Do I have to have a Deki account to sponsor a community group?
Yes, in order to sponsor a community group you need to create an online account with Deki. It is easy and takes only a few minutes.
What if I have an existing Deki Lender account?
If you have an existing Deki lending account, please respond to the email that was sent to you on 6th June regarding the change to the new Deki sponsorship model. We will then set up a new account for you on the sponsorship platform and transfer any credit that you have in your account.
What is the new Deki model?
- After a decade of Deki, we decided to change the Deki model from loans from individuals to individuals, to sponsorship of community saving groups.
- Through the new model, Deki supporters will be able to sponsor a community group. 100% of the sponsorship will go to support your chosen group and it will be used to fund micro-loans, deliver training and monitor impact. The loans will be managed by Deki’s Field Partners.
- Individual entrepreneurs who are part of the group are able to access micro-loans, coupled with business and social training, just like before. They repay their loans to the Field Partners, who use the money to fund other loans for the group and deliver essential training to help the whole community to work their way out of poverty. The repayments are not returned to Deki Sponsors, rather they are recycled in-country.
What are the key changes?
- Deki supporters will be Sponsors of community groups instead of individual entrepreneurs directly and will not be repaid their funds.
- The loans will not come back to the UK. They will instead stay in the country that the loan was given. Our Field Partners will use repayments to fund more lending. Members of lending groups will receive 5 to 6 loans over 2-3 years. They will be able to apply to Deki for top loans as they grow.
- Sponsorships are considered donations to Deki, enabling Deki to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations. This helps Deki cover costs of managing our Field Partner relationships without relying on additional fundraising from our supporters.
- Instead of following individual entrepreneurs’ progress, Deki sponsors will receive regular updates on the progress of the whole community group, including training received, loan cycles completed, etc. Sponsors will receive individual entrepreneur success stories via the Deki newsletter.
What is a community savings group?
A village, or community savings group is a group of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. The group is set up to provide simple savings and loan facilities in a community that does not have easy access to formal financial services.
Why are you changing the Deki model?
In 2018 Deki completed a full Field Partner and lender audit. It highlighted issues with our Field Partner management process, including how repayments are returned to Deki (and therefore our lenders).
As a conclusion to this audit we had to exit some of our historic partnerships to protect lender funds. Deki has also struggled, like many other UK charities in the past few years, with our fundraising for our operational costs. This is because we have maintained our 100% model of sending all lender funds to our Field Partners and relied on charitable donations, such as ‘at check-out’ donations, fundraising campaigns, raffles and annual appeals among other things, to cover the cost of loan delivery.
The original Deki model was set up 10 years ago to manage a small number of loans and was no longer financially viable for Deki. It required us to use an expensive online platform that allowed the flow of the loans from the UK to Field Partners, to entrepreneurs and back again. It included high costs of money transfer in both directions as well as accounting for some volatile exchange rate fluctuations.
By developing the new Deki model, we align more with the way our Field Partners operate (working with existing village savings associations in communities) as well as removing the need to transfer the funds back to the UK and recycle it in country instead.
Why is this model better?
- Previously Deki lent peer to peer and relied on donations to cover loan delivery costs. With the new model, each sponsorship can be considered a donation to Deki, which enables Deki to claim Gift Aid from the UK government. This will enable Deki to cover its operating cost at no extra cost to our supporters.
- We will continue to raise funds from trusts and foundations towards programmes that we are working on with our field partners (such as providing healthcare insurance, or developing a disability network) to improve financial resilience for the communities we work in.
- The Deki lending model was very complex and we had struggled with Field Partners repaying money to Deki.
- We had to exit field partners due to our lack of success to secure money repaid by entrepreneurs to them. We have now introduced a new Tiered Field Partner Management process (developed in collaboration with Turner & Townsend) that will enable us to manage our partnerships with much more clarity and transparency, from recruitment to exit.
- While withdrawal has been available to lenders, very small number of our lenders requested their money to be withdrawn. While this meant that Lenders were able to relend to other entrepreneurs, many lenders have not used these funds for relending, rather the money has been sitting in lender accounts for a long time. With the new Deki model, we are shifting the relending of funds to in-country, making a much more efficient use of the funds. Members of lending groups will receive 5 to 6 loans over 2-3 years. They will be able to apply to Deki for top loans as they grow their business and community group.
Do the entrepreneurs still receive their loans individually?
Yes, within the community group, individual entrepreneurs are still receiving their own micro-loan from Deki’s Field Partners.
- Entrepreneurs will repay their microloans to Deki’s Field Partners, and the repayment are recycled and relent within their own community.
- Community Groups are provided business and social training alongside their micro-loans to help them develop sustainable livelihood for the whole community.
Can I no longer see information about individual entrepreneurs, or direct my lending at a singular individual?
Most Village Savings Associations (or community groups you can sponsor) are founded either based on shared location, interest or occupation. In the community group profile you will be able to learn more about the group and the whole community. Each community group profile also includes a highlighted entrepreneur. You will receive regular updates about your sponsored group’s progress and success stories of individual entrepreneurs.
