NEWS ARCHIVE

2010
07.11.2010 MYC4 and FDB in Politiken
04.11.2010 Update to Terms and Conditions
04.11.2010 MYC4 in Newsweek
29.10.2010 MYC4 Newsletter October 2010
30.09.2010 Vote for MYC4 on the BBC World Challenge
06.09.2010 MYC4 Newsletter September 2010

27.08.2010 Small film about PRC in Ghana
25.06.2010 MYC4 Newsletter June 2010
03.06.2010 MYC4 website will be down Monday morning to release new repayments processing
11.05.2010 MYC4 Annual Report 2009
04.05.2010 Ken Watta/Ebony
26.04.2010 New Partner AE&I
26.04.2010 Update West Africa
16.04.2010 MYC4 Newsletter April 2010
16.04.2010 Business sign up pilot featured in Daily Nation
12.04.2010 MYC4 launches pilot for online business sign up
26.03.2010 Video on MYC4's cooperation with FDB
25.03.2010 Small update to Terms & Conditions
16.03.2010 Update from West Africa; Senegal and Ivory Coast
11.03.2010 Update on FED/CMC
11.03.2010 First Loans with Grace Period open for bids
11.03.2010 NOTICE! MYC4 will be down Friday March 19th
22.02.2010 Updates to Terms & Conditions
17.02.2010 MYC4 Africa Director, Pete Ondeng, writes in Daily Nation
16.02.2010 MYC4 Newsletter February 2010
15.02.2010 MYC4 Provides largest loan until now
15.02.2010 Ghana is back on the marketplace
12.02.2010 MYC4 in DR P4 Fyn
08.02.2010 Meet Dutch Investor and Rwandan borrrower in small video
08.01.2010 Update on our Senegalese Partner Birima
07.01.2010 MidSpar t-shirts for Africa
06.01.2010 Downtime tomorrow Thursday January 7

2009
21.12.2009 MYC4 Newsletter December 2009
17.12.2009 Holiday time
16.12.2009 Downtime tomorrow Thursday December 17
03.12.2009 MYC4 featured in Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten
02.12.2009 MYC4 on Norwegian online News
02.12.2009 Press release (Danish) "Lack of capital forces MYC4 to reduce costs"

27.11.2009 MYC4 Newsletter November 2009
19.11.2009 Dispute with our Kenyan Partner Ebony Capital Ltd.
12.11.2009 Invitation: Investor Afternoon December 2nd 2009
30.10.2009 MYC4 Newsletter October 2009
21.10.2009 Release and downtime tomorrow between 14 and 16 CET
20.10.2009 Few loans on the marketplace the coming weeks
28.09.2009 MYC4 Newsletter September 2009
24.09.2009 New Partner: Fusion Capital
16.09.2009 MYC4 African Director Pete Ondeng speaks at Faula Advisory, Kenya
07.09.2009 MYC4 in Danida's Magazine Udvikling
04.09.2009 MYC4 on Business.dk
25.08.2009 MYC4 Newsletter
25.08.2009 Downtime tomorrow August 26 from 1100 to 1300 CET
24.08.2009 Software Development moves to Copenhagen
17.08.2009 MYC4 featured on SABC
17.08.2009 Invitation: knowledge sharing afternoon
29.07.2009 MYC4 in German Business Magazine Brandeins
22.07.2009 Less Loans on the marketplace
13.07.2009 MYC4 featured in The East African
29.06.2009 New fee structure on MYC4
16.06.2009 Downtime Thursday June 18
15.06.2009 MYC4 in Jyllands-Posten
10.06.2009 Release of TIC TAC phase 1
08.06.2009 MYC4 featured on DR2
25.05.2009 MYC4 in Danish radio
18.05.2009 MYC4 in Dutch TV "World Affairs"
06.05.2009 Public holiday Friday, May 8
24.04.2009 MYC4 on Swedish television
17.04.2009 Card transactions will be temporarily down on Monday April 20
08.04.2009 Easter holiday
03.04.2009 MYC4 wins "e-handelsprisen" as best financial e-commerce
01.04.09 MIF made bid EUR 100,000 today on www.MYC4.com
24.03.2009 MYC4 in top 3-race for "E-handelsprisen"
19.03.2009 INTL pilot started in Uganda
16.03.2009 GAC buys bad performing portfolio
13.03.2009 Downtime for card transaction
07.03.2009 MYC4 film gets awarded at Danish Press Photo of the Year


06.03.2009 Downtime Monday from 10 to 12 am. CET
02.03.2009 New web design
26.02.2009 Let the bidding begin!
23.02.2009 Sign up for newsletter
20.02.2009 No BLOGGING for loans under EUR 2,000 when late
10.02.2009 MYC4 launches Advisory Board in Kenya
27.01.2009 MTN pledges $250,000 to support small businesses through MYC4
14.01.2009 MYC4 on InterAction's Best Corporations Listing
06.01.2009 Tanzania is now open for investments

2008
23.12.2008 Africa is open for investments during Christmas
23.12.2008 Côte d'Ivoire Update
09.12.2008 Mads Kjær awarded Idealist of the Year
05.12.2008 Dr. Muhammad Yunus visits MYC4
04.12.2008 Benetton endorses MYC4
03.12.2008 A Christmas Gift that matters
27.11.2008 Update Côte d'Ivoire and mistake in “Late repayments”
26.11.2008 MIDSPAR creates a MYC4 savings deposit
20.11.2008 MYC4 in The Times
18.11.2008 MYC4 in Danish ”Aftenshowet”
15.11.2008 Liberal Freedom Award to Mads Kjær and MYC4
12.11.2008 Congratulations to investor no 10,000
10.11.2008 Microsoft award for ”Powerfully Simple User Experience”
7.11.2008 Mads Kjaer nominated as Denmarks most inspiring entrepreneur
31.10.2008 Peter and Camille in Africa
30.10.2009 IFU and CSR Capital invest EUR 2.2 million in Africa via MYC4
29.10.2008 Cooperation with Planet Rating started
25.10.2008 3,000 businesses funded
23.10.2008 Update Côte d'Ivoire
23.10.2008 EUR 5 MILLION INVESTED
23.10.2008 Jens Honoré wins prestigious contest with MYC4 photo
22.10.2008 First MYC4 Partner Conference taking place in Kenya now
17.10.2008 MYC4 Christmas gift for corporation
17.10.2008 MYC4 on Comon webTV
17.10.2008 False emails announcing cancelations of loans
15.10.2008 Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit cancel all open loans on MYC4
14.10.2008 MYC4 employee featured in French speaking Magazine Jeune Afrique
10.10.2008 MYC4 proudly presents PHOTOGRAFRICA
07.10.08 MYC4 borrowers and investors on movie
30.09.2008 Improved tool to manage risk in a loan portfolio
29.09.2008 Significant and necessary improvements in FED/CMC
29.09.2008 Loan disbursements in Côte d’Ivoire start this week
26.09.2008 First Business from Senegal on the platform
23.09.2008 Now you can upload money via credit card
23.09.2008 First Business from Ghana on the platform
19.09.2008 FED introduces MIS system and takes temporary pause for loans
16.09.2008 MYC4 nominated as The New Media of the Year
15.09.2008 Irregularities with loan details
12.09.2008 Temporary pause for loans to Côte d’Ivoire
10.09.2008 MYC4 focuses on SME’s now in Rwanda
10.09.2008 MYC4 in the news in Sweden
09.09.2008 Solution for uploading money via credit card in place within two weeks
09.09.2008 MYC4 backs new website to support transparency on loans in Africa
02.09.2008 MDG Review features MYC4
01.09.2008 RAW News on MYC4 work from photographer Jens Honoré
26.08.2008 Honour to MYC4 from Danish Minister for Development Cooperation
22.08.2008 Collaboration with PayPal ends
05.08.2008 Investment guide in Danish
15.07.08 MYC4 in your language
09.07.2008 Africa is open for business during the summer
07.07.2008 MYC4 in The Weekly Observer in Uganda
07.07.2008 "Loans paid on time" is fluctuating
05.07.2008 No awards this time
30.06.2008 MYC4 nominated for two African Business Awards
30.06.2008 MYC4 on National News in Sweden
23.06.2008 First defaulted Loan
12.06.2008 Delays in disbursements
10.06.2008 Temporary Removal of PAR
10.06.2008 Delay in repayment processing
27.05.2008 Re-design of MYC4.com
27.05.2008 Withholding tax on your profit in Africa
02.05.2008 CHANGE - the MYC4 Stakeholder Magazine

07.11.2010 MYC4 and FDB in Politiken

There was an article about our supply chain project together with FDB in Politiken today:
politiken 2010 11 07


04.11.2010 Update to Terms and Conditions

We have made a small update to the terms and conditions. The primary change is adjusting the wording in some of the clauses to make it more clear. This is based on questions that have arisen from investors over time where we can see that the current wording has been unclear.  

These changes include:
-          We added a new section describing how we will return funds to you in the unlikely event we terminate your account or access to the site. See sections 1.5 and 5.7
-           We added some more explanation of the roles of MYC4 and the partners, including some wording about risk sharing. See section 2.
-          We clarify that MYC4 has the right to introduce fees in the future and that we will give notice before introducing any fees. See section 3.1
-          We have updated the wording in the section about the currency risks and costs born by the investors to make it easier to understand. See section 4.3
-          We clarify that any notices we give you are sent to the email address you have given us. See section 8.2
-          There are some minor wording changes and restructuring in other areas of the text to make it more readable.



04.11.2010 MYC4 in Newsweek

There was recently a small article about MYC4 in Newsweek in connection with the World Challenge:
MYC4 in Newsweek.pdf


30.09.2010 Vote for MYC4 on the BBC World Challenge

MYC4 has been selected as one of the finalists in the World Challenge

VOTE FOR MYC4 Here:  Vote for Cyber Captial, Denmark

See our profile and a short movie about MYC4 here: MYC4 World Challenge Movie

Please spread the word so we get as many votes as possible.



27.08.2010 Small film about PRC in Ghana

 

This small film is about our operation in Ghana and our Provider, PRC and Felix Quansar.


Sanikwad Enterprise featured in the film has recently received the second MYC4 loan.


03.06.2010 New Repayment Processing
The website will be down Monday morning June 7th from 5.30am until 10.00am CET while we launch a new version of repayments processing.   

For MYC4 the new repayments system will mean lower risk since repayments will be transferred to our account as they come in rather than sitting in the African partners’ accounts for up to a month. It will also give us and our partners a more precise and up-to-date view on our financials and risk and ease reconciliation with partner IT systems.   

For investors, the change will mean receiving repayments faster and allowing you to re-invest the funds more quickly. This in turn will increase the return on investment and increase the funds available for businesses in Africa.    

We’ve also improved the way we present the repayments data – giving you more detailed information about the repayment status and presenting a more intuitive graphical representation of the actual repayments versus the agreed repayments.    

Have a look on Monday and let us know what you think. 

The Repayment restructuring work has been partly funded by a grant from Hivos.


11.05.2010 MYC4 Annual Report 2009
Click here to read MYC4's Annual Report for 2009.

04.05.2010 Ken Watta/Ebony
We just learned that Ken Watta, who has served as our lawyer in the case against Ebony, died this weekend (Saturday) in a grizzly road accident. His wife and 4 others also perished in the same accident. The only survivor was his only child (2 years old) who is in hospital in critical condition. Our deepest condolence goes to the family.

On Friday I was in Nairobi with Ken and we had a long and very fruitful conversation on the last seven months of the cases in court against Ebony, where Ken served as our lawyer, and the criminal investigation we had called for in November at the Kenyan Police.

From the very beginning where Pete Ondeng, our Africa Director, proposed us to team up with Ken, we had a legal advisor to help us on the strategy to best possible get justice on the wrong doings of James Maina and his accomplished in and outside Ebony.We agreed from the beginning that we would have to accept and live with the risk of a legal and criminal system that seems never to get hold and punish people conducting fraud and acting in corrupt ways. That said; if you don't act in a criminal way yourself! Yet, we would within our capacities and funds do our best to seek justice.

Ken was engaged with passion in our fight for justice and he took it personally that a person like James Maina is getting away from taking responsibility for his wrong doing an having committed fraud for 1.6 million euro cheating the 6,700 Investors, 576 borrowers and MYC4 itself.

