The EDGE Fund

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The EDGE Fund

Minna, Nigeria
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The EDGE Fund assists and encourage rural and semi-urban micro and small women enterprises which have practically been neglected by commercial banks and micro finance institution with high interest savings account, collateral free soft loans between US$125 to US$1,250 and a credit life insurance

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

A cursory look at our communal families shows that women bear more daily family responsibilities yet they are not encouraged. Polygamy as widely practiced in this State has compounded the problem as more women are left with little or nothing to provide food for the children. more worrisome is that our conventional banks focuses more attention on men to advance credits and when the man dies, the banks go after their wives to recover their loans.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The EDGE Fund gives high priority to women. 100 per cent of The EDGE Fund's borrowers are women. The EDGE Fund works to raise the status of poor women in their families by giving them ownership of assets. It makes sure that the ownership of the assets acquired with The EDGE FUND loans remain with the borrowers, i.e., the women. However, in case of death of a borrower, The Fund system does not require the family of the deceased to pay back the loan. There is a built-in insurance programme which pays off the entire outstanding amount with interest. No liability is transferred to the family. So the economic and social status of the rural women are transformed!
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

According to US National Center for Women and Retirement Research: women are expected to live 7-10 years longer than men and must provide for those extra years and 90% of these women will have sole responsibility for their finances within their lifetimes; yet 79% of women have not planned for this. Approximately 7 out of 10 women will at some time live in poverty and of the elderly living in poverty, 3 out of 4 were women; and 80% of the women were not poor when their husbands were alive. In Niger State these women with no formal education nor proper business training or experience go out to support the family through their businesses. Banks avoid this segment of 'high risk' customers but they have never defaulted on loans granted to them.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The EDGE Fund was started in April 2013 with a capital of US$3,125 disbursed as a loan to 17 women engaged in micro and small enterprises on a 12 weeks tenure with no requirement for collateral and guarantor and it was paid back in full and on the date it was expected. Today, more than 162 women are accessing The EDGE Fund loan and these borrowers have also imbibed themselves with the savings culture and their savings are growing at 1.5% on weekly basis. Each savings account is given a month-end interest of 6% while the loan is offered to them at 9%. Apart from that, The Fund has a package called TARGET Account which helps these women to acquire business assets to enhance their business if they can save 60% total cost for the equipment and the equipment is purchased for them. Within the first 12 months we hope to reach out to 850 women with a loan value of US$187,500

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The EDGE Fund believes that all human beings, including the poorest, are endowed with endless potential. The objective is to bring financial services to the poor, particularly women help them develop a savings culture with us which is loaned to other members. The weekly repayment plan is designed in such a way that each week a borrower makes a savings into her account in that way The Fund has money to revolve around to other members

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The EDGE Fund methodology is almost the reverse of the conventional banking methodology. Conventional banking is based on the principle that the more you have, the more you can get. In other words, if you have little or nothing, you get nothing. As a result, more than half the population of the Nigeria is deprived of the financial services of the conventional banks. Conventional banking is based on collateral, The Fund system is designed in a way that members can open savings account and access the collateral- free soft loan without any advance charges or fees or deposits.

Founding Story

Growing up, i have never been attracted to 9 to 5 work whether for the multinational or local company. i have always wanted to own a business where i will employ people and create wealth. Many years down the road i finally establish my business through nerve breaking challenges and after three years into the business i could not still find happiness nor satisfaction that once pushed me through thick and thin. i was doing business and my company was growing her profit margins and achieving set targets yet something was missing. One day, by chance i happen to experience the tremendous and miraculous effects of what a US$30 bill can do to struggling enterprise managed by a woman that i decided to found The EDGE Fund to help these women


Okey Esse's picture

We are empowering rural women to become formidable business entrepreneurs through The EDGE Fund and we are hopeful that this community shall provide us with the platform to launch our Project to more deserving communities through networking with partners and stakeholders.

The idea is good but please tell how you will reach that

Okey Esse's picture

We use our staff to identify these enterprising women most especially in rural community, train them on effective daily micro savings and at the end offer them soft loan to enhance their business