Where can I see information about the loans I have made previously?
You will still be able to log into your Deki lender account and see the progress of the entrepreneurs you funded previously. As many of their loan cycles are still ongoing, you can still expect repayments of these loans. As a Deki sponsor, these repayment will be added to your new Deki Sponsorship account at regular intervals.
How will we be given information about the progress of the group?
You will receive regular updates about your sponsored groups, including information about the training they receive, individual success stories, etc.
Are the group members fixed?
As in any community group, membership is not fixed. Some entrepreneurs who have received multiple loans may become self-sufficient or have established a credit rating, so that they are able to go to a traditional bank. Some may move away, while others join the group to access a loan and training to develop a sustainable livelihood.
What is the interest rate on these loans?
Deki’s Field Partners may charge a low interest on the loans to cover their operating costs, including loan disbursement costs (such as loan officers’ salaries, travel to remote communities, etc) and the delivery of the business and social training for the community groups. Interest rates vary, but they tend to be very low, around 1-3%.
I was a Deki lender before the change. What will happen to repayments I’m still expecting?
- You will still be able to log into your Deki lender account and see the progress of the entrepreneurs you funded previously. As many of their loan cycles are ongoing, you can still expect repayments of these loans. As a Deki sponsor, these repayment will be added to your new Deki Sponsorship account at regular intervals.
- If you decide that you do not want to be part of the new Deki model, you will be able to withdraw your repayments as you receive them, provided that you meet the Deki withdrawal terms and conditions.
Is there any other way I can support Deki apart from sponsoring a group?
There will be different options to donate to Deki for our running costs and for specific project work – these will be advertised separately to the community group sponsorships. You can also donate to Deki’s cost.
What if I don’t want to be part of the new Deki model?
If you don’t want to be part of the new Deki model, please let us know via the form we sent you on 6th June. This will mean that we will not create a new Deki Sponsorship account for you. You will be able to withdraw your repayments as you receive them into your Deki Lender account, provided that you meet the Deki withdrawal terms and conditions (link). You will continue to be able to view the loans that you made to individual entrepreneurs in the past.
Can I sponsor less than £10?
£10 is the minimum sponsorship amount. There is no pre-set amount for sponsorship, so you can donate any amount to the community that you want.
Can my company create an account?
Yes! You can create a company account in the same way as an individual. Simply use your company name as your username and enter it in the ‘first name’ box. You can also upload the company logo.
What happens after I sponsor a group?
Deki keeps you updated throughout the community’s journey. You can check your account for information about your sponsored group(s)any time by signing in to your account.
Do I have to use PayPal?
No, in the new sponsorship model you can check out with any card you wish.
Will I get updates on my community group?
Yes, you will receive an update by email when your group is fully funded and you can follow the community’s progress in your Deki Sponsorship account. You will also receive newsletters about Deki’s work and read about the progress our the groups are making, training they receive and much more.
I don’t want to be part of the sponsorship model. How can I withdraw my account balance?
You are able to withdraw your account balance via your Deki lender profile. Currently you are only able to withdraw funds over the amount of £10, or if a loan has been fully repaid. You will receive any withdrawal requests within 21 days from the original request, via Paypal.
Does the entrepreneur receive 100% of their loan request?
Yes, the entrepreneur gets 100% of the money they requested, no charges will be deducted from the loan.
How does microfinance help fight poverty?
In right circumstances microfinance is a very powerful tool in helping people who live in poverty or earn a low income. It provides them with capital to start or expand their business and is more secure and sustainable than many aid projects. Microfinance clients are usually self-employed micro-entrepreneurs who typically operate small businesses such as food shops, market stalls, repairs services, clothes making or agriculture related activities. He can access Deki sponsored micro-loans through their community savings groups. Microfinance is not appropriate for the extremely poor who struggle with their basic needs such as food or shelter. They will benefit from grants and there are other charities that focus on helping them.
Do I have to donate to Deki to use the website?
No, donations to Deki are entirely voluntary. We are very grateful for any donations you can make as Deki is a charity and charges no commission or interest on the loans. A lot of the work is done by volunteers. Your donation will help us keep the website going and deliver the loans you sponsor, cover Field Partner management costs and help us expand into other areas where people’s lives can be changed with microloans.
Where do my donations go?
Deki is a charity and charges no commission or interest on the loans. Your donations will help us keep the website running and offer better support to our Field Partners so that we can provide micro-finance to a greater number of communities. Donations will also help us expand into other countries where access to microfinance and training can make an enormous difference to people’s lives. UK tax payers can also opt into Gift Aid, so Deki can claim 25p for every £1 you donate from the UK government, making your donation go even further with no extra cost to you.
How else can I get involved?
There are several ways to get involved! First off, connect with us via Facebook and Twitter and help us spread the word. If you have a business, get in touch to ask about a business account. You can spread the word about Deki or nominate us as your company charity. If you work with schools we have a schools package offering fun and engaging ways to teach about international development and poverty.