That we have also  been getting the Courts decision confirming our complaints against Ebony helps, yet even the Receivership seems to be a dead end as the Court doesn't have funds and appropriate procedures to handle this and we are left with no progress and a insolvent possible bankrupt company Ebony that only exists on paper today.

Where James Maina is hiding the loan documents and securities, if still in existence, is unknown and without them it's been impossible to find any collecting agency or MFI who would engage in collecting from the borrowers and having them approving there indebtness to the Investors on MYC4.

It has come to our attention that James Maina and his director, Irene, has fled the country to South Africa, which has no extradition agreement with Kenya. We don't know if this is just a rumor, yet having him out of business in Kenya is better than nothing!

The last words from Ken to me on Friday, before the tragic accident, was; "Mads, we are likely to have to rest our case as we have taken all the legal civil and criminal routes than one with reason can expect MYC4 to have done to seek justice and get the borrowers to repay to the many Investors. It’s in the hands of the court and its judges as well as the police to conclude this sad experience with James Maina and Ebony."

May Ken and his wife rest in peace and our thoughts in this darkest of days are with his family and our prayer for the survival of his daughter.

Mads Kjaer,
CEO and Co-founder
MYC4

26.04.2010 New Partner AE&I
MYC4 is welcoming a new Partner to the marketplace, AE&I from Côte d'Ivoire. Click here to read more about AE&I.

26.04.2010 Update West Africa
It is time for an update from West Africa!

Senegal

After a long and complicated process, which we shall not describe in detail here, we have finally found a way to transfer money out of Senegal, where Birima’s bank, Ecobank, has not been making life easy for us lately. By transiting the funds through Côte d’Ivoire, where our financial service partner INTL is operating,  we now expect to have the repayments from Senegal in Denmark by the end of April. We have already received confirmation from INTL that the funds are in the process of being transferred. This will allow MYC4 to process the repayments in the system which will both lead to correct APR numbers and repayments of collected funds to investors. Although we regret the very long and complex processing time, this is indeed good news.

Nevertheless, a large outstanding amount remains to be repaid from the borrowers, most of which will continue to be late with their repayments. As mentioned in the last update, MYC4 will therefore, on BIRIMA’s proposal, investigate the possibility of rescheduling the 23 loans by extending the normal remaining repayment period by 6 months. Borrowers would have to pay interest on the outstanding balance during this period, but to investors this means that whereas it is more realistic that the loans will be repaid in full, repayments will be substantially delayed compared to the original repayment plan. A rescheduling of the loans would involve resigning of the loan agreements by all borrowers at the local police station. We will keep investors informed as soon as a decision is made.

Côte d’Ivoire
As mentioned in the last update MYC4 has been looking for a Microfinance Institution to take over the collections effort of the old portfolio of Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit after TRIUM International, who took over the collections September 1st 2009, but asked MYC4 to be released of their contract in February.

From the beginning of April, the collections work has now been handed to AE&I, Afrique Emergence & Investissements, an MFI which was recently named Number 1 MFI in Côte d’Ivoire by the UNDP and the Ministry of Finance in Côte d’Ivoire. Since April 1st all loan files have been handed over, contractual arrangements settled and TRIUM’s 3 collections officers have agreed to hand over the loans to AE&I’s 57 loan officers in the field over the next 2 months. After initial training and coordination actual collections started Monday 19th and have already been successful in spite of the pause of 2 months in the collections effort.

AE&I will, besides managing the old Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit portfolio also become a new Partner on MYC4. Read more about AE&I here.

16.04.2010 MYC4 Newsletter April 2010
The April Nesletter is on the street. Click below to read it if you haven't done so already.



16.04.2010 Business sign up pilot featured in Daily Nation
Today, MYC4's pilot for online business sign up is featured in an article in The Daily Nation. By 10 am CET the article has already generated massive trafic to MYC4.com, and four businesses have signed up already providing promising leads for MYC4's Partners.


Click on the picture to read the article.

12.04.2010 MYC4 launches pilot for online business sign up
Today, MYC4 will launch a pilot allowing African Businesses in need of Loans to sign up directly on the website.

From the very beginning, it has been the vision of MYC4 to address all stakeholders through the website. So far, we have mainly been focusing on Investors, but now we also slowly opens up to the Partners and Borrowers.

The Business Sign Up pilot is carried out in cooperation with Growth Africa in Kenya, but we are hoping to experience so much traffic to the website that we will soon include all Partners.

As has become evident within MYC4’s first years of operation, the identification of healthy Businesses is key to MYC4 as well as our Investors and Partners. Therefore, with this new initiative, we are aiming at generating a lot of interesting leads for our Partners saving them from spending as many resources on marketing.

Businesses signing up on MYC4 are by no means guaranteed to get a Loan. They are, on the other hand, able to register all relevant details about their Business and their need for capital allowing MYC4’s Partners to carry out the initial screening.

We are very excited about the Business Sign Up feature and we look forward to seeing the amount of attention we will be able to draw to MYC4.

26.03.2010 Video on MYC4's cooperation with FDB
MYC4 is working together with FDB on establishing various supply chain projects connecting consumers directly with Africa suppliers. The first pilot is carried out in Kenya with FDB's supplier Kyome Fresh allowing MYC4 Investors to invest in farmers producing e.g. sugar snaps, mini corn and beans. In this video, CEO in Thomas Bagge Olesen and Mads Kjær explains about the partnership (in Danish).


25.03.2010 Small update to Terms & Conditions
The following (in bold) has today been added to the Terms & Conditions:

"7.8. Privacy statement: MYC4 does not sell, rent or share your personal information with any third parties. When creating a profile on MYC4, you accept that the profile is public and might appear in e.g. a Google search. Your Legal Name is however not made public, and you are welcome to use a pseudonym as your User Name on MYC4 if you wish to keep your profile on MYC4 private."

16.03.2010 Update from West Africa; Senegal and Ivory Coast
It’s time for an update from West Africa and our issues in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal:

Update on Côte d’Ivoire
In September 2009 MYC4 handed over the responsibility of collecting repayments from borrowers initially uploaded by Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation to TRIUM International, a consulting business with great belief in their ability to collect the large, outstanding amount. After 5 months of operation a total amount of €17,848 has been collected and TRIUM has managed to have borrowers sign debt recognition documents of €265,238. Of the €17,848 collected, €14,825 is MISCOCI payments covered by MYC4 during the summer of 2009 and therefore due back to MYC4, the remaining €3,023 is non MISCOCI related and therefore due back to Investors. Whereas the amount of debt recognition is satisfactory the collected amount is by far below the level which makes the operation sustainable for TRIUM who has asked to be relieved of the contract as soon as possible.

One of the challenges for TRIUM has been that, as they are not a lending institution, they have not been able to offer borrowers new loans after successful repayment and thus not disposing of any “carrot” the collections results have been too poor. MYC4 is now looking for another organization able and willing to take over the collections work and this time we will attempt to find a financial institution with ongoing lending activities. One such candidate has been identified and negotiations will be held in Abidjan end of March, which will hopefully lead to a reactivation of the collections activities and yield a better result than hitherto.

Senegal
Repayments of the Birima loans are ongoing but due to technical problems with the transfer of funds to Denmark the payments have not been registered lately in the MYC4 system. According to Birima the problems should be solved within a week upon which the repayment situation should be properly reflected.

The economic situation in Senegal is reportedly still quite bad and all of the 23 SME loans are late with their repayments. The agreement between MYC4 and Birima from September 2009, by which Birima commits to provide guarantee payments before the loans default, is still valid but posing an increasing challenge for Birima to live up to. They have therefore asked that all loan terms are extended by 6 months, which will give the borrowers a more realistic repayment time in view of the economic climate. MYC4 will only be able to calculate the consequences of such an extension after the above technical issues have been solved, but we are open to the suggestion if this can facilitate the full repayment of the full, remaining outstanding.

We will update here on Forum as soon as such an agreement has been reached. Until then the agreement signed by Birima and Youssou N’Dour’s office in September is valid and we have Birima’s continued assurances that all loans will be repaid to investors.

11.03.2010 Update on FED/CMC

We have entered into a new agreement with our Ugandan Partner FED/CMC in order to ensure collections of as much of outstanding portfolio as possible. Read the details here


11.03.2010 First Loans with Grace Period open for bids
We are happy to announce that we now have the first Loans with Grace Period open for bidding on the marketplace:

Methauliex Ltd and Armajaro Farmer Shop Bonsu Nkwanta.

Both Loans are Armajaro Farmer Shops, and as written elsewhere in the Forum, we have awaited these Loans for a long time. It is therefore an extra pleasure to introduce the Grace Period Loans on the marketplace. In the very first MYC4 Change Paper, the coperation with Armajaro is described.

Happy Bidding!

11.03.2010 NOTICE! MYC4 will be down Friday March 19th
We are moving to Amazon Cloud, which means that the website will most probably be down most of Friday the 19th. We apologize for the inconvenience. Click here to read more about the advantages of moving to Amazon Cloud.

22.02.2010 Updates to Terms & Conditions
Articles 3.4, 3.6 and 3.7 in MYC4's General Terms and Conditions have been updated. Please take a look at the updates here.

17.02.2010 MYC4 Africa Director, Pete Ondeng, writes in Daily Nation
Under the heading "Graft, not hard work, the route to wealth in Kenya", MYC4's Director of Africa Operations, Pete Ondeng, has written a contribution in the Daily Nation. 

16.02.2010 MYC4 Newsletter 2010

Click here to read the February Newsletter. Happy reading!

15.02.2010 MYC4 Provides largest loan until now

From the very beginning it has been the objective for MYC4 to serve a wide variety of African Businesses spanning from smaller to medium sized Businesses. We are therefore happy to announce that we have now uploaded the largest loan until now.

The loan, which has the size of 20 million Kenyan Schilling or 191,250 Euro, is for Orion East Africa Limited, which is a large East African manufacturer of plant health products.Go to the loan here.

And it is not only the size of the loan that is a bit unusual. With the loan, it is also the first time MYC4 functions as both the Provider and the Administrator doing the due diligence and loan appraisal of the loan. This will reduce costs and administration for the Business and allow MYC4 to reach a wider range of Businesses. The loan to Orion is the first of a series of five pilots that will be carried out during 2010 enabling MYC4 to test the setup and scale it in the right pace.

Orion East Africa Ltd. was established in 1989. It has 4 directors and operates in Kenya and Uganda. Its objective is to create a value chain business model by linking with farmers, government, financiers and the market. Orion’s subsidiary, Kilimo Faida, offers microfinance product to assist farmers acquires farm inputs. The loan will have a 100% Bank Guarantee for 20 million KSH provided by Equity Bank, Nairobi.

The purpose of the loan is to establish credit lines for farmers who are served by Orion to purchase farm input requirements like fertilizers, seeds, agro-chemicals and farming equipment. Orion buys farmers production and sells it on the market in East Africa.

Go to the Business Profile to read more about Orion or to the loan and place your Investment. Or go to www.orioneastafrica.co.ke to find out more about Orion and its business.

We are excited about the possibility of offering this loan to smaller private as well as larger institutional Investors on MYC4.

15.02.2010 Ghana is back on the marketplace
We are happy to announce that Ghana is now open for investments. The first loan i 2010 from our Provider PRC is open for bids right now.
Click here to place your bid.

12.02.2010 MYC4 in DR P4 Fyn
The local Danish Radio Station DR P4 Fyn features MYC4 in an interview and on their website.

Go to DR's webiste to read MYC4's response or go to this Forum thread, where it's translated to English.

08.02. 2010 Meet Dutch Investor and Rwandan borrrower in small video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



08.01.2010 Update on our Senegalese Partner Birima

A number of questions and justified concerns have been raised in different Forum threads over the past month as to what the situation is at Birima in Senegal - especially after some critical articles in the Senegalese media about Birima and its owner, Youssou N'Dour, surfaced in December 2009. MYC4 is in close contact with Birima and Youssou N'Dour's office but have not been successful in getting them to communicate directly with investors on the Forum, which is why we will now attempt to describe the situation to you as we have been informed:

1. First of all Birima, their CEO Abdoulaye Dieng and Youssou N'Dour personally still maintain that all Birima borrowers on MYC4 will honor their obligations to repay in full their loans. The economic situation in Senegal is given as the primary reason as to why so many loans are late with their installments and need longer time to repay.

