#SocialLender #Nigeria56 Independence Challenge


#SocialLender #Nigeria56 Independence Challenge.

Post a Picture in your Nigerian Traditional Attire to Social Lender Page.

1. Generate a customised display picture in your Nigerian traditional attire at sociallender.circleng.com.

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#SocialLender #Selfiechallenge on Facebook

We are  currently running #SocialLender #SelfieChallenge on our Facebook Page. It will run till September 15th and the Selfie with the most number of likes will win the prize.

It is easy to enter. Just submit a cool group selfie with friends and post it as a comment below the post on the Social Lender Facebook Page.


You can submit an entry by visiting: http://www.bit.ly/sociallenderselfiechallenge

We have seen some amazing entries. Will yours be one of them?

Social Lender BBC News Feature: How your social media reputation could secure you a loan –

directiona_1Social Lender was featured in the BBC news feature article with the title “How your social media reputation could secure you a loan”.

Find below some excerpts

“For example, Nigeria’s Social Lender looks at borrowers’ social media profiles to assess their creditworthiness.

One of the issues lenders face is that it is near impossible to obtain adequate data about people, particularly in rural areas. So mobile and web are proving useful ways of gathering it.

Social Lender uses its own algorithm to assign a “social reputation score” to each user, with “social guarantors” acting like referees validating their trustworthiness.

As the youth-orientated website strapline has it: “Get rep, get cash, stay fly”.

“The solution is designed to bridge the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal credit,” says co-founder Faith Adesemowo.”


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Start-up snapshot: Get a loan based on your social media reputation

Bade and Faith - Social Lender


Nigerian lending platform Social Lender allows users to access small amounts of credit based on their social media reputation, bypassing traditional means of getting a loan.

The aim is to license the technology to banks and financial institutions, which then incorporate it into their own brands. As of now it has only been licensed to Nigeria’s Sterling Bank.

By way of its own proprietary algorithm, it assigns a social reputation score (SRS) to each client – which determines creditworthiness and whether they are eligible for a loan or not. The SRS is based on a client’s information available on social media platforms. Users can also submit additional ‘social collateral’ to up their SRS.

Co-founders Bade Adesemowo and Faith Adesemowo provided How we made it in Africa with a brief overview of their business operations.

1. How did you finance your start-up?

We bootstrapped to start and, months later, made our first sale to Sterling Bank Nigeria by way of licensing the solution. [We also received funding from] Barclays Bank (ABSA) and the Techstars Accelerator.

2. If you were given US$1m to invest in your company now, where would it go?

We are looking to scale very rapidly in Nigeria, South Africa and across the rest of Africa. The funding would go to adding more data points to the system, hiring more developers and improving the platform.

3. What risks does your business face?

Unsecured lending typically sees about 10-15% default rate and so managing this risk is a major challenge.

4. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

Online marketing via social media and various online portals.

5. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

Signing the commercial contract with our first partner bank.

6. What has been your biggest mistake? 

Allowing only the licensed financial institutions to run and manage the marketing communication of Social Lender.

Source: How we made it In Africa

Accessing micro-credit is faster, easier and flexible with Social Lender


Accessing small personal loans in Nigeria from the traditional financial institutions has always been a challenge for many people. However, with wider mobile penetration, small finance institutions are providing innovative solutions to people. Faith Adesemowo, executive director of Social Lender spoke to FRANK ELEANYA concerning the innovative service the start-up provides to individuals. 

What do you do with social lender?

Social Lender is an online platform to give access to financial institutions and banks to be able to reach certain demography of people who otherwise will not have access to funds. It makes use of a unique algorithm that calculates and put together a digital fingerprint, which can be used to access formal credit. It is just like your credit card system. Credit cards are not readily available to a large population in Nigeria but we have come up with an alternative way of accessing formal credit using social and digital frameworks.

Who are the specific people?

We are talking about people who are banked but do not have access to what we call the credit card. We are talking about people who need urgent money for emergency and will not be able to ask their banks for it. Definitely, the financial institutions will ask for collateral and we are providing different collateral. With your digital fingerprint you can now access a bank credit.

What criteria do you employ when considering someone for credit?

We take into consideration the digital print. We have access points, one being social media, we are including mobile data and we put together all of these. Over 70 factors go into our algorithm. Our algorithm is able to calculate what we call the social reputation score. The social reputation score is based on what the algorithm has been able to calculate from the users’ digital fingerprint. We are going to include machine learning in the coming months

What is the process?

What a user will typically do is- I need N10, 000 in the middle of the night, because we do only micro-lending, I will simply go on the platform. I will log in via my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. At the backend, the algorithm will audit and give a reputation score. The way it works is that, we are not the lender; we are just the platform that gives the access. What happens is that whichever financial institution is on board, I as a user can queue my financial institution and then proceed to request for cash. Every user can choose whatever bank they are comfortable with. The bank we have on our platform is Sterling Bank Plc. We have some major banks that will be coming on board very soon. As for the social reputation score on which the loans are giving out is a business rule for the financial institutions. Each financial institution agrees what social reputation score loans are to be given. The score ranges from 0 percent to 100 percent. If you have a score from 15% upwards, you can access credit.

How can a user build social reputation score?

As you get on the platform and audit is performed, what the audit is looking at is  your communication. Of course your account should have been over a year old, an audit would not be done unless the account is over a year old. What we do first is to make sure that this account is more than a year old. Then we look at the digital fingerprints. We look at your network and how many people are in contact with you. Basically we try to get as much information as possible. The beautiful thing about social lender is that we are a community-based platform. You can actually determine how much access we get. You can give us access to your friends, your wall; you will choose how much access you will give to the platform. After giving all of that access, you still have a score of 10 percent. The next is to introduce someone as a social guarantor. What the social guarantor does is to digitally guarantee your loan. No social guarantor can guarantee all the money; it has to be spread among different people. Like we said, we are making communities depend on each other and trust each other. We are bringing the financial institutions and communities together. When you add up social guarantor unto the platform, automatically your score will improve. With a social guarantor you are more than likely to access your credit.

