Islamic Micro Finance Model

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

I would like to set up a micro-finance scheme that will help the local Muslim brothers and sisters access micro-loans equivalent to between £500 and £1000, which would then be exclusively used in entrepreneurship projects such as opening a barbershop, rearing chickens, becoming agents for mobile money providers, trading merchandise, setting up small catering businesses, tailoring, etc.

Previous experience has taught us that simply disbursing money almost always resulted in money being squandered for 3 main reasons;

  1. Because it was given out as sadaqa, the donors were not expecting it to be paid back, and therefore there was no accountability
  2. The recipients in most cases were not used to possessing a relatively large amount by their standards.
  3. They were not provided formal training in financial discipline, entrepreneurship skills and simple business management.

So this time, the idea is to formalise the entire scheme that will achieve multiple goals;

  1. Those donating will have their sadaqa duties fulfilled
  2. Those receiving will have to undergo classes on entrepreneurship and financial discipline before they are approved. In short, they will be developed and empowered at the same time.
  3. Those facilitating (us) will be aiming to make a profit.

I would like some advice here;

  1. How best to structure the entire scheme from a corporate standpoint?
  2. How to make it Sharia Compliant?
  3. How to get buy-in from Muslim donors, who it must be noted are not investors per se, but rather, people who want to give sadaqa in a more impactful way, but at the same time, are accepting of the fact that their sadaqa will generate money for the company.

Your contributions will be appreciated, and if anyone reading is interested in getting involved, would be delighted to have a chat. There is a huge need and demand of such programmes where I am based, so the potential to make a positive impact on lives, get rewarded insha’Allah and at the same time make profits seem like a win-win-win.

JazakAllahu Khairan.