2. Birima informs that all legal measures are taken to ensure that all borrowers eventually repay.

3. As several loans are approaching or have already passed the 6 months limit which MYC4 uses to determine when to technically default a loan MYC4 made an agreement with Birima and Youssou N'Dour's head office on September 3rd, whereby Birima/Youssou N'Dour will step in and pay MYC4 investors 2 installments one week before a loan passes into default. This signed agreement can be seen here.

4. Since then some repayments have been received but Birima has not been able to fully live up to the agreement and after mutual understanding it was decided to default the first loan end of December (ID#3863 Stylena) to maximize pressure on the borrower. Birima is taking this borrower the legal way and maintain that the investors' losses will be fully recovered although defaulted amounts no longer earn an interest.

5. A few other loans have now technically passed the default line but Birima insists that these loans should not be defaulted as installments are in the immediate pipeline.

6. Birima claims that the critical press in December will not affect negatively any of the 23 borrowers attitude or ability to repay the remaining, outstanding 145.000 € to investors over time.

MYC4 will continue to strongly pursue that Birima and Youssou N'Dour will honor their obligations towards MYC4 investors as they have also stated on the platform at numerous occasions.

07.01.2010 MidSpar t-shirts for Africa

One of our Musketeers, Middelfart Sparekasse, has developed a t-shirt designed by the Danish designer Maria Louise Suhr. The t-shirt is sold in support of MYC4, and the profit from the sales will go in full to MYC4's work in Africa. Thus, it will not be invested on the marketplace nor go to MYC4's operations, it will rather go to e.g. capacity building and related purposes.

The t-shirt costs DKK 250,- and is sold from Middelfart Sparekasse's website.



06.01.2010 Downtime tomorrow Thursday January 7
Tomorrow, Thursday January 7, we have a scheduled update of our website. Therefore, there might be some instability between 1300 and 1400 CET. We apologize for the inconvenience.


21.12.2009 MYC4 Newsletter December 2009
Click here to read the Newsletter.

17.12.2009 Holiday time

Christmas Holidays are just around the corner. Therefore, MYC4 will be wound down from December 23 till January 4. However, this does not mean that you cannot invest nor get in contact with us. But you must expect a little longer response time, just as the MYC4 staff  won’t be as active on the Forum as usually.

We would like to take this chance to wish everybody a warm and merry Christmas and happy new year.

Holiday wishes from the MYC4 Team.


16.12.2009 Downtime tomorrow Thursday December 17
Tomorrow we are releasing some improvements and new features to the site. Therefore, between 13 and 15 CET the site may be down or unstable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

03.12.2009 MYC4 featured in Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten posted an article about the internal changes in MYC4. Click here to read the article. 

02.12.2009 MYC4 on Norwegian online News
The Norwegian online newssite DinSide has written an article about MYC4. Click here to read the article.

02.12.2009 Press release (Danish) "Lack of capital forces MYC4 to reduce costs"

As some of you might know, our Musketeers, a group of highly dedicated shareholders, finance MYC4's operations and development. So far, we have five Musketeers with the aim to attract a total of 12 Musketeers over three rounds of investment.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to attract the amount of funding and Musketeers in 2009 we needed due to the negative development MYC4 has been through in the last 12 months. Even with a comprehensive reorganisation in 2009, which means that we have now build the fundament for growth and quality, potential Musketeers have decided to take a wait-and-see approach.

This means that we need to adjust our strategy and budget for 2010 accordingly, and therefore, MYC4 is during these weeks going through a process of adjusting and reducing costs for 2010. Mads Kjaer, the CEO and main shareholder in MYC4 has decided to contribute with a total budget for 2010 of 1,4 million Euro. It is important to underline that MYC4 will continue operations and continue developing our business model. However, it will be at a different pace than we had expected. Also, it is important to highlight that all employees are in principal needed in order to carry out the important task of building MYC4, and therefore it is sad that MYC4 is now forced to reduce costs and let some staff go.

As a consequence, MYC4's management decided to conduct a collective termination of all employees' contracts on Monday November 30 in order to renegotiate employment with all employees and give them the possibility of deciding what to do in the current situation with a three-month notice period.

Some employees have already decided to stay on board, just as the CEO and deputy CEO yesterday had their terminations withdrawn by the Board of Directors, which means that MYC4 will continue under the management of Mads Kjaer and Svend Toettrup. By end of next week all employees will have clarity over their situation.

MYC4 will continue our hard efforts to attract funding from as well national and international investors who see the potential that lies in the concept of MYC4 and who see the giant strides we have taken during the last couple of years despite our challenges. Especially, investors who realise that we have learned from previous mistakes and eventually have a stronger starting point for success than we had two years ago.


Click here to ready the official press release (in Danish).



27.11.2009 MYC4 Newsletter November 2009
Click on the image to read the newsletter.

19.11.2009 Dispute with our Kenyan Partner Ebony Capital Ltd.

MYC4 is currently experiencing a dispute with one of our Partners in Kenya, Ebony Capital Ltd. We wish to be as open and transparent about this matter as possible, and we inform about the progress of the case in the Forum as well as in the monthly newsletter.

Please follow this thread in the Forum for updates from MYC4.
Read the email, which has been sent out to all Investors with Ebony loans here.
Go to MYC4's most recent Newsletter here.

12.11.2009 Invitation: Investor Afternoon December 2nd 2009

December 2nd we are hosting the next Investor Knowledge Sharing afternoon in our Head Office in Copenhagen. This time, we will focus on Africa Operations and Partner Selection Strategy. Read more and sign up here.

30.10.2009 MYC4 Newsletter October 2009
Click on the image to read the newsletter.

21.10.2009 Release and downtime tomorrow between 14 and 16 CET

Tomorrow, Thursday October 22, we are releasing “Sprint 3”. Therefore, we expect to have some scheduled downtime between 14 and 16 CET. The release will entail some changes and improvements for Investors concerning:
- Grace periods
- MyAccount
- News back on front page

Read more about the release and improvements here.  

20.10.2009 Few loans on the marketplace the coming weeks
As a 'forewarning' this is to inform investors that only a low amount of loans will be open for bidding the coming weeks. Read more here.

28.09.2009 MYC4 Newsletter September 2009
 Click on the image to view MYC4's September Newsletter
24.09.2009 New Partner: Fusion Capital
We are happy to welcome a new Partner on the MYC4 marketplace: Fusion Capital. You can read more about Fusion Capital here.

We are also happy to introduce a risk sharing agreement with Fusion Capital. An agreement made to ensure a strong motivation and incentive for Fusion Capital to build a high quality portfolio on MYC4.com. The risk sharing agreement is valid for one year and will give Fusion Capital a good chance to prove their track record.

The headings of the agreement are that in the first year of operation, Fusion Capital deposits 15 % of the loan amount disbursed on a locked account. In case of default, the money will
cover the default as long as there are sufficient funds on the account. The legal agreement is rather complex, but what it basically means is that Fusion carries 15 % of the risk on each loan. In other words, this is not a bullet proof guarantee for investors, yet it creates a strong incentive for Fusion Capital to build a healthy portfolio of loans.


16.09.2009 MYC4 African Director Pete Ondeng speaks at Faula Advisory, Kenya
October 3rd, Pete Ondeng, who is Director of African Operations and heading MYC4's regional office in Nairobi, is speaking at a Faulu Advisory event in Nairobi. Read more here.

07.09.2009 MYC4 in Danida's Magazine Udvikling

MYC4 is featured in Danida’s monthly magazine, Udvikling, in an article that, despite MYC4’s own possibility to participate, appears quite critical and one-sided. Therefore, after dialogue with the editor, Stefan Katic, MYC4 had the opportunity to write a comment to the article in the online version of Udvikling. A comment, we of course would like to share with our Investors and stakeholders.

Read the article 
here (pages 6-7) and MYC4’s comment here.  

04.09.2009 MYC4 on Business.dk
Yesterday, Business.dk - a Danish online business news site - featured an article about MYC4. Read it here.

25.08.2009 MYC4 Newsletter

   Click on the image to read MYC4's August 2009 Newsletter 

25.08.2009 Downtime tomorrow August 26 from 1100 to 1300 CET
Due to scheduled deployment MYC4.com wil be unstable tomorrow between 1100 and 1300 CET. We apologize for any inconvenience it will cause.

24.08.2009 Software Development moves to Copenhagen
After long and careful consideration, MYC4 has decided to move the software development department from Kampala, Uganda, to the Copenhagen office. The decision is made in close connection with MYC4’s strategic focus on streamlining the organization by focusing all efforts on (a) building a solid and scalable IT platform, (b) creating a strong basis for growth in Africa, and (c) improving the capacity and quality with MYC4’s current Partners.

Read more
here.


17.08.2009 MYC4 featured on SABC
MYC4 was recently featured on SABC, South African Broadcasting Corporation. Watch the clip here:



17.08.2009 Invitation: knowledge sharing afternoon
MYC4 would like to invite investors to a knowledge sharing afternoon at the MYC4 office in Copenhagen. Read more here.

 

29.07.2009 MYC4 in German Business Magazine Brandeins
This months, MYC4 is featured in a six page article in the German Business Magazine Brandeins. Read the article here (in German).


22.07.2009 Less Loans on the marketplace
Due to the structure of MYC4’s License System, Partners are only allowed to provide Loans in accordance to their performance. Since MYC4 is currently experiencing a too high PAR (Portfolio at Risk) and a poor performance with a larger part of our Partners in Africa, there will be a limited amount of new Loans on the marketplace in the coming months. Read more here.

13.07.2009 MYC4 featured in The East African
Today, MYC4 is featured in "The East African", a large business daily. Read the article here.  


29.06.2009 New fee structure on MYC4
MYC4 has made the strategic decision to change the fee structure by removing “closing fees” and only charging “interest fees” on the loans, when they are being repaid. That means that MYC4 is on the same side as the Investors; only earning money when the Borrowers repay their loans.

With this change MYC4 wants to signal a strong belief in the viability of the Businesses, and to align MYC4 earning with the earning of the investors and similar to investors be affected by any defaults and currency fluctuation.

Concretely, MYC4 will change the current income structure, where the Borrower is charged a flat fee of 2% of the loan amount, payable only when the loan is actually disbursed, and an additional fee of 2% (interest spread) when the loan is repaid on the basis of a declining balance. This corresponds to a total fee to MYC4 of approx. 3 percent of the total loan amount. Instead, MYC4 will charge 6% interest commission. Considering a 12-month loan time, this 6% charge matches the 2% on initial balance plus the 2% on outstanding balance fees. The change will in most cases be neutral for the borrower.

In the same line, MYC4 encourages our Partners to shift their income from closing fees to repayment (interest) fees to show their belief in the quality of their portfolio towards investors. However, our Partners are not obligated to change their income structure, so it is up to each of them if and when they will change due to for instance their cash-flow situation. The new fee structure will be implemented on all loans during July, 2009.

16.06.2009 Downtime Thursday June 18
Thursday, June 18, we will be updating our servers with the latest upgrades, patches etc. This will result in some instability and periodic downtime on the website during the period 9.00 AM till noon CET.

15.06.2009 MYC4 in Jyllands-Posten
Saturday, national Danish News Paper Jyllands-Posten ran two articles about MYC4. One is about pension fund PFA's support of MYC4 and investment of 125,000 DKK on the marketplace. The other is on MYC4's annual accounts and the challenges, we currently are facing, which is also described in the 2008 Annual Report.


10.06.2009 Release of TIC TAC Phase 1

Today, MYC4 will release the first of three phases of the so-called TIC TAC project. TIC TAC is an analogy for the quality of a Swiss clock work, because the aim is to have MYC4 run smooth and perfect. The implementation wil result in some downtime today, Wednesday June 10, from 2pm to 6pm CET. The implementation of Phase 1 entails a number of improvements for Investors as well as Partners. Read more about the Investor related improvements here.

08.06.2009 MYC4 featured on DR2
Last night, the Danish TV channel DR2 screened the third program in a series about "The world's biggest challenges". The program dealt with poverty as a challenge and described the Millennium Village project together with MYC4 as new ways of combating poverty. Watch the program here.

25.05.2009 MYC4 in Danish radio

Thursday, May 21, the national Danish Radio, DR P1, featured a 30 minute broadcast with MYC4 Investor Johan, who visits three of the Businesses, he has invested in. You can listen to the entire program here.

18.05.2009 MYC4 featured in Ducth TV
Today, MYC4 was featured in a fifteen minute TV program about microfinance on Dutch RTL. The program is part of a series called Wereldzaken (World affairs). Reporter Babs Assink visits a maternity clinic in Uganda, and Dutch Princess Maxima explains about the interest rates. Watch the program here (episode 4).

06.05.2009 Public holiday Friday, May 8

Due to public holiday in Denmark on Friday, May 8, the MYC4 office will be closed. Therefore, we will not respond to telephone, Skype and email inquiries Friday, just as we will not be able to handle bank transactions until Monday, May 11. We are sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

24.04.2009 MYC4 on Swedish television
Last night, MYC4 was featured in the Swedish TV program "Korrespondenterna" on SVT. Watch the clip here (go to 22nd minute) and meet one of MYC4's borrowers from Masai Mara i Kenya together with one of our Partners, James Maina from Ebony. We welcome all new (Swedish) invenstors on board.  


17.04.2009 Card transactions will be temporarily down on Monday April 20

On Monday, April 20 card transactions will be rejected between 0200 AM CET and 0500 AM CET. The transactions will be rejected for two periods of up to 45 minutes due to maintenance of the platform of our supplier of payment services. We are sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.


08.04.2009 Easter holiday

From April 9 to April 13, it is officially Easter holiday in Denmark. Therefore, the MYC4 offices will be closed in this period. That means that we will be slower at getting back to inquires, just as we will not be able to handle bank transactions until Tuesday, April 14. We wish you all a very happy Easter Holiday.

03.04.2009 MYC4 wins "e-handelsprisen" as best financial e-commerce
Yesterday FDIH, the Association of Internet and Distance Trade, held the prestigious award of the Danish e-commerce price. A total of 45 companies were involved in the fight for the honors. In the category "best financial e-commerce" MYC4 won in fierce competition with Nykredit and IHI Bupa. The jury said: "MYC4 is a unique and innovative business concept that manages to combine investment and CSR on an ambitious and interactive way, by exploiting the Internet's full potential."

"I'm incredibly proud and honored that we got ehandelsprisen. We see it as a very important recognition of MYC4, and what we do. The Internet is our home, so it is particularly valuable to be recognized in this forum, "said co-founder of MYC4, Tim Vang the after ceremony.

01.04.09 MIF made bid EUR 100,000 today on www.MYC4.com
The investment company MIF that consisting of The Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) ,CSR Capital and The Way Forward have today made their first 100,000 euro bid. The money was out in bids just few minutes after setting up the auto bid agents. The aim is to invest a total EUR 2.2 million) in Africa through MYC4 over the next 4-5-6 months (depending of loans available).You can also see the beginning of MIFs profile on MYC4 – is still under construction. MIF will be transparent in their communication to inspire other possible investors and therefore all documents will be published on the profile eg. shareholders agreement, investment agreement etc.

24.03.2009 MYC4 in top 3-race for "E-handelsprisen" 2009
We are proud to announce that MYC4 is in the running up to be awarded at this year’s “E-handelsprisen”, which is an annual event held by The Danish Distance Selling and E-business Association, FDIH, paying a tribute to the best Danish E-commerce companies. MYC4 is nominated in the category ‘best financial E-commerce company’, and the prestigious competition has now come down to three finalists; Nykredit, ihi Bupa, and MYC4.

The winner of the category will be announced on the E-commerce Party, which takes place in the historical "Børsen" building in Copenhagen on April 2nd. We will of course announce whether or not we are the proud winner. Stay tuned.

19.03.2009 INTL pilot started in Uganda

As previously mentioned, MYC4 is starting a collaboration with INTL, an independent, publicly held financial services firm, in order to improve the financial transactions between MYC4 and our African partners. This will for instance mean a faster processing time (best case we will be able to disburse a loan within three working days from the day the loan is closed for bids), just as it will enable us to reduce the so-called bid/ask price to a maximum of one percent when it comes to transactions between different currencies. This does not take away the currency risk, i.e. the chance of gaining/risk of losing on currency fluctuations, from investors, but it will help reduce the costs of exchanging currencies when using local banks where the spread can easily be six to eight percent for less traded currencies.

Implementing the INTL services is a rather comprehensive process for MYC4’s partners. Therefore, we have just started a pilot with one of our Ugandan partners, Gatsby. During the pilot phase, we will investigate how to implement INTL in the smoothest way allowing us to expand it to all countries. We expect to start a similar pilot in Kenya during April.

We are very happy about the advantages the INTL solution will bring and will keep you posted as we move forward in the process of implementation.

16.03.2009 GAC buys bad performing portfolio

During the past three months, one of our Providers in Kenya, Growth Africa Capital (GAC), has experienced an increasing PAR. There are a number of reasons for this such as poor implementation and bad policy, which means that a number of GAC’s first 330 loans uploaded and funded at MYC4 are very likely to default. GAC expects that 65 loans are very likely to default in the near future.

To assume responsibility hereof, GAC will before mid April pay 95 pct. of these 65 loans’ balances to the respective investors, and assume in full the responsibility of these loans and their eventual repayment. GAC’s immediate evaluation is that of these 65 loans, most will default and with large amounts – getting 95% of your outstanding balance here and now is thus a very attractive deal.

In the months to come, GAC will continue to observe the poorly performing portfolio and if necessary buy another 50-75 loans out at 95 pct. of the balance by mid June.
Seen from MYC4’s point of view, this is a very strong proof that GAC is taking action when it comes to improving current and future performance. As you can read on GAC’s Provider Blog, GAC has initiated a wide range of activities in order to increase the quality of their loan portfolio. This includes for instance the engagement of a new Management and a new team of experienced loan officers, just as GAC has invested heavily in an improved infrastructure as well as training and technical assistance from very seasoned MFI consultants.

Due to all these initiatives, MYC4 is very confident that GAC will succeed in improving its portfolio and bring down PAR remarkably. Therefore, MYC4 and GAC have made a special agreement, where GAC is allowed to upload EUR10.000 a week until the end of April.  This amount will grow in determined phases up until October, provided that all quality targets are fulfilled.

Read more about this matter on
GAC’s Provider Blog (remember to click "1 comment" to see MYC4s reply). 

13.03.2009 Card transactions will be down on Monday the 16/3 - 2009
On Monday 16/3 – 2009 card transactions will be rejected between 0200 AM CET and 0600 AM CET. The transactions will be rejected for two periods of up to 45 minutes.
We are sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

07.03.2009 MYC4 film gets awarded at Danish Press Photo of the Year

On March 6, 2009, the film "Learn about MYC4" won second place at the Danish competition Press Photo of the Year in the category "TV documentary of the year". Congratulations to Tanja Jørgensen, who shot the film! Click here to watch the film.

06.03.2009 Downtime Monday from 10 to 12 am. CET
Due to development of our website, www.MYC4.com will be down on Monday the 9 of March from 10 am CET to 12 am CET. We are sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

02.03.2009 New web design
Tomorrow, MYC4 is launching a new web design. This means that you will see a new MYC4 “skin”, which is more simple than our current design and visually more in line with our mission: To end poverty through business. Our aim with the new design is to make it easier for both new and existing investors to grasp what MYC4 is all about. Underneath the new design, everything is as you know it, and the new design does not entail any changes in the way you invest and manage your MyAccount. We hope that you will like the new design just as much as we d
o.

 



26.02.2009 Let the bidding begin!
For a while, we have experienced that we haven’t been able to provide you with as many businesses as planned. This is due to the fact that we want to keep a strict control with the quality of each business and that we have been focusing on training of our Providers in order to ensure a sustainable growth going forward.

However, we are now getting up in speed. At the time of writing,
107 businesses are open for investments, representing a total capital need of more than EUR 580,000. 36 of the businesses that are currently open for bids are asking for loans over EUR 5,000 with the highest loan being on EUR 32,259. This also gives a good picture that we are moving in the right direction getting deeper into the mesosegment covering more small and medium sized businesses.

So go to
invest and pick your businesses. Africa is waiting!

23.02.2009 Sign up for newsletter
To be able to send out newsletters to our investors, we need to have all investors’ consent. Therefore, we have made a small change in our Terms and Conditions, so that new investors automatically agree to receive periodic newsletter emails from MYC4. The frequency of these newsletters may vary but will be no greater than once per month.

Also, we will implement a functionality to make sure that our existing investors get the chance to sign up for our newsletter. If you already now want to sign up for future newsletters, please send an email to administration@MYC4.com.

20.02.2009 No BLOGGING for loans under EUR 2,000 when late
We have increasingly experienced complaints from our Investors about not getting information on the individual Business blogs from our Providers and at the same time it is an increasing workload for our Providers to give the information. To improve the overall communication MYC4 has decided to stop the BLOGS for loans under EUR 2,000 when loans are late. The reason is that some of our Providers e.g. FED and GAC if they should write BLOGs on all the late loans should use two full time employees for the next 2 weeks to catch up. This is not a sustainable use of resources and therefore we have decided to drop the Blogs for this group of loan moving forward, but you will still get emails when loans are late and final reports. For loans above EUR 2,000 there will still be BLOG on the individual Businesses if the loan is late. We believe that we can avoid standardized answers and focus on more individual feedback.

You as an Investor can still write directly on the Provider blog to get specific answers on all loans. We have enforced to the Providers that it is extremely important that these comments on the Provider blog are answered as soon as possible.

10.02.2009 MYC4 launches Advisory Board in Kenya
We are happy to announce that MYC4’s first, African Advisory Board is now in place in Kenya. The Advisory Board was introduces last Thursday, February 5, when MYC4 had a launch event in Nairobi with more than 50 attendants from the political, financial and corporate world, and from media and local MFIs. So far, MYC4 has +150 Kenyan investors, and we have provided loans for 2.7 mio. Euro to 1.250 Kenyan businesses. In 2009, we are planning to expand our activities in Kenya, and the Advisory Board will provide local knowledge, create contacts to key partners and help promote MYC4 in Kenya. Read the full press release here. The Board consists of following members:

•    Manu Chandaria, chairman of
Mabati Rolling Milles, Founding Chairman of East African
Business Council
and Kenyan Private Sector Alliance.

•    Vimal Shah; Director of
BIDCO and Chairman of Kenyan Association of Manufacturers.

•    Tom Onyango, Partner in Triplelaw, Lawyer for
Kenyan association of microfinance institution

•    Pete Ondeng, Economic Development Consultant and, until December, 2008 regional director
for
Millennium Promise Alliance.

•    Susan N. Omanga, Managing Director of Exclamation Marketing Ltd, has marketing
management experience from
Standard Chartered, Barclays Bank, Boots, Colgate Palmolive

•    Julie Gichuru, journalist at Royal Media.


Members of MYC4's Kenyan Advisory Board

27.01.2009 MTN pledges $250,000 to support small businesses through MYC4
MTN Uganda will invest $250,000 as seed capital to support small and medium scale entrepreneurs in Uganda via MYC4. The investment is a three year partnership that will target rural women in the areas of agriculture, artisanship and ICT. It will offer credit of up to €3,000 to small and medium scale enterprises that qualify for funding throughout the country.
“This is a great opportunity for us to champion the notion of an African Company helping fellow Africans instead of the common perception that Aid should always come from “Abroad”” said Mr Van Veen during the announcement and launch of the partnership at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. The capital investment guidelines require that MTN’s loan contribution must constitute a minimum of 33 percent of the total loan required. 

Read the full press release
here and see the investment profile of MTN.

14.01.2009 MYC4 on InterAction's Best Corporations Listing
MYC4 is proud to announce that we, together with Kjaer Group A/S, have been nominated as one of the Top Ten Best Companies in Global Development. The nomination comes from The American Council for Voluntary International Action, InterAction, which aims at recognizing companies that prioritize investing in people and demonstrate a commitment to the fight against global poverty. The other nine nominated companies are American Express, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Elluminate Inc., GE, Google, Johnson & Johnson, MCKesson, and Working Assets.

Read more about the nomination
here.

06.01.2009 Tanzania is now open for investments

Today, MYC4 welcomes the first Tanzanian businesses on the platform. Tanzania is situated in eastern Africa, and MYC4’s expansion to Tanzania is mainly driven by our existing African partner Growth Africa Capital, GAC, who wish to expand their Provider business to Tanzania. We have been working together with GAC since November 2007, and they have been performing well. Tanzania is the fourth East African country on MYC4.com. You can read more about Tanzania here.

23.12.2008 Africa is open for investments during Christmas
It is Christmas time, and therefore MYC4 will be wound down from December 22 till January 5. However, this does not mean that you cannot invest nor get in contact with us. But you must expect a little longer response time, just as the MYC4 staff or the Providers won’t be as active on the Forum as usually.

We would like to take this chance to wish everybody a warm and merry Christmas and happy new year.

Holiday wishes from the MYC4 Team.

23.12.2008 Côte d'Ivoire Update
MYC4 staff has been spending the past 3 weeks with our 2 partners in Côte d'Ivoire and can now share our insight with you. Both Ivoire Credit, Notre Nation and MYC4 have been underestimating the challenges of building and managing a loan portfolio of almost 1 mio. and 500 loans in just 10 months. Timely follow up on and correct registration of repayments has not been performed adequately. Therefore, PAR information for Côte d'Ivoire is not correct and we will not post any information before all transactions have been verified and confirmed. The data clean-up process for the period in question has now been initiated and we expect to have all historic data from before December 1st corrected in Q2 2009, after which the PAR figures should be correct and can be posted on the MYC4 platform.

A procedure has now been implemented to secure correct daily and weekly reconciliation of data. The process will secure that registration of repayment data between Provider and Administrator are now properly and consistently documented and aligned daily. Also, collection procedures, recommended by an experienced Microfinance consultant, have been defined and additional collection staff are being hired and trained. We can expect to see a steady increase in repayments over the coming weeks and months.  As the new process is key for improving the repayment situation we will be in Cote d'Ivoire in January 2009 to follow up. In addition a capacity building program educating our partners in Cote d'Ivoire will take place as soon as possible to secure the longterm skills and organization are in place.

With regards to the lack of blogging activity from Côte d'Ivoire an English speaking staff will be taken on in January to inform Investors on a regular basis.

Both MYC4 and our 2 Partners in Côte d'Ivoire will be keeping you updated on the platform on a regular basis - thank you for your understanding of the situation and trust that both MYC4 and our partners are doing our utmost to remedy the situation.

To keep the focus on the procedures, repayments and communication to the Investors NN and IC will until further not upload new loans on MYC4.

09.12.2008 Mads Kjær awarded Idealist of the Year

Today, MYC4 co-founder Mads Kjær was awarded with the entrepreneurial award “Ivækstprisen” as Idealist of the Year. Ivækstprisen is a new initiative aiming to honor inspirational entrepreneurs. The idea is to reward enterprising people from the Danish corporate world for their drive and for their entrepreneurial spirits. The award, Idealist of the Year is given to an enterprising person who is motivated by more than his or her own gain. Together with the award, MYC4 received a grant of DKK 74.075.

05.12.2008 Dr. Muhammad Yunus visits MYC4

One of the great sources of inspiration for MYC4 is 2006 Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who is the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. On December 4, Yunus visited Denmark, and at MYC4 we had the honor to meet him at our office in Copenhagen before he went to speak at a large conference at Copenhagen Business School.

Muhammad Yunus is by many considered the pioneer of today’s microfinance. During the seventies and eighties Yunus worked as head of the Economics Department at Chittagong University in Bangladesh. Here, the comprehensive economical theories stood in stark contrast to the reality just miles from the university, where people live in poverty. Therefore, Yunus started focusing on economical growth in a smaller scale, and in 1983 he established Grameen Bank. The goal was to offer loans in microscopic scale to “unbankable” entrepreneurs.

Today, Grameen Bank has almost 2,500 branches, and since the early eighties Grameen Bank has lended more than six billion US dollars to poor entrepreneurs.


MYC4 founders Mads Kjær and Tim Vang together with Dr. Muhammad Yunus.


04.12.2008 Benetton endorses MYC4

The world known Italian company United Colors of Benetton endorses MYC4. Go to Benetton and the Benetton Group Communications Research Center, Fabrica, to see their wonderful banner adds.

03.12.2008 A Christmas Gift that matters
The true pleasure of giving is the awareness of spreading joy to those, who receive. By giving away a MYC4 Gift Card for Christmas, you give a gift that matter – both to the receiver and to African entrepreneurs with willpower to lift themselves, their families and their local communities out of poverty. It is easy to give a MYC4 Gift Card for Christmas:

- Log in to your MYC4 Account and click on Gift Card
- Type in the name and email of the recipients, as well as the amount you wish to give
- Click on "Send" and you are done!
- You can also send a MYC4 Christmas card – either by mail or by printing it out.

If you wish to know more about the MYC4 Gift Card, read
here.

27.11.2008 Update Côte d'Ivoire and mistake in “Late repayments”

MYC4 is experiencing that the significant changes undertaken by Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation are starting to bear fruit. Both Providers are catching up on the administrative workload and as a result their PAR is decreasing. For the sake of transparency we are still aiming to shortly post a correct PAR even though all loans funded in Côte d'Ivoire are covered by the default insurance from Miscoci. Some loans are still late, but none are more than two months late or close to default.
In the coming weeks more capacity will be added to these Providers focusing on assisting and overseeing the repayment processes. From MYC4 headquarters two people will be assisting during the first weeks of December and a MFI consultant will be working this week evaluating the repayment processes.

Mistake in “late repayments”
Currently we are working on correcting an information mistake in your “My Account”. In the text line: late repayment does not correspond with the actual Businesses that are late/red if you click line. We do apologize for the inconvenience.

26.11.2008 MIDSPAR creates a MYC4 savings deposit

Middelfart Sparekasse is a Danish savings bank that does a great effort to create a social impact – locally as well as globally. Therefore, Middelfart Sparekasse has been supporting MYC4 since our tender start by being a so-called musketeer. Now, the bank has launched another initiative: a MYC4 savings deposit, where the deposits are invested in African businesses through MYC4.
At present, the account holders will receive an interest of 3 pct., just as Middelfart Sparekasse will spend an amount equal to two pct. of the deposit on social purposes in Africa. Additionally, once a year Middelfart Sparekasse will draw one of the account holders to win a trip for two persons to visit a MYC4 Business in Africa.

Furthermore, Middelfart Sparekasse invites everyone to join this year’s online Christmas Calendar. Every day, you have the opportunity to win a MYC4 Account worth DKK 500.

20.11.2008 MYC4 in The Times
Today, MYC4 is featured in the national British newspaper The Times. The article is featured in the printed as well as the online version of The Times, and we hope to welcome a lot of new investors in the light of this great exposure.

Read the online version of the article "
The Dragon's Den, African-style" here.

18.11.2008 MYC4 in Danish ”Aftenshowet”
Last night, MYC4 co-founder Mads Kjær appeared in the national Danish TV-programme Aftenshowet, which is broadcasted live from the Town Hall Square in Copenhagen.

The exposure generated a lot of traffic at MYC4.com and so far we have welcomed almost 100 new investors. Hopefully, more will join in the days to come. 

15.11.2008 Liberal Freedom Award to Mads Kjær and MYC4
Today, the Danish Liberal Party, Venstre, announced the Freedom Award for the fifth time. This year, the prize went to MYC4 co-founder Mads Kjær for his targeted action to combat poverty in Africa. Ulla Tornaes (V), minister of Development, supports the idea of "development through business". She sees MYC4 as a great example of social entrepreneurship.

"It is an enormous recognition of MYC4.com as a serious tool for poverty alleviation through business. The overriding task for the international community is helping to generate the 10-15 million African jobs annually, which is necessary if the large youth generation should be absorbed in the labor market in Africa,"said Mads Kjaer, when he received the award.

Mads received the award from Carl Holst, who is the Council president for the Danish Liberal Party,
Venstre, South Region, who gave following reason:
"The recipient of the Liberal Party Freedom Award 2008 goes to an initiative that is focused on providing self-help. Four years ago there were two Danes, who wondered about how difficult it was for local entrepreneurs in developing countries to obtain loans for growing their businesses. Therefore, they set up the Internet marketplace MYC4, which transmits micro-loans to entrepreneurs in Africa. On MYC4.com we can - in rich countries - have direct contact with poor people in Africa, who lack capital for their businesses. This is really self-help, because these are loans that are repaid. It is not charity. It is business."

Read about the award in Venstre magazine: Liberalt Overblik
(Liberal Overview)

12.11.2008 Congratulations to investor no 10,000
Today, MYC4 has reached yet another wonderful milestone: investor number 10,000 joined our fight to end poverty through business.

At exactly 7.11 pm. CET, investor number 10,000 signed up. His name is Hans Peder From. To celebrate the nice, round number, MYC4 congratulates Hans Peder From with EUR 100 for him to invest in one or more African businesses of his own choice.

Congratulations to Hans Peder and all other investors. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about MYC4 so we can continue reaching new milestones.

10.11.2008 Microsoft award for ”Powerfully Simple User Experience”

We are proud to announce that last wednesday, MYC4 won an award for ”Powerfully Simple User Experience” at Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen's (MDCC) large IT event called TechFest.

MDCC’s ambition with TechFest is to help showcase all the innovative work in Denmark and the Øresund region and to help facilitate networking and opportunities for cooperation. MYC4 won the award with following reason:

”MYC4 uses the power of  IT technology to address one of the biggest problems of our time: the extreme poverty in Africa. Building on an innovative idea, the company's overall goal has been clear from the outset; but what is really impressive, is their ability to keep the goals of their end-users in focus throughout the development process. The result is a very powerful tool that in a simple way connects people with needs with people with means.”

"I believe it has a huge impact on Africa that a gigant corporation like Microsoft recognizes MYC4.com as a tool to end poverty. For the first time ever you can - as a private individual, a company or an institution - invest directly in African entrepreneurs, earn interest and at the same time create a greater world. You are just one click away from becoming a part of the solution to a prosperous Africa, says Co-founder of MYC4.com Tim Vang


7.11.2008 Mads Kjaer nominated as Denmarks most inspiring entrepreneur

CEO and co-founder of MYC4 Mads Kjaer is nominated for “ivækstprisen”, which is a Danish award with the purpose to support energy and courage in Danish companies. Mads is nominated in the category for “The Idealist of the Year”, and we would love your vote and support at www.ivaekst.dk.

The organizers,
Erhvervsbladet and IVAEKST, have following motivation for the award:

“Entrepreneurs need guiding stars and faith in the potential of being ambitious. Therefore, Denmark now finally has an award that doesn’t focus on financial ratios, but is about the fascination and inspiration of the good stories.”

31.10.2008 Peter and Camille in Africa

In May 2008 MYC4 held a contest among our investors to see who could attract most new Investors. The winner was Peter Schmidt, who is a paediatrician at the National Hospital of Denmark. He has been a MYC4 Investor since the beginning of 2008, and he has convinced his entire family and a lot of friends and colleagues to join as well.

Peter won a trip to Africa, and invited his daughter Camille to join. Read Peter’s blog about the trip and watch beautiful pictures and videos here.

30.10.2009 IFU and CSR Capital invest EUR 2.2 million in Africa via MYC4

The Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and CSR Capital have decided to invest a total of DKK 15 million (approx. EUR 2.2 million) in Africa through MYC4. The Danish Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs (V) supports the decision.

"This is an extremely important milestone for MYC4. That IFU and CSR Capital now invest through MYC4 is an endorsement of our initiative as a serious tool in the fight to eradicate poverty in Africa through the marketplace MYC4.com," says CEO of MYC4 Mads Kjær and continues:
"We hope this will inspire financial institutions, pension funds and companies to invest in Africa through MYC4. We are already well under way, but to make a significant difference for the development in Africa, this kind of investors play an important role.”

Danish Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs (V) warmly welcomes IFU’s initiative to invest in Africa through MYC4.

"Danida has been the facilitator for MYC4. Through the Public Private Partnerships, Danida has supported the development of MYC4. I am glad to see the interest and support for the new marketplace. It shows the economic potential for investments in Africa," says Tørnæs.

IFU is an independent fund under the Danish Foreign Ministry. IFU’s purpose is to promote economic development in developing countries in partnership with the Danish industry, and now the fund invests DKK ten million in Africa through MYC4. 

"With the investment IFU wants to contribute to poverty reduction and business development of small and medium enterprises in Africa," says Investment Manager Kasper Svarrer from IFU.

In addition, the private investment firm CSR Capital invests DKK five million through MYC4. CSR Capital focuses specifically on social and environmentally sustainable investments:

“Good investments and development can and must go hand in hand in order to create the basis for sustainable economic, environmental and social growth and welfare in any society,"says CEO of CSR Capital Sven Riskær.

Moreover, co-founder of MYC4 Mads Kjær, has already invested DKK ten millionon MYC4’s marketplace through the holding company The Way Forward.

29.10.2008 Cooperation with Planet Rating started
MYC4 has started cooperation with Paris-based Planet Rating, which is a specialized microfinance rating agency, to conduct future ratings of our partners in Africa. Currently, for those partners that do not have long enough histories, Planet Rating will conduct what is referred to as a mini-rating. The purpose of the Ratings is two-fold: 1) to give our Investors a better transparency and insight into our Provider partners’ businesses and 2) to give our Partners an evaluation of their performance compared to best practice in the Microfinance sector. The aim is to improve their businesses by highlighting issues that need strengthening going forward.
What’s more, Planet Rating will work with us to adapt its traditional ratings procedures to the particular business model of MYC4. To initiate the process, Planet Rating has already screened FED in Uganda and GAC in Kenya as well as Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit in Cote d’Ivoire. These ratings will yield reports on each Provider to highlight key strengths and weaknesses of each organization. To read the conclusions of Planet Ratings reports of FED and GAC go to their Providers pages or click
here for FED and here for GAC. In the future all our major Providers will be undergo ratings as they grow.

MYC4 is very aware that some of our partners are new in the Microfinance business and we acknowledge their willingness to partner with us at a stage where our concept was not yet proven. During the first year of business, both MYC4 and our partners have learned a great deal and we are all working to improve and consolidate our way of doing businesses and approach it to best practice. MYC4 is committed to assist our Partners in this process, both by having our Risk Manager monitor our Partners’ growth and by providing capacity building programs (Technical Assistance) for all our partners in Africa. A Microfinance Management Training Seminar has just been held for 50 of our current and future Partners in Kenya. This will be followed up by customized training on location for all of our large Partners’ staff in the period November 2008 to February 2009.
The cooperation with Planet Rating will also extend to random audits of the African businesses who have obtained a loan through MYC4. These random spot checks will ensure investors that information on the webpage is in line with the reality in the field and at the same time ensure the borrowers that they are obtaining the loans on the terms set out on MYC4. These field audits will be carried out in addition to the spot checks carried out by MYC4 staff

25.10.2008 3,000 businesses funded
Today, we have reached 3,000 funded African businesses, and with only 23 defaults, we have proven that our concept works. So far, 316 businesses have paid back their loans successfully, and another 2665 are right now developing their businesses and paying back their loans.

So, we have taken the first step of many in our mission to end poverty. Before yearend 2008 our goal is to reach 5,000 funded businesses. The tool is right at the end of your fingertips. Happy bidding!

23.10.2008 Update Côte d'Ivoire
As stated in our Update from 15.10.2008 both Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation are undergoing significant reorganization and operational changes. This is putting significant pressure on both organizations and we expected that there might be delay in some payments going forward. In fact some repayments are now delayed but we except to see some of them in your Account shortly. We are still awaiting the outcome of the operational changes as mentioned above. To date all loan funded on Côte d'Ivoire is covered by the default insurance from Miscoci.

23.10.2008 EUR 5 MILLION INVESTED
Today, MYC4 has reached an important milestone: Now EUR 5 million is invested via the platform, and 2,991 African entrepreneurs are enabled to develop their businesses because of YOU.

We are proud to have come so far, and we continue to aim higher in order to end poverty by 2015. There are still numerous African entrepreneurs, who lack capital. So keep up the good work and let’s end poverty!

23.10.2008 Jens Honoré wins prestigious contest with MYC4 photo
MYC4 photographer Jens Honoré, who stands behind the beautiful pictures from our PHOTOGRAFRICA exhibition, has just won the prestigious photo contest World In Focus sponsored by National Geographic Traveler. The winning photo is part of the PHOTOGRAFRICA series, and depicts Keynesian children playing football.



The photo will be exhibited at the PDN Photo Plus International Conference and at Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. Also, the photo will be featured in the World In Focus winners section in the February 2009 issue of Photo District News Magazine.
MYC4 congratulates Jens and thanks him once again for his great work. 

22.10.2008 First MYC4 Partner Conference taking place in Kenya now
The first MYC4 Partner Conference 2008 is taking place now at the Lake Nakuru Lodge in Kenya. The number of participants is 48 and on top of this 4-5 outside “observers” is attending.  Some participants will also take part in a 3-day capacity building seminar October 23-25th.  The Conference and seminar was made possible by grants from the Dutch FMO and Hivos.

17.10.2008 MYC4 Christmas gift for corporation

Millions of people in Africa lack the capital to start up and develop the businesses needed to kick-start local economic development. Without an established banking system and access to capital on fair and transparent terms, African entrepreneurs face tough odds. Micro-loans promote enterprise and so boost the local economy, and this brings growth and lasting improvements for many more people besides the individual borrower.



By giving your employees and business partners a MYC4 investment account for Christmas, you are giving them a chance to make a difference for some of Africa’s many entrepreneurs, as well as a chance to earn interest and make a healthy return on investment. It is a gift that will bring pleasure to a wide range of people, contribute to healthy economic growth and promote education and health in Africa, boost your company’s corporate social responsibility profile – and even be repaid with interest within a given number of months.

If you are interested in learning more about giving a gift that makes a difference, please contact Ina Pontoppidan at
ina@MYC4.com or on +45 2636 0215. Alternatively, fill in and email the coupon in the PDF file and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

17.10.2008 MYC4 on Comon webTV
Today, the Danish online IT newspaper COMON features a four minutes interview with MYC4 co-founder Tim Vang from the New Media Days. You can see the webTV feature here.
MYC4 was nominated as the New Media of the Year, but unfortunately we lost with the second highest number of votes to DR Bonanza.  

17.10.2008 False emails announcing cancelations of loans

MYC4 has just learned that a bug in our system generates false emails and sends them to our Investors. The mail will state that a loan has been cancelled. The status of the loan in question can be:
1) one that your are currently Bidding on
2) one that already has been funded
3) one that already has been repaid

The information in the mail might not be true, so you have to go to the specific Business on the site to check if your Bid is still valid or if the Business is really cancelled. You may get more than one mail pr loan. MYC4 is currently working to solve the problem ASAP. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

15.10.2008 Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit cancel all open loans on MYC4

Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit have decided to cancel all open loans currently pending on the MYC4 platform. This is being done for two reasons.  First, both Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation are undergoing significant reorganization and operational changes, to plan for improvements and scaling of operations.  This is putting significant pressure on both organizations and we expect that there might be delay in some payments going forward. Second, there has been a relatively long period since many of these Businesses were uploaded, and the current expected loan disbursement dates. To ensure that the borrowers' situations have not change would require a new due diligence of each, which current resources don't allow, given the long list of loans.  Therefore and to protect Investors MYC4 has agreed to return all funds to Investors. This will be done within the next week. If you have money tied up in a Bid to any of these Providers your money will be transferred back into your Account immediately, when the cancellation is done of your specific loan. MYC4 is planning to cancel 105 loans.

MYC4 resume uploading of Businesses from Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit within the coming months, and they will continue to diligently manage the existing portfolio in the interim. If you have more questions please use the Blogs of Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit. We are sorry that your money has been inactive for 4-5 weeks and we apologize.

14.10.2008 MYC4 employee featured in French speaking Magazine Jeune Afrique

The purpose of this section of the magazine is to profile young Africans who have since left the continent but are succeeding in their professions.  You can read the French article about Stéphane here.

10.10.2008 MYC4 proudly presents PHOTOGRAFRICA
A digi-visual exhibition about SMALL-SCALE LOANS WITH LARGE-SCALE IMPACT – A DIGIVISUAL EXHIBITION BY MYC4

“Digi-visual” refers to the digital characteristic of the exhibition. Everything is digital so the exhibition can travel easily to other destinations and be exposed on different platforms such as internet, projectors and plasma screens. It is our aspiration that the exhibition can be distributed to interesting locations around the world.

View the MYC4 film on the MDG's
here.

07.10.08 MYC4 borrowers and investors on movie

See and hear how loans are making a difference in Kenya, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. What do these people have in common: A woman selling used spare parts, a school owner, a mobile bank shop owner living at the savanna,  an entrepreneur selling solar powered lamps and cow herder. They are all borrowers on MYC4. Hear their story as well as why people choose to lend money to these types of businesses.

30.09.2008 Improved tool to manage risk in a loan portfolio

PAR (Portfolio at Risk) was introduced on MYC4 in June, but was removed shortly after as the data report giving PAR figures was not correct.

It is important to state that PAR is not an estimate of the risk in a portfolio but you can use the information from PAR to calculate the risk. PAR informs about delays but don’t assess the impact of the work done by both Providers and Administrators to secure payments from borrowers.

You can calculate the risk in a portfolio by weighting the information as follow:
Delays between 1-31 days          20%
Delays between 32-90 days        50%
Delays between 91-180 days      80%
Defaults actual                                  0%

Risk in total portfolio                     2.9%

The calculation today show a risk in the total loan portfolio at the platform at 2.9%

PAR will show the percentage of outstanding loan value which is experiencing delays in repayments. It will be calculated for each loan and each Provider and serve as a risk assessment tool for the Investors.

All of our Providers but one has an acceptable PAR below 5% of their loan portfolio. At the moment FED/CMC in Uganda has a higher PAR. FED/CMC has now initiated a plan to bring PAR down during the next months. If you want to ask question to FED please post them
here.

29.09.2008 Significant and necessary improvements in FED/CMC
There are currently some significant and necessary improvements going on in FED/CMC. Implementation of the new MIS (Called Financial Solutions, developed by a company called Sigma Technologies, based in Uganda) is one of the many major activities they have undertaken in the recent weeks to both improve their service to their clients and to the Investors. This will mainly help FED to increase focus on control and reduce late repayments.
The impacts starts immediately and we expect to see a positive trend during the coming weeks, yet it will take months before the process has been completed and is satisfactory.
While the actions are being implemented it has been agreed on a stop for new uploads. The combination of the necessary actions in FED and the MYC4 quality control/provider license program seems to be strong enough to manage upcoming issues to protect Investors. Yet we will continue improvement in this area.

The upload of new business will also be continued when the positive trend has been confirmed. If you want to read more please use
FED’s Blog.

29.09.2008 Loan disbursements in Côte d’Ivoire start this week
Disbursements of pending loans in Côte d’Ivoire will start again next week. All loans on the platform that are currently in the process of being funded will be disbursed according to normal procedure. Still we expect that upload of new businesses from Côte d’Ivoire will start within two weeks.

26.09.2008 First Business from Senegal on the platform

MYC4 is thrilled to announce the start of our activities in Senegal with Birima, the microfinance institution recently established by internationally acclaimed musician and humanitarian Youssou Ndour, with the strong support of the clothing giant Benetton. Hear Youssous view on microfinance here
See and hear the wonderful video from
Birima.

Birima will focus on medium-sized loans to companies which have up to now often fallen through the cracks of the finance markets in Africa.  The first loan will be to a school and day care, which several people at MYC4 have had the privilege of visiting.  The school, names La Maison de Gabriel, was set up 2 years ago by a young accountant who hated being away from her young children all day, and worried that many of the schools were either too expensive, or simply not good.  She started a small school which has since gained great media attention for its excellent curriculum even for the youngest children, it’s focus on preparing children for a world in which computer literacy and fluency in French and knowledge of English matters increasingly, and yet keeping school fees low enough to make it affordable to even low-skilled working parents, who earn little but still want to provide a quality education to their children.  In just a few years, the school has grown to include a day care, kindergarten and primary school, and will care for 170 children this coming school year, and provides summer classes to children transferring from other schools.  Despite this, the school has a waiting list which would double the number of students.  Click here, if you would like to invest in the school.

We wish this school, and all the other entrepreneurs that Birima will be bringing to the platform the greatest success, and invite you all to begin investing in Senegal.
If you have any questions related to Birima or to any of their businesses, please address them to their blog.

23.09.2008 Now you can upload money via credit card
As of today MYC4 is introducing a new solution for uploading money via credit card. You can use VISA (non-Danish)and Mastercard (non-Danish and Danish) to upload money to your Account. We aim at getting the Danish cards to work during the next couple of weeks. We apologize for the inconveniences that this may have caused you during the period this option was not in place.

23.09.2008 First Business from Ghana on the platform
MYC4 is happy to announce that the first business from Ghana is now on the platform and was sent by our new Provider Premier Resource Consulting. You can invest in the business here.

If you have any questions related to Premier Resource Consulting or to any of their businesses, please address them to their blog.

19.09.2008 FED introduces MIS system and takes temporary pause for loans

FED has informed us that they are currently implementing a new management information system and will therefore not be uploaded new loans in the coming weeks. If you like to know more please direct your questions to FED’s blog.

16.09.2008 MYC4 nominated as The New Media of the Year
Again this year New Media Days has nominated 7 media business initiatives from Scandinavia for the “New Media of the Year” award. Let’s take a look at the nominees:

Bonanza
The Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) is Denmark’s oldest and largest electronic media enterprise delivering public service television since 1951. As part of the project of digitizing the vast amount of content hidden away in the archives, the Bonanza website was launched to bring DR gems back where they’re really made to shine: In the eyes of the viewers. And soon ears too – the service has been a huge success and will soon host DR radio nostalgia as well.

Blyk
Only if you’re between 16 and 24 years-old you’re qualified to a subscription at Blyk, the first free mobile network to be funded by advertising. Users signing up with the Finnish-based company will receive advertising messages on their mobiles, and in return are given an allowance of free texts and minutes each month. Merging wants of both consumers and businesses – low cost and targeted ads – Blyk is on a roll and planning for pan-European spread.

Dopplr
Where are you off to? Dopplr is an online tool aimed at frequent business travellers that keeps track of when and where you’re heading for your next international appointment. “You put in your travel schedule and link to your friends. It allows you to see where everyone is,” as Wikipedia-founder Jimmi Wales describes the simple and useful service. Recent investing has secured Dopplr additional finances for plans of global expansion.

Momondo
Making travelers’ lives easier is also the focus of Momondo, an easy-to-use flight ticket search engine, with a motto of “Don’t spend it on the flight – Splash it on the night!” A Danish initiative by experienced people from the travel business, Momondo provides a much-needed overview of a de-centralized market by comparing prices from 450 travel web sites. Expanding their business, Momondo has recently opened up to user recommendation with a travelers’ forum and city guide articles.

MYC4
Headquartered in comfortable Copenhagen, MYC4 is working towards the end of world poverty by raising capital for African entrepreneurs. Such noble core values as transparency, openness and trust are the driving forces behind MYC4’s micro credit financing service. Besides investing in small African businesses, users on the MYC4 platform are also encouraged to share their knowledge and resources in a social forum. MYC4’s aim is high – but so is the need for tools of change like this.

PartOfTheGame
Maybe the largest social movement in the world, soccer and its fans are paid honor in this brand channel joint venture by Carlsberg and Brandzation. Some consider merging professional journalism with commercial interests sacriledge, but PartOfTheGame has shown that a firm grip on innovation through professional sparring can result in succesful content with no quality compromises. Beautiful HD-content combines with user engagement to show a likely TV business model for the future.

Google
More of a technical achievement perhaps than an actual medium, V8, the final nominee, is the high performance javascript engine behind Google’s new open source browser, Chrome. It was developed by a team of programmers at Google’s offices in Århus, Denmark, and has attracted international attention for its speed and redesign of web data processing. As an open source development, anyone who wishes to equip  their own applications with V8 turbo can download and build with help from these documents. Vrooom!

An independent jury of Danish media business representatives will decide who takes home the title, which will be announced at the award show on the first evening of the New Media Days conference, October 8th.

15.09.2008 Irregularities with loan details
Some loans on MYC4 had issues with the repayment schedule in the past months due to MYC4 system not being able to accept multiple payments during a given installment period. Our team has solved this problem by enabling multiple payments within the month. However, the error in the past has created loan schedules with a due date long time from today - in the future as far as in November 2008 - such as loan ID # 321 (Jane Nalugwa); ID # 525 (Faith Magulu); ID # 587 (Olivia Kyalimpa).

For these loans, Investors will not receive payments up until the due date, even if the borrowers make some payments for their loans. The late delivery of payments from the Administrator to the investors does not indicate issues on the behalf of the providers’ portfolio quality. MYC4 acknowledges that this (not delivering payments until the due date has arrived) is inconvenient for the investors, but as the IT clean up of this problem would take up to 3 months this was not seen as a viable solution. In the future investors will receive payments from borrowers independent of the due dates of the loans and therefore this problem will not occur. At this occasion we wish to address another related issue raised by several Investors: when repayments are received after the 7 days grace period (and thus late compared to repayment schedule) our Administrators may now be able to receive the installments, but the repayment is still considered late and thus cannot be returned to Investors until the next scheduled, monthly repayment.

In the interim period our Administrators will hold on to the money and additional interest income will be calculated for the Investors who suffer no loss (only a delay in disposal date). This issue is also in the process of being solved and should be dealt with by Q2 of 2009.

12.09.2008 Temporary pause for loans to Côte d’Ivoire
In conjunction with results from an internal audit of MYC4’s partners in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation), the MYC4 risk manager has established that the growth rates of the loan portfolio here have been too ambitious and that a period of a 2-4 weeks will be required to consolidate the loan portfolio, loan procedures, administrative systems and the implementation of a new MIS system by our partners. Several businesses have been uploaded with unclear or inaccurate information, as a consequence of the rapid growth.

This will mean that no new loans will be uploaded from Côte d’Ivoire for the time being and those loans currently pending and open for bid will not be disbursed within the usual deadline of 2-3 weeks after auction close.  All active loans will continue repaying as expected. 

Resumption of loan disbursements and new loan uploads is expected immediately after completion of the audit and after our partners have had an opportunity to implement the recommended improvements to overall procedures; presumably in early October. MYC4’s internal audit procedures are further supplemented by independent audits to be performed by Planet Rating, an external specialist in ratings of MFIs (Micro Finance Institutions).

Please note that interventions such as this one will be a recurring, if not frequent, event in all countries and with all active MYC4 partners, as part of the broader MYC4 risk management strategy.

10.09.2008 MYC4 focuses on SME’s now in Rwanda
MYC4 is operating at the top of the microfinance market (loans > EUR100) and at the bottom of the SME segment, medium sized and small businesses (loans < EUR 100,000) with loans being offered not to the poorest of the poor but to entrepreneurs who already have a small business or company which can potentially create many new jobs but lack access to finance. With the start in Rwanda the focus will mainly be in the SME segment.

Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world and has always been classified as one of the countries with the highest level of rural poverty. The key contributors to this include years of misrule and the Rwandan civil war and genocide of the early 1990s, which resulted in a massive destruction of the national social and economic fabric. 60% of the population lives in poverty while 87% of the population is rural and relies essentially on agriculture both for subsistence and revenue. The population has limited access to commercial bank loans and services due to being considered ‘unbankable’ or lacking the traditional collaterals.
Rwanda is ideal for MYC4's East Africa expansion given its rapidly developing economy, improving infrastructure and effective government agencies.  What is more, the government's explicit focus on the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and exceptional success achieved along these lines in just a few years, make it an obvious choice for MYC4 given our mission.

Our first partner in the country, Rwanda Microfinance Ltd., offers a rare opportunity for MYC4 to enter into a country with a well-established, respected local player, who shares our values and fully understands the MYC4 mission. Rwanda's rapidly evolving infrastructure offers great potential for growth. Rwanda Microfinance Ltd., RML is a subsidiary of Micro-Africa Limited who also operates in Kenya, Uganda, and Southern Sudan. The cooperation in Rwanda is seen as a pilot project with the aim of broadening out the cooperation with Micro-Africa to the countries where MYC4 already is or will be operating. You can read more about MYC4 and RML in the news
here.

The first Businesses from Rwanda are now on the platform and and have already been fully funded.

10.09.2008 MYC4 in the news in Sweden
Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s leading newspapers, features an interview today with MYC4 Head of Country Roll Out, Bahare Haghshenas about the plans for Investor roll out in Sweden. Read the interview here

09.09.2008 Solution for uploading money via credit card in place within two weeks

MYC4 are currently working on solving the issues with upload of money via credit card. Unfortunately getting the payment gateway in place has taken longer time than we have anticipated. The possibility of using credit cards will be in place o later than September 22. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and hope you will use bank transfer in the meantime.

Use Bank Transfer
Please log in and go to Money Upload under My Account to read information about transferring money via bank. If you transfer money via a bank, we will transfer the amount to your MYC4 Account as soon as we register your payment. This will take approximately 2 bank days.
Read information below on transferring money according to your location
EU countries
Danish Domestic Transfer
You can upload money using our domestic account and it’s free*!
This service is only available for Danish bank accounts.

A minimum of 15 € is required if this is the first time you upload money to your MYC4 Account.

PLEASE PUT YOUR FULL NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE SPACE - IN ORDER FOR US TO TRACK YOUR TRANSFER!

Account number: 0755 3223788008
Name of Bank: Middelfart Sparekasse
Address: Algade 69
Zip/City: 5500 Middelfart
Country: Denmark

Note: The amount in Danish Kroner will automatically be converted into Euros at the given exchange rate. *MYC4 charges no fee for these transactions but we cannot guarantee that your bank will also charge no fee.
International Euro Account Transfer
You can upload money using our Euro account (Ireland) and it’s free*!
This service is only available for bank accounts from EU countries.

PLEASE PUT YOUR FULL NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE SPACE - IN ORDER FOR US TO TRACK YOUR TRANSFER!

Account holder: MYC4 A/S
IBAN: IE18DABA95197950000299
SWIFT: DABAIE2D

Note: It is required that the transfer is an EU 2560-transfer. *MYC4 charges no fee for these transactions but we cannot guarantee that your bank will also charge no fee.
•    Non-EU countries
International Transfer
If you are uploading money from outside EU you can use the account below, which is Danish.
PLEASE PUT YOUR FULL NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE SPACE - IN ORDER FOR US TO TRACK YOUR TRANSFER!

IBAN: DK81 0755 322 37 88008
SWIFT: FIONDK22

Note: Middelfart Sparekasse (Fionia Bank) charges a fee of €4.93 for the transaction.

Note: We are still working on a legal solution which will allow North Americans to withdraw money from their MYC4 account. So if you agree that you will not withdraw any money at any time from MYC4, you are most welcome aboard.

09.09.2008 MYC4 backs new website to support transparency on loans in Africa
Who has the best loans in Africa?
The website checkmyrate has been created with the purpose of revealing how much borrowers are actually paying for their loans. This is done by calculating the APR – Annual Percentage Rate – an expression in one single number of ALL cost related to the loan (interest, loan fees, mandatory deposits, cost of guarantees etc.) and annualized.

Included in this website is a feature by which all entries are saved, thus making loan data – but not identity – available to other borrowers who may then search for loans with the lowest APR in their country.

The first version is up and running in English while Spanish and French languages are being implemented. To read more about how APR is calculated and other functionalities please visit the website:
www.checkmyrate.org
MYC4 encourages all our stakeholders to use the site and in particular our Provider partners in Africa to help borrowers with no access to the Internet to input data of loan offers they have received, so that they can clearly see where they get the best loan terms.  Over time – and with many users on the site can make an essential contribution to achieving more transparency and consequently more competition in the African loan market.

Contact:
contact@checkmyrate.org

02.09.2008 MDG Review features MYC4

The MDG Review, a 110 pages magazine published in connection with the 2015 half way review of the UN MDGs in New York during September month, features MYC4. The magazine is printed in 14.000 pieces and 300 are downloaded each week from their site on www.mdg-review.com. Read the PDF file here.

01.09.2008 RAW News on MYC4 work from photographer Jens Honoré
MYC4 photographer, Jens Honorés pro bono trip to Africa to document how business via MYC4 can play a role in reaching the Millennium Development Goals, is covered in month’s issues of the RAW Newsletter. See the some of the great pictures here in the article.

26.08.2008 Honour to MYC4 from Danish Minister for Development Cooperation
The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ms Ulla Tørnæs handed over a MDG3 Torch to Mads Kjær, CEO and co-founder of MYC4.
In accepting the MDG3 Torch Mads Kjær has made a deep commitment: “to expand MYC4’s marketplace with more African partners with a specific focus on women and thereby ensure women access to capital and competences on fair and transparent terms.”

MYC4 sees the support of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as crucial elements in the ongoing development of Africa. Therefore, MYC4 is strongly committed to providing the best possible means for African women to lift themselves out of poverty and create healthy economic growth through micro and small businesses.

An example of one of the many female entrepreneurs who has received loans through MYC4 is Catherine Akwir, who sells vehicle parts at Uganda’s biggest market for spare parts. In 2007 she received her first loan of EUR 250 enabling her to improve the quality of the spare parts and increase the stock to meet customers’ demands. Hereby, she increased her monthly income by 30% making it possible to support her household and send her children to school. In spring 2008 Catherine received her second loan of EUR 700 to expand and develop her business.

An important part of Catherine’s business is her membership of a group of six women who help each other to do business, give each other advice and provide acute financial support. This is a women-only group that calls itself “Women Development”. Catherine is setting an example to other women to be open-minded about investing and engaging in businesses dominated by men.

You can read more here.

22.08.2008 Collaboration with PayPal ends
As of Friday August 22nd 2008 16.30 CET, you will not be able to upload money to your account via PayPal since we have decided to end the collaboration. All investor funds which have already been uploaded via PayPal or are in the process of being uploaded, will not be affected by this.
MYC4 has partnered with another payment gateway, which will take over the role which PayPal has fulfilled so far. Currently we are awaiting approval of the new payment system.

This is why we anticipate that it will take approximately one to two weeks before the service is in place and fully functional on MYC4.com.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience and hope you will use bank transfer in the meantime.

Use Bank Transfer
Please log in and go to Money Upload under My Account to read information about transferring money via bank. If you transfer money via a bank, we will transfer the amount to your MYC4 Account as soon as we register your payment. This will take approximately 2 bank days.

05.08.2008 Investment guide in Danish
On Saturday August 2nd 2008 there was a feature on MYC4 in the Danish national news TV Avisen. The same day, there was a big article about MYC4 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. You can read part of the article by clicking here and here.

The coverage generated a high number of new investors, and we have received a lot of requests for a Danish guide on how to invest on MYC4. You can now find an investor guide in Danish by clicking here. Thank you for joining and don’t forget to tell your friends and family. 

Go to Backgrounders to find investment guides in the following languages: Swedish, Dutch, French, Icelandic and English.

Klik her for en dansk investeringsvejledning.

15.07.2008 MYC4 in your language
Google Translate has now included Danish and other languages in their website-translator-engine. Click here and type in: www.MYC4.com – within seconds the entire MYC4 site will be translated into the chosen language. When you mouse over English text, you can recommend a better translation. For example, the Danish version is available here.
Note: Google cannot translate graphic (such as buttons). Let’s all make MYC4 better in Danish, Swedish, Dutch or whatever your mother tongue is. Happy reading.

09.07.2008 Africa is open for business during the summer

We are aware that many Investors are on summer holiday or planning to go any minute, but remember that Africa is still open for business. Africa is not on holiday and if you want your money to get to work during this period, you should concentrate your bids on the businesses which are closest to “Bidding Ends”. Africa needs your investments this summer and during the last couple of days two loans had to be cancelled due to lack of funding or because the interest rate asked by the African Business was not met. To prevent more cancellations, we hope you will send your money out to work at a fair interest rate.

07.07.2008 MYC4 in The Weekly Observer in Uganda
Danish journalist Camilla Victoria Marcinkowski has posted an article about MYC4 in the Ugandan news paper The Weekly Observer. She talked to: FED who is one of or partners, an investor in Denmark as well as a woman in Uganda who borrow money via MYC4. Read the full story here.

07.07.2008 "Loans paid on time" is fluctuating
You might have noticed that the amount of businesses repaying their loans on time is fluctuating. The reason for this is the routine of processing repayments once a week. “Repaid on time” is measured as the total amount repaid on time divided by the total amount repaid plus the amount expected to have been repaid. This is based only on processed repayments, which means that timely repayments might be pending in administration and therefore negatively influencing the “repaid on time statistics”. MYC4 is working to find the best possible solution to speed up the cash-flow – the solution is complex as it involves many stakeholders and exchange rates issues. 
At the moment, the “repaid on time statics” is negatively skewed for the same reasons the PAR was temporarily removed. We expect to resolve this issue by the end of July. For further information click
here.

05.07.2008 No awards this time
MYC4 did not win any of the two awards which we were nominated for at last night’s CBC African Business Awards. The winners of the two categories were:
- Leader in Contributing to Achieving MDGs:
Anglo American
- Award for Technological Innovation:
Ecobank

MYC4 is very proud of being nominated together with these extraordinary companies and after just 8 months of existing.

30.06.2008 MYC4 nominated for two African Business Awards
We are proud to announce that MYC4 has been nominated in two categories for this year’s African Business Awards. The Awards, under the Patronage of the Commonwealth Business Council, is given to celebrate the great strides that Africa has made in the world of business by awarding entrepreneurial excellence and promoting world-class best practices in business.

The two categories, in which MYC4 is nominated, are:

•  Leader in contributing to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals

•  Leader in technological innovation

“We are extremely honoured to be nominated for the African Business Awards after just 8 months of operation. We are convinced that the internet as well mobile technology will play a significant role in bridging the digital divide and thereby achieving the UN MDG’s. The value of these awards mean a great deal to us as the judging is done by a distinguished panel of business experts covering all the regions in Africa.We hope that the awareness around the awards will get more investors to join us in the fight to end poverty in Africa”, says Tim Vang, Head of MYC4.com

The award winners are announced at a large gala event in London Thursday 3rd July 2008. Keep an eye on the update to find out if MYC4 wins. We cross our fingers. Learn more next week.

Read more about the awards.

30.06.2008 MYC4 on National News in Sweden
MYC4 was twice in the news on national TV Saturday evening. To view the piece on Rapport click here. Rapport is Swedens largest news programme on Sveriges Television (SVT), which is the Swedish public service television company.

The background for covering MYC4 was our presence at the
Tällberg Forum in Sweden. The Tällberg meetings have evolved into a new form of global gathering. Independent of established interests and institutions, the annual Tällberg Forum gathers 400-500 people over five days at the end of June. Every year, leaders from all over the world and from various sectors of society gather in the small Swedish village of Tällberg to talk about and reflect upon the challenges and opportunities that stem from global interdependence.

“MYC4 is right now entering the Swedish market by engaging in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders. They are representing media, government, youth, business, NGO’s as well as academia to ensure that our communication is in line with the public debate. In addition we are creating an advisory board to help us lift the huge task of creating a movement in Sweden to end poverty”, says Bahare Haghshenas, Head of Country Roll Out and responsible for Sweden, MYC4.

One of the Advisory Board members in Sweden is Professor in International Economy at Lund University, Christer Gunnarsson.

“I see a great economical perspective in the MYC4 model, which facilitates investments in African projects on fair and transparent market conditions. I have a strong faith in the idea of longterm, sustainable economical growth starting from the bottom of society”, the professor states and continues:

“In Sweden, we are experiencing a remarkable change concerning the attention and awareness towards sustainability in general. This impacts everything from what kind of products we buy to the car we choose to drive. MYC4 gives everyone a chance to engage in sustainable development in the developing world and at the same time make a profit. Therefore, I have great confidence that MYC4 has great potential in Sweden”.

23.06.2008 First defaulted Loan

One of the loans has defaulted. After having been in operation for a year, MYC4 has experienced its first default. Rebecca Nantambi (ID: 106) has failed to repay her loan. To date Rebecca has repaid 33% of the loan, but since a total of 6 installments is outstanding, the loan is now considered a default. The Provider, FED in Uganda, has taken several initiatives to ensure repayment, but has failed to get the Borrower back on track. In this case, no collateral was taken as security for the loan, which means that Investors loose the remaining principal and the outstanding interest. In this particular case, 15 Investors are affected and have lost investments ranging from 10-50 EUR. If you are affected, this will be visible after some time under your My Account. The total loss amounts to 371,30 EUR.

The reason for the default is that Rebecca’s snack producing business has failed. Further information from the Provider FED is available on the
Business blog.
More about the specifics of the loan can be read
here. If you would like to know more about late repayments and default policies in MYC4, please click here or go to our Forum.
The global standard default rate in microfinance is 2-3%. MYC4 is aware that with only 1 default out of 1457 funded businesses, 75 fully repaid loans, and 20% of the total portfolio repaid, more defaults may occur in the future.
We trust that this will not affect your willingness to invest in African Businesses and thereby end poverty.

12.06.2008 Delays in disbursements
We are currently implementing a new transfer process with the purpose of reducing the pending time on disbursements by a week. Implementation is however proving more difficult than expected, and therefore Investors might experience short delays in disbursements and repayments. We expect the process to be fully up and running in a few weeks from now. We hope for your patience and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

10.06.2008 Temporary Removal of PAR
Due to a technical problem MYC4 has decided to remove the Portfolio at Risk (PAR) from the statistics on the Providers’ blogs and on the Business descriptions. The error means that more than 25% of the repayments which are registered as late, are in fact not late. This influences the way the investors see late repayments and the Portfolio at Risk (PAR). We are working to fix the issue and expect to reintroduce the PAR in August. For further explanation please visit the Forum.

10.06.2008 Delay in repayment processing

Due to implementation of a new procedure for transfers, last week's repayments from Côte d'Ivoire have been delayed by a week. This week's repayments from FED and GAF are expected to be delayed by a few days while implementing the procedure with Administrators in Kenya and Uganda. We apologize for any inconvenience.

27.05.2008 Re-design of MYC4.com
We are proud to welcome you to a re-designed MYC4. Three key elements have been prioritized on the new website; usability, design and communication. We have made it easier to understand what MYC4 is all about, how to join, how to upload money, how to find a Business which fits your criteria and lastly how you invest and re-invest.  Here are some of the changes:
•  Corporate Visual identity and tagline “YOUR TOOL FOR CHANGE” – it is key for us that
you feel MYC4.com is your platform
•  Navigation so you can find your way around via the top menu and a left hand menu with
sub-levels
•  Opportunity is now changed to Business – note that the top menu has changed to Invest
•  MyCredits is now changed to Euros
•  Currency Risk is now carried by the Investor – read more
here
•  Withholding tax
We welcome you to explore the site and if you find elements which do not seem right, please post it
here as stated below and we will look into it.
Again, we are very proud of the look, feel and structure of the new site, and we, of course, look forward to hear what you think of it… it is as much YOUR tool as it is ours.

27.05.2008 Withholding tax on your profit in Africa
Most African countries apply tax on interests earned (withholding tax), which is applied to Investor and MYC4 earnings. The withholding tax paid in an African country should be deductable from the tax you pay in the country where you are a normal taxpayer, and you need to look into this before you declare your taxes. MYC4 is currently working to get the specific percentages for the countries that we are working in and it will be disclosed at the various countries pages on this website during the summer. 

02.05.2008 CHANGE - the MYC4 Stakeholder Magazine
Here you can view the first number of the MYC4 stakeholder Magazine CHANGE. The magazine will try to give you a 360 degree perspective on MYC4 and areas relevant to what we are doing. You can read about the business model of MYC4, the vision of ending poverty through business, our partners in African, some of the African Businesses that you invest in and much more. CHANGE will be issued four times a year and the next issue is due in the beginning of September.