Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

Community Finance Platform for Underserved Communities - Rodney Williams of SoLo Fund

October 24, 2023 Maiko Schaffrath
Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact
Community Finance Platform for Underserved Communities - Rodney Williams of SoLo Fund
Show Notes

In today's episode, I speak to Rodney Williams, who's the co-founder, chairman, and president of SoLo Funds, which is a B-Corp-certified community finance platform that's now used by more than 1 million users. Members can borrow and lend money between themselves rather than go to traditional lenders, loan sharks, or banks.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS
[01:16] Rodney's personal background
[03:18] What other alternatives exist
[04:50] How does SoLo work?
[07:25] When and how do your customers use SoLo
[08:56] Difference between Credit score vs SoLo score
[11:50] Fighting the step crisis
[14:27] SoLo's plan for the future
[16:15] SoLo’s expansion to Nigeria
[18:22] SoLo's approach to fundraising & growing revenue
[19:53] Investors' feedback on the business
[24:36] How did SoLo approach investors
[27:53] How did Solo get to become
[33:04] Undeniable product market fit
[37:32] 10-year vision


KEY LESSONS & QUOTES


" You can't build wealth without growing it. " [12:12]
"Subprime product, underserved communities, helping people that usually doesn't sound like a big business you’d want to invest in." [19:44]
"Our goal to market strategy is done right and do good because if you can't buy users, you need users to really like what you do.” [21:46]
“A challenge that has made this extremely difficult is that the same financial system
that has created the market that we live in today has created so much discrimination.” [20:30]
“The majority of the group who use this predatory product, tend to be women. Women are taking advantage of these products significantly more.” [26:30]
“All of the impact investors who have turned down Solo, I think they're a joke.” [24:57]
“As we made the consumer experience better, our growth rate accelerated and that's when I knew it was an undeniable product market fit.” (35:01)

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