As you may know MYC4 has many different investors. A few weeks ago we stumbled upon an investor who had made The Association MicroPaintings so he could invest the profit in microloans on MYC4. Read more in the interview below, check out his website and help him to complete his mission.
Can you start out by telling us a little about yourself and your project with www.mikromalerier.dk?
I am 43 years old, the Chairman of MikroMalerier and live in Denmark.
I am the ethical type who wants to save the world, eat organic and all that. I wanted to mix all this microloan-stuff, my nephews paintings, altruism, desire for Africa etc. to something beneficial.
Realising this ”message” I started up collecting paintings from the children I knew around the world; Denmark, Jamaica, Spain, Mexico, Algeria, France, asking associations and so on.
Shortly after arose the idea of gathering the future citizens from all 193 UN member states onto a platform of ”altruism by art” – A platform where the paintings from these children collectively should be sold for the benefit of microloans to developing countries – or like the Romanian girl said when asked about the project by her classmates: ”We are helping someone who is even more poor than us”.
Later I turned my private project into the non-profit association ”MikroMalerier”; a contraction of Mikrolån (Microloan) and Malerier (Paintings).
For travellers around the world MikroMalerier delivers the mandatory small canvas (18×24 cm) – all for free within Denmark. The mission for these travellers is then to find a girl and a boy between 4-15 years to paint on the canvas using their imagination.
So far we have collected paintings from 90 countries out of 193 UN-members and next the plan is to sell the privileges of the motives and the paintings themselves and to deposit the profit into a closed account where it will be invested in microloan according to our preamble. The paintings collected by now, marked in green, can be seen at www.mikromalerier.dk/paintings.php – included a view of the remaining countries; marked in red.
Why did you choose to use the profit to invest in microloans?
Choosing microloan as the future recipient was easy when I came across Muhammad Yunus and the idea of microloan in a programme. I see the idea as fabulous because of the personal responsibility to pay back the loan. Hence a greater level of independence for the borrower compared to the idea of donation without personal responsibility more importantly the desire for entrepreneurship, self-empowerment amongst others.
What is your motivation for using MYC4?
The keywords for using MYC4 are: Transparency, Easiness, HDI and the method Dutch Auction System.
Transparency: The answers we had related to collateral and general security of our loans from MYC4 has only been satisfying – Besides my questions directly to the borrower have been answered rapidly and adequate.
Easiness: It’s easy to transfer money by card or bank transfer – Next; it’s easy to select whom to lend money using the 6 criteria available.
HDI: The countries chosen by MYC4 are often in the lower part of the HDI (Human Develepoment Index) and thus matching the preamble of our association . . . :
“§ 2: Preamble and concept
Section 1: The association aims to improve the basic conditions for people in developing countries worldwide.
Section 2: The concept of the association is based on, that the association, through altruistic and sustainable principles takes initiatives, primarily by generating money for microloans that can meet the association’s preamble. “
Dutch Auction System: MYC4 uses the Dutch Auction System that “kicks out” the highest interest in favour of a lower interest – in this way, the system, so to speak, reflects the total sum of altruism of the creditors. A system like that matches, or rather co-works, with our preamble and concept as we know we cannot relieve the world alone – and the “fight” to lend out money benefits those who needs it.
How do you invest on MYC4, do you use Auto bid, invest in specific industries, countries etc.?
First of all we try to be realistic and not fanatic sitting in safe surroundings while enjoying our fair trade organic café latte – Even if ¼ of my food is organic, fair trade etc. it doesn’t make any sense refusing a farmer a loan to “pesticides”- The alternatives of not lending the farmer money is worse, still we keep eyes and ears open for lending out money to organic farmers, fair trade certified farmers and similar sustainable growers.
To optimise the total resources we preferable give loans to farmers producing vegetables because the breeding of animals for meat production gives a poor use of crops, as far most of the food energy is lost. It requires about 7 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of beef and 4 kg of grain for every kg of pork.
Most importantly we prefer giving loans to groups because of mutual moral and financial support.
If you should present MYC4 to someone who had never heard about us before, what would you emphasize?
I would emphasize that you can invest and benefit at the same time – Which is the core of the idea. In addition I would emphasize all 4 keywords motivating MikroMalerier to use MYC4 but in particular the transparency and the ease in which to access loans from us.
What is the best and worst thing about MYC4?
The best thing I can say: “It works” – And even if the transparency have been threatened by fraud I haven’t lost my faith in the micro finance system in general or MYC4. Have people lost money? Yes. Have people gained money? Yes, and that’s how the market economy works.
Worst thing? None so far, but being a part of the market economy we will continuously relate MYC4 to our preamble and the keywords for using MYC4: Transparency, Easiness, HDI and the method Dutch Auction System.
Besides we would prefer more groups and with pleasure organic and fair-traded farmers.
What do you consider as competitors/alternatives to MYC4?
MikroMalerier sees no competitors to microloans, as it’s a core part of our preamble. In general ordinary donation without any personal responsibility for the recipient is still alternatives/competitors to the idea of microloans. Probably caused by many years of corruption in developing countries where it seems more transparent and convenient to donate money to charity organisations.
What do you think MYC4 will look like in the future?
Hopefully MYC4 have spread to niches like fair trade and organic farmers, as the climate issue sooner or later will force developing countries in that direction as well. I don’t think spreading the business to outside Africa should be an end in itself. Thus saying that important knowledge in this “new” type of business can better be acquired in a limited region.