Many organizations are thinking about how to deliver financial and technical support to micro and small businesses more efficiently. How can advancing technology help these organizations increase the impact of their work?
In a series of reports, “The Promise of Shared Platforms for the Microenterprise Industry,” FIELD’s Joyce Klein and Alan Okagaki begin to explore how technology can be leveraged for greater impact in the microenterprise industry. Shared platforms are technology-based structures that provide tools or services to enhance the capacity of players in an industry. In recent years, new technology and business models have led to the creation of many more shared platforms for the microenterprise industry.
In this report, “Lessons for Platform Funders,” Klein and Okagaki draw on research of 20 shared platforms serving microenterprise and asset building organizations. The report delivers background information, definitions, and a typology of shared platforms appropriate to the microenterprise and asset building fields. It then provides lessons for funders interested in supporting organizations to use existing shared platforms or develop their own. Finally, it features a few short case studies to illuminate the challenges and opportunities organizations faced with shared platforms.
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We are grateful to Sam’s Club Giving Program and Northwest Area Foundation for their support of this important work.