Right now, farmers in Africa and in much of the developing world who get hit by drought lose more than just their income — they lose the ability to pay for school fees for their children and provide complete meals for their family.
Unlike in the United States and other parts of the developed world, there is little to no social safety net to fall back on when the rains don’t come. When the rains do come, they are erratic and hard to predict, as climate change is causing extreme weather in many places, especially sub-Saharan