Activated Borrowers page on Zidsiha website up to date with detailed client addresses / directions to homes, date last visited and relevant notes.
· Maintain website Repayment Report up to date with current status of all loans in arrears.
· Record useful information and tips based on your experience in Zidisha staff wiki.
· Participate in orientation of new applicants and interns as requested.
7. Zidisha's lending services gain value as a result of your work with us.
· Collect borrower feedback, propose and where appropriate move forward with initiatives that improve the convenience, efficiency, social impact or other quality aspect of our lending operations.
· Sufficient past experience in developing countries that intern is able to manage his or her own work and transport logistics in destination country.
· Passion for our mission of advancing economic opportunities for marginalized communities.· High levels of personal integrity, honesty and responsibility.
· Exceptionally entrepreneurial and self-motivated, able to work independently and take initiative as necessary to achieve objectives.
· Strong interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity, discretion and mature judgment.
· Fluency in French is required for placement in Senegal.
Please send a letter explaining why you would be a good fit for this position to Julia Kurnia, Zidisha director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to those who are selected for an interview.