By Kathleen Palla | Director of Finance and Operations

Shared Value Partnerships in Financial Inclusion

Cycle Connect is aiming to reach 1 million smallholder farmers in total by 2028.  We believe that partnerships will be the key to meeting this lofty target. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to go fast you go alone if you want to go far you go together’. At Cycle Connect, we want to GO FAR. To go far, we are continually innovating on ways to scale financial access and opportunity to smallholder farmers via shared value partnerships across our value chain.

At the core of our business, we have three key shared value partnerships that have delivered 100% growth year over year:

1. Partners as Sales Agents

Shared Value Partnerships

Partners as sales agents enable Cycle Connect to reach customers through existing community organizations and government structures.

We develop sales agent partnerships with local governments, NGOs and community development organizations. Cycle Connect picks up where their intervention or service leaves off. Our partners are capacity builders teaching skills such as village savings, financial literacy, livestock handling, or giving one-time cash injections for seed businesses.

Our sales partners have a strong buy-in to ensure our productive assets get into the hands of their recipients. The partnership complements their work and improves their recipient’s long-term outcomes. These partners are strong brand ambassadors due to their trusted relationships with the community. These free sales agents mean extremely low customer acquisition costs for Cycle Connect as well as strong brand equity within the communities we operate.

2. Customer-Centric Product Design

Productive Assets

Customer-centric product design ensures loan products that are fully vetted, tested, and piloted to have a direct impact on the customer’s ability to increase income over time.

While other financial institutions have a singular mission to maximize profit, we have a dual focus on sustainable profit and customer impact. Our loans generate a direct impact on the customer’s ability to increase income over time. Which we know about given the vetting process we put them through.

A key element of our product offering is a fully guided experience. Our staff is hands-on throughout the entire process – from initial introduction through sales to asset delivery and training to ensure the product’s productivity potential is fully realized. Our product lifecycle strategy supports our customer’s growth trajectory with the goal of creating high customer retention and an increased customer lifetime value.

3. Community Driven Repayments

Community Driven Repayment Rates

High repayment rates allow Cycle Connect to continue to serve the community year after year. 

Our message to the community is clear, we can deliver so long as communities repay. Cycle Connect supports our customers by offering farmer-centric repayment dates matching the specific product’s income generation timing. Cycle Connect focuses on sustainable repayment rates to ensure we have the capital to lend to our communities year after year. Communities have repaid and continue to do so, which has allowed us to grow both in products as well as sales.

We are continually developing ways that we can increase access and opportunity to smallholder farmers through shared value partnerships. Our next targets are agri-businesses, ag-product companies, and agents. Please visit our partner’s page to learn more about how Cycle Connect creates lasting partnerships.