Do you often deal with issues concerning privacy?

The truth is that you have to give us access. You log on to the system and there are terms and conditions you are meant to read and accept. We do not violate your privacy. We give you the box and you tick to grant access to social lender.

Is the platform open to small businesses?

We will definitely get there someday. The platform is relatively new; we are just over a year now. We want to be able to understand the system better. We also want to add things like machine learning and add more data point to give us a more robust view of what the demography is. To be honest, some SMEs are already there. We have a lot of testimonials. We have feedback. We are able to see what users want to use the money for and we have verified testimonials- people who have actually started businesses like a recharge card business. Whatever N10, 000 can do for you. We are looking to increase the maximum limit that will be dependent on a lot of factors.

How quick is it?

Honestly from the point of application, typically ten minutes. The only thing that will lengthen the time will be for first time users. During registration we need to be able to get your details, your bank account and so on. The registration process might typically depend on how fast the customer is, one hour. Subsequently you can just send SMS, USSD and 5 other channels to access cash after getting a reputation score

What role does the guarantor play in the case of a bad loan?

There is a message we sent to you clearly defining what a guarantor is. Should any default happen the guarantor bears some of the burden. There are two people, there is the social guarantor and there is the social referee. The social referee simply says, “I know this fellow, I have no obligations whatsoever.” For the social guarantor, in case he does not pay the money “I am willing to stand surety for him.”

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate is largely dependent on the financial institution that is involved. Sterling Bank will do about ten percent. Most financial institutions will do between five percent and ten percent. It is a business rule and it depends on how they want to go about it.

Have you had a default?

One amazing thing about the social lender is that we have able been to manage our default rate to at least five percent

How to Use Social Lender


Getting cash has never been this easy, just 3 simple steps based on your Social Reputation; 1. Connect with Facebook or Twitter, 2. Apply for cash and, 3. Get your cash fast. #SocialLender #BeCashful

Nigeria’s Social Lender set to launch in South Africa

Faith Speaking at Barclays Techstar Demo DaySocial Lender will be launching in the coming month in South Africa. This announcement was delivered by Faith Adesemowo, CEO of Social Lender during the Barclays Techstars Demo Day presentation in Cape Town.

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Keeping children in nursery school

The launch of the PEP Academy at Muzomuhle School in Umlazi, March 15, 2010. Picture by Rogan Ward
When Balogun Idowu’s seventh loan application had been denied he was desperate for help but had no one to turn to.
Even though I do not have a negative credit reputation I do not have a credit record. I also do not own property, which counted against me,” said Idowu.
Idowu continued to search on the Internet and came across Social Lender, a lending platform that determines credit worthiness on the basis of social reputation on social media platforms. “For the first time it did not matter if I did not have a credit record, own a property or receive a high income every month – I could loan money because I had a good social reputation on Facebook and Twitter,” said Idowu.
He immediately applied for a microloan in order to settle his child’s school fees balance. “Social Lender saved me a lot of embarrassment when I urgently needed to settle my child’s nursery school fees. If I did not pay the outstanding N10 000 my child would have had to leave the school,” said Idowu. He said that it only took him a few minutes to apply for the loan and less then a day to receive the money into his account.
If it was not for Social Lender my son would probably have been at home now and not in nursery school,” Idowu added. He said Social Lender has helped him through a few family emergencies when he needed money urgently.
The platform’s website is very simple and easy to use. I also like the SMS and email alert a week before I have to make a repayment.” Idowu said that he was very grateful to Social Lender for giving him access to microloans and for the organisation’s great service. “I want to thank Sterling Bank for bringing Social Lender to low income earners. The service saved me and my family so many times,” he added.

Social Lender gives Sterling Bank access to new client base


Granting micro-loans based on social reputation has given Sterling Bank in Nigeria access to a new, previously unexplored, channel of customers in the youth demography through social media. This is according to Chimaobi Nwaokoma, head of Branding and Communication at Sterling Bank.

Nwaokoma is satisfied with the method used by Social Lender to provide a Social Reputation Score for potential clients by leveraging from data provided on social media and the Internet. Kelvin Igbodo, Head of Strategy and Communications at Sterling Bank, adds that this new channel of customers proved to be trustworthy in faithfully paying back their loans.

“By using Social Lender we are now reaching out to a younger audience that do not have a credit record and sufficient data to be granted a loan through our normal loan application process. We are now able to reach out to people we have never been able to reach before,” said Kelvin.

Since Sterling Bank partnered with Social Lender two years ago they have gained 200 regular customers that would not have been granted a loan in the past. So far the bank has received over 1700 micro-loan requests through social media, which have been successfully screened by Social Lender. Nwaokoma explains that the processing of these micro-loans can be done over a very short period of time, enabling the bank to grant loans faster and to grant more loans.

“Our normal bank loans takes a week and longer to approve, depending on the type of loan. Social Lender loans are normally granted in less than an hour, but no longer than a day.”

Nwaokoma said using social reputation to grant micro-loans helps Sterling Bank to communicate more innovatively.

“Social Lender is adding value to the Sterling Bank by enhancing new innovative partnerships with clients,” said Nwaokoma.

“Our banks even won innovation awards because of Social Lender,” Nwaokoma added.

Nwaokoma said that using social reputation to grant or reject loans has worked with this product and the level of risk involved.

“Social Lender’s service is definitely adding a lot of value to our bank overall.”


Welcome to Social Lender – the blog

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