Here is the list of the FAQs, please contact us of you have any other questions.
What is Sonas?
Sonas is a social business focused on micorcredit and mentoring small entrepreneurs in developing countries. Our mission is to promote progress by financial inclusion and encouraging social development in disadvantaged communities around the world. Sonas follows the seven principles of social business outlined by Grameen Creative Lab. (http://grameencreativelab.com)
What does Sonas mean?
Sonas means “happiness” in Irish and in some Asian cultures it means “gold”. Sonas represents an abundant life, where happiness and opportunities are plentiful.
What is a social business?
A social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company dedicated towards achieving a social goal where all profits are invested back into the company. Unlike traditional business, social business addresses the social needs that enable societies to function more efficiently. Social business provides a necessary framework for tackling social issues by combining business know-how with the desire to improve quality of life. Instead of being self-focused, social business is all about others. (http://grameencreativelab.com)
What is microfinance?
Professor Muhammad Yunus defines microfinance as lending money – without collateral – to the poorest people for any income-generating activity, so they can help themselves out of poverty. There are very few MFIs ( Micro Finance Institutions ) in Cambodia who follow these principlpes.
What is a developing country?
A developing country is one in which majority of the population lives on far less money – and far fewer basic public services – than in highly industrialized countries. According to World Bank, five out of the six billion people in the world live in developing countries. Their average daily income is under $2, and the significant portion of the population earns less than $1.25 per day.
What is financial inclusion?
Financial inclusion means that households and businesses have access to appropriate financial services and can effectively use it. Such services (e.g. microcredit, crowdfunding) must be provided responsibly and sustainable, in a well-regulated environment. (http://cgap.org)
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is when finance is solicited from a group of individuals rather than through traditional means. Basically, crowdfunding is crowd-sourced financing.
How much should I invest in a microfinance project?
To succeed, each project requires a small loan, and you can help as many entrepreneurs as you want, or engage in crowdfunding. We ask for a minimum of £20; after that, you can invest as much as you want in a microfinance project.
Will I get my money back?
Repayment of your loan comes with a 95% probability, since there are several factors that may affect repayment rate. We advise you to split your loan over more than one entrepreneur or microcredit project, even if you opt for crowdfunding.
Is Sonas a charity?
No, it’s not. Sonas is a social business which generates income through profit sharing from the product sales these entrepreneurs make that Sonas help sell to the end users.
How Sonas fund operations if no interest is charged to the entrepreneurs?
Sonas generates income to support operations by sharing the profit from the product sales produced by micro businesses they help estabilish. Entrepreneurs have a greater chance of success if they have access to professional business support via consultancy, mentoring and finance. This allows entrepreneurs to make their investment grow and enable them to give back to the organisation that helped them, while simultaneously inspiring others to be just as successful and happy.
What’s all this about honey badgers?
The “honey badger” – full of determination, positivity, and persistence – is at the very soul of Sonas. They are the change agents who strive for positive change and improvement in their families and communities. Honey badgers represent the people that we look to invest in and work alongside.
Why do Sonas focus on women?
Research into many of the developing countries reveal that women:
- Are less likely to be educated and other means of support to enable them to set up on their own;
- Are more likely to share their experiences and learning to others; and
- Are better at managing money.
Why are Sonas working in Cambodia?
Although Cambodia as a country is developing, 36% of the population still live below the poverty line. This is the cause of many other social problems such as poor education, malnutrition and child and adult trafficking.
How long do I wait before my money is paid back?
Normally, it takes between 5 and 24 months. But depending on the amount lent to the microfinance project or crowdfunding effort, it could vary.
How do I know that my money is being used as stated?
Sonas will work directly on the ground with the borrowers, and you will get regular updates to track the progress of the micro business project. Over 600 of our supporters visited us in 2014 alone, we believe they are the best source for the validation of transparency and impact evaluation. We can connect you to our community for any reviews you may need.
In addition, we have been working with University Of Oxford for developing impact measurement tools, a copy if the full report is available on request.
Who do I contact if I change my mind?
If the loan has been made, you can ask for a refund. Contact us directly since refunds cannot be processed on the website.
Is my payment process secured?
Yes, it is. Sonas uses Paypal to process all payments made through the website. However, you do not need a Paypal account to lend money to a project.
Want to ask a question? If you have any more questions, we’d be happy to answer!