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Partner Description:

The Intersect Fund (IF) is a rapidly growing, nonprofit microlender and a certified Community Development Financial Institution that equips entrepreneurs in low-income areas of New Jersey with the skills and capital they need to build profitable businesses.

Founded in 2008, it provides business training, coaching and microloans to low-income, minority and women business owners throughout New Jersey. IF was originally founded by students from Rutgers University in 2008 and has since grown to be a leading microlender in New Jersey that has impacted over 500 clients, including over 300 active borrowers. Since the foundation of IF, the company has shown a commitment to using technology to provide low-income entrepreneurs with sources of knowledge and funding to help their businesses grow and succeed.

According to a study conducted by the Brookings Institution, the poverty rate in New Jersey’s working communities such as Carteret, Union Township and Garfield has grown substantially in the last decade. IF specializes in helping entrepreneurs in these areas, with over half of its customers having low or no credit scores. The organization’s clients are individuals seeking loans to grow their businesses and improve or establish a credit history. Kiva lenders’ funds are used to impact an even greater number of entrepreneurs in New Jersey and help them boost their incomes.

A unique lending approach:

Traditionally, it has not been easy for clients without good credit scores to obtain loans, because loan officers need to look past quantifiable data at intangible characteristics to determine the potential of an entrepreneur’s business to grow within the community – a practice that is often undeveloped in a United States context.

IF’s loan officers have all lived or worked in the area they serve for ten or more years and understand the culture and business drivers present within their communities. By employing flexible underwriting standards and cultural competencies, IF is able to engage clients that are traditionally underserved by larger financial institutions. The organization’s clients are individuals seeking loans to grow their businesses and improve or establish a credit history. The loans range from $100 to $25,000.

Founded by software engineers, IF has developed a proprietary advanced application system that allows each loan officer to provide Technical Assistance (TA) and complete the entire loan process in the field. Using document sharing technology and programs written to determine loan eligibility, loan officers can remotely take applications, provide onsite TA, submit documents, receive decisions, and disburse loans to new clients.

IF has garnered national recognition for its innovative work lending in the informal economy. In 2012, the Fund received more than 54 million media impressions and was featured in CNN, The New York Times, ABC Eyewitness News, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise and dozens of other outlets.

Image courtesy of The Intersect Fund.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Jul 14, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $479,525 $734,143,750
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $332,000
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 299
Amount of Paying Back Loans $274,275 $135,325,225
Number of Paying Back Loans 51 157,009
Amount of Ended Loans $205,250 $598,486,525
Number of Ended Loans 56 741,379
Delinquency Rate 3.17% 8.79%
Amount in Arrears $5,131 $7,831,196
Outstanding Portfolio $161,894 $89,094,432
Number of Loans Delinquent 34 30,270
Default Rate 0.00% 1.27%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $7,572,494
Amount of Ended Loans $205,250 $598,486,525
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 20,838
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.29%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $2,153,504
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.67%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,933,875
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,441

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 41.61% 74.49%
Average Loan Size $4,482 $416
Average Individual Loan Size $4,482 $651
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,849
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $54,800 $5,941
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 8.18% 7.00%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 14.97 days 6.49 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $299.43 $64.09
  Average Loan Term 18.28 months 10.8 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 1 363,219
  Journaling Rate 1.69% 41.50%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.06
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.53

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2012 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 18% PY N/A 31.61% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) -88% N/A -0.48%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A N/A 19.33%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Vanessa Carter
Luis De La Hoz
Accounting Department
Emmanuel Diaz
Nancy Finn
Alejandra Giron
Rohan Mathew
Carmen Melendez
Karina Ojeda
Aimee Solomon
Ian Straussman