NFTs use blockchain to prove the originality of any online content, and thus have the potential to revolutionize how we make and invest money online. Yet, women and minority groups are once again excluded, with a 95% male creator market who receive 77% of all NFT revenue, and males accounting for 3x the ownership of non-males. The NFT Inclusion project aims to create an NFT marketplace that focuses on principles of access, education and community building for a previously excluded voice in both the technological and financial ecosystems. The goal is not to encourage women and minority groups to break into a world that isn’t designed for them, nor are we looking to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it is to take a model that we’re familiar with (ie. online shopping for big fashion retailers like ASOS) and apply it to invite a wider audience into the world of buying and minting NFTs.
Sotira is a SaaS platform for sellers and resellers who sell products through Instagram or on ecommerce platforms like Etsy, Poshmark, Depop, Shopify, StockX and GOAT. This platform allows users to add all their income streams on one dashboard, so they can analyze and compare growth for each of them. Some features include ecommerce income stream management, financial tracking, expense tracking, sales logging, profit optimization and profit forecasting. Aditionally, it also helps sellers to easily create and mint NFTs to promote their small businesses and online stores and provides tools to help sellers analyze payments in different cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, Sotira plans on partnering with exchange platforms to enable sellers to invest profits from their ecommerce businesses into cryptocurrencies. By doing this, Sotira aims to help sellers and resellers, many of which are women, have a clear view into how much profit they are actually earning so they can optimize their income streams and price products more optimally.
Youth in Uganda start business ventures with little or no knowledge of financial management or good business practices and with limited access to capital. About 50% of this population has little or no assets to put up for collateral for loans and they do not come from rich families to get capital. Without these resources, businesses are bound to fail, resulting in a vicious cycle of youth unemployment, food insecurity, and under performance of the economy. Lyzapay is a mobile application platform that gives both financial literacy and access to capital to business owners in Uganda. The application analyzes the entrepreneur’s personal data, business financial records, assets, and financial literacy to compute a credit score. This is integrated with a financial advisory platform that has a series of customized training modules and tools tailored to suit the Ugandan setting. Lyzapay will enhance the local entrepreneurs’ knowledge of financial management and good business practices.
Financial institutions face a big challenge when offering agricultural financial credit. They have inefficient mechanisms to evaluate a farmer’s credit worthiness in relation to the sector-specific risks such as production, price and market risks. Most financial institutions do not have reliable credit risk analysis models to guide them in best evaluating farmers. Without a proper method or approach to credit risk analysis, farmers face the risk of being denied the credit they require because of the potentially inaccurate credit risk scores generated for them. Financial institutions also stand the risk of making losses when they give loans basing on the potentially inaccurate credit risk scores. HingiCredit will provide an automated credit risk analysis system that can be used to assess the credit-worthiness of farmers requesting loans from financial institutions. HingiCredit will reflect the risk factors that influence production and market and as a result will match farmers to financial institutions that are willing to provide the loans within the calculated risk.
Solar is booming and the price is lower than ever. Yet, 80% of America is locked out of the rooftop solar market. Solstice radically expands access to clean energy by providing community-shared solar power to underserved American households. This model enables any resident to enjoy clean energy at no upfront cost and save money on their electric bill every year. Our project will put affordable solar in the hands of low- to moderate-income Americans by offering the country’s first short-term community solar contract, by working with trusted community organizations to enroll social networks together and by qualifying customers using metrics other than FICO credit scores (unprecedented in the industry).
Housing has gotten unaffordable across much of the US. With home prices having gone from 2X to 4X the median family income over the past 40 years, 53-77% of the population can’t afford to buy today in metro areas across the country. This means that they are forced to rent for years on end instead of building their assets, perpetuating the cycle of being locked out of the market. HomeSlice is putting home ownership within reach for people who can’t afford to own today by making it easy to buy homes in groups. By removing the current barriers to fractional ownership – from the creation of co-owner agreements to the elimination of liability for co-owner default – it is making shared home ownership a viable and attractive option for millions of Americans. Its mission is to democratize home ownership.
The Retirement Toolkit is a reproducible workshop kit that through the innovative use of co-design seeks to address the gap in retirement financial literacy for low income, young working adults. The Toolkit’s application of co-design for education allows the participants to actively shape their learning experience as opposed to conventional, one-sided forms of teaching. Through creative discussion, design activities, and active visual learning, the program not only teaches, but also empowers participants to secure their own financial futures. Furthermore, the project is highly scalable because the workshop guide and toolkit can be easily reproduced to allow third parties to hold their own retirement workshops beyond the Bay Area. Additionally, the individualized curriculum will allow participants to tailor the material to their needs. The project thus addresses the lack of effective financial literacy programs for low income, young working adults in an innovative application of co-design.
SocialForce is an impact management platform that leverages the core business competencies available locally to meet the needs of a community in a strategic and sustainable way. SocialForce is based on the premise that community-grounded organizations and their active members understand the needs of their communities best, but lack the ability to harvest the resources necessary to execute projects to address those needs. The team’s goal is to connect mission-driven small and 7 medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with relevant nonprofit organizations in their communities. The strategic match of local resources to local needs facilitates long-term relationships for greater impact and unlocks the potential of communities to solve what matters most to them. Through SocialForce, SMEs can identify, execute, manage, and measure impact activities in their local communities in a strategic and meaningful way by building long-term relationships that are in line with their mission and vision.
MÄk is a social enterprise devoted to empowering urban low-income high school juniors and seniors to become 3D designers. The mission of MÄk is to provide these young people with exposure to various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) fields while also providing them with training in marketable skills and an income source so they may pursue higher education and STEAM careers in the future. Initially, the MÄk program will run on the UC Berkeley campus in order to utilize its free facilities and 3D design software. First, trained Berkeley student volunteers from MÄk’s partner campus organizations will teach high schoolers from Oakland and Richmond in 3D design through a training program. Then, MÄk will hire these students as paid interns to work on 3D design projects for Bay Area technology startups and design firms. MÄk plans to simultaneously partner with other organizations to host financial literacy workshops that help students manage income wisely.