Distance Should Not Be a Barrier to Access & Opportunity.
At Cycle Connect, we are all about connecting our clients with the necessary tools to propel forward out of poverty. We do this through our loan cycles of productive assets that are proven to increase income for the farmers we work with. 82% of Ugandans, who are primarily farmers, rely on informal networks for credit. Cycle Connect is changing the landscape of financing in East Africa by creating access and opportunity for those living in the last mile.
Cycle Connect operates on the principle that distance should not be a barrier to access and opportunity. Cycle Connect is breaking the traditional microfinance model by going to where our customers are, evaluating them differently, interacting with them differently, and collecting from them differently. Cycle Connect, formerly Bicycles Against Poverty, began as a lease-to-own bicycle organization with the mission of improving rural livelihoods and creating access to critical resources.
Today, our social enterprise has grown our portfolio to include multiple productive assets, which allow our clients to continuously invest in their future and to propel forward.
We work on a solution
Productive asset-financing an impact-oriented company, our loans are purposefully designed with the benefit to our customers at the core. While other financial institutions prioritize profit, we focus on giving loans that have a direct impact on the farmer’s ability to increase income over time, using products that are fully vetted, tested, and piloted. A key element of our product offering is a fully guided experience. Our staff is hands-on throughout the entire process – from initial introduction through sales to asset delivery and training.
Last mile access
We have a deep understanding of the context in which we work, giving us the ability to offer financial products that meet the unique needs of our customers. A large majority are deep rural, with limited means of accessing traditional financial services. So our customer service model is fully focused on going to them – which means getting to know their community, collecting payments in-person, hand-delivering the assets, and being present to train and troubleshoot.
Low barrier loan terms
We’ve devised our terms and conditions to respond to the unique needs of our deep-rural customers. This means our initial down payment requirements, repayment schedules, and collateral needs are all designed to responsibly lower the adoption threshold so more farmers can access our income-producing assets.
We work with the Cycle Connect Innovations Department
All of our products are vetted and tested for their ability to increase income by the Cycle Connect Innovations Department.
A bicycle loan allows our clients to go farther to access critical resources such as water, education, and healthcare. With a bicycle, a client can carry 5x more crops, go 4x the distance, and increase their income by 35%.
Oxen & Plow
An oxen & plow loan allows our clients to till twice the amount of land in half the amount of time. Not only can a loan help save on oxen rental fees, but the client is able to rent out his fleet with a profit of $550 per year for rental only.
A motorcycle loan allows our clients to go farther and faster than ever before. With a motorcycle, our clients can carry more, save on travel costs, and increase their income through using the boda as a taxi company.
A grinding machine loan is a great business investment for our clients who want to start a business. The grinding machine increases income for the client and their family while also creating access for a whole community.
We work with cycles of investment
Cycle Connect is challenging the traditional microfinance model by going to where our customers are, evaluating them differently, interacting with them differently, and collecting from them differently.
- Last Mile Outreach
- Traditional finance experiences a significant drop when it comes to clients accessing their products. Cycle Connect's last mile accessibility keeps the saturation rate higher. We go the distance to find our customers, whether it is 5km or 70km.
- Innovative Appraisals
- Cycle Connect uses the asset as the collateral, reducing the barrier to entry and leaning into our client's loss aversion complex. We appraise the client as a farmer and give great weight to qualitative variables, such as community interactions.
- Due to our unique approval process, we have a higher approval rate than traditional microfinance institutions causing a higher saturation rate from base of the pyramid borrowers.
- Trainings are a crucial part of the Cycle Connect model, creating sustainability and generating the highest level of impact. Upon receiving the product, customers are trained by our loan officers on financial literacy, the loan agreement, savings, and product care.
- Flexible Repayments
- Cycle Connect offers farmer financing-- using farmer income as the basis of repayments instead of a rigid structure. We also tap into existing behavior of regularly scheduled community meetings to optimize payments.
- Further Investment
- At the end of our loan cycle, the product has helped to increase income for the client, and they can move on to further invest in productive assets from Cycle Connect's portfolio.
- Africa | Middle