Author(s): Nilesh Maurya
Start-up culture has picked up in India for over a past decade. But not all startups have been able to impact the economy with their corporate philosophy or have had a social impact, relevance, and fe asibility. It's hard to find a startup that is really doing something unique and making a difference. The rarest of rare being the one that is equally running a business and is also having a social impact. Is there any? Yes, there is one – Milaap- a crowdfunding platform that runs programmes for micro-funding and donation for personal causes. Imagine a young kid gets diagnosed of a rare heart disease and requires a few lakhs to get operated upon the kid's mother has a small time job of a receptionist in a small organization and her husband does an odd plumbing job. With no savings- a situation of crises strikes the family. The only options in this scenario are to approach family and friends which may help but only hampering their social lives or move to small-time money lenders which is a common source of borrowing – risking her collateral and being buried under the vicious cycle of interest payments which are as high as 50-60%. No banks or financial institution would help her due to here low income and inadequate paperwork. Anyone of us could be in this situation. Now imagine the same in a digitally connected world, where the mother can create an online donation webpage within a few minutes, send her appeal to others, and start raising funds. People can donate and share the campaign on social media with just a click. That ease-of-use, propagation on social media, and one tap donations on a phone can get the mothers appeal to strangers across the world. Milaap has innovatively put the globally famous business model of Crowdfunding to providing basic loans for grassroots projects and also helps families raise money for situations through donations.- A rare combination of business where “For -Profit” and “Not-For-Profit “ go hand in hand over the same platform. With four years into Milaap and micro lending through crowdfunding, Milaap launched a Milaap 2.0 (also referred as “Milaap You”) where it began crown funding for personal causes.