In our quest to put a face to the microfinance industry and organize it into local communities, we’re profiling the individuals working to expand microfinance. Our next interview is with Genny Ghanimeh. Here’s a little bit more about her…

1) What do you do?

GennyGhanimeh

I am the Founder of Pi Slice which is a social web based platform promoting social awareness and change, in partnership with MicroWorld from the PlanetFinance Group.

Its framework is a unique connecting system that links individuals and companies wishing to provide finance to MENA based MFI’s, which in turn use the funds to provide micro-credit to their customers. Through this web based platform, motivated individuals and companies can help MFI’s in the MENA region to build a sustainable future for micro-entrepreneurs & a favorable ecosystem for macro development. MicroWorld.org, part of the PlaNet Finance Group, is a peer-to-peer platform that launched 18 months ago in France. It has a similar model to Pi Slice, channeling funds from individual lenders and large companies to MFIs around the world, albeit so far with low penetration in MENA and so far only offering non remunerated loans for individual lenders.

2) Why do you do what you do?

Driven by social impact, Pi Slice empowers micro-entrepreneurs, who are otherwise excluded from access to credit by formal banking institutions, to start and grow businesses, engage in income-generating activities, and thereby transform their own lives as well as those of others by becoming job creators rather than job seekers. By giving a small online loan, a lender can provide aspiring micro-entrepreneurs with a life-altering opportunity to overcome poverty, enter the formal economy, and proliferate available employment opportunities, thus accelerating development. This would not only enable microfinance institutions (MFIs) to build a sustainable future for the industry, but also help shape the region’s future economies, communities, and competitiveness.

In the region’s development process, the individuals & private sector is now presented with an unparalleled CSR channel to unlock the abilities of millions of unemployed youths, activate human capital in the labor force, and solve economic crises, hence actively contribute to the sustainable development of the MENA region. Today, Pi Slice unveils its MENA portal for individual and corporate investors, opening doors to a brighter future.

It also took a whole journey of self –transformation to get here. One day I couldn’t but be aligned with my inner core values and what I do as a profession.

Pi Slice was the natural outcome of me speaking to my core. It all started on a mountain climbing trip to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. The full story is here: http://www.pi-slice.com/en/about-pislice/born-story

3) What are you most excited about right now?

I am mostly excited about converting the Private Sector into micro-lending communities and showing how we all together we can change the landscape of unemployment in MENA.

Through our partnership with MicroWorld, Pi Slice managed to build a strong and robust backend system from Technology to MFIs partnerships (to also original articles & reports web content) and become the 1st innovative online platform for micro-lending in MENA.

Innovation in social entrepreneurship & online micro-lending is fresh & inspiring with no competitors but it also requires dedicated effort in educating the audience about it. In particular Pi Slice has an ecosystem challenge on a MENA level:

The online audience needs to be educated about the difference between charity & online microlending. Not to mention also that the online industry is relatively still immature in the Arab World and needs time for people to trust & get familiar with.

But this challenge can be accomplished when we work hand in hand with the Private Sector.

4) What’s next for you?

  • Becoming a key player and a role model in the Social Entrepreneurship ecosystem and inspire/mentor/coach young people in social ventures
  • Becoming a key player in MicroLending in MENA and be able to have a social impact
  • Becoming a key player in adding value for MFIs in MENAfor their social impact next to their financial empowerment

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
Pi Slice Slogan is MAKE LIFE COUNT J.. I aspire to inspire others and support them in empowering their own lives and others’ around them.

Likewise, I am also passionate about empowering people to find their true calling and potential, because this is how we all progress as human beings individually and collectively.

You can find Genny and other nearby microfinance supporters via Oh Hey World.

If you work or volunteer in the industry and would like to get profiled, please sign up for an Oh Hey World account – then send me an email at drew at ohheyworld dot com.

About Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is a travel addict and founder of Oh Hey World. WordPress, social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate.