Hagush Launches a Zero-Interest Technology Financing Program: Enrolls First Cohort In Kenya

Hagush Launches a Zero-Interest Technology Financing Program: Enrolls First Cohort In Kenya
Brooklyn, New York: Hagush, a New York-based non-profit social enterprise, launches a technology financing program in low-income countries. The program offers a zero-interest buy now, pay later short-term financing to young people who want to purchase digital technologies but lack the financial means to do so.

The program aims to make information and communication technology access universal by removing financial barriers to access, especially for young people living in the Global South, where the average cost of some digital devices can amount to more than a year's worth of income.

In launching the program, Liya Abraha, the Chief Operating Officer, said, "What makes the program distinct is that the loans are interest-free. Instead of the typical bank or credit card loan, where borrowers have to pay back the amount owed plus interest, with Hagush's program, participants pay back a fixed percentage of the cost for a set period without interest.”

Hagush enrolled the first cohort of borrowers in Kenya in partnership with StepUp.One, a social enterprise that reskills and connects refugees to opportunities that pay. The cohort purchased laptops through the financing program.

“The digital divide, the gap in access to digital technologies between regions and people, is one of those societal problems that seem to resist easy, one-off solutions, but a concerted, collaborative approach will yield results,” said Nadait Gebremedhen, the Executive Director of Hagush. “We plan to partner with mission-aligned organizations and businesses to expand our program.”

Over the coming months, Hagush plans to expand its services to universities in the global south. In order to fund this innovative financing scheme, Hagush is seeking support from international donors and institutional partners.

Hagush is a 501(c)(3) organization working to make technology access universal. Its Technology Financing Program uses grants and crowdsourced funds to provide zero-interest financing for digital technology purchases for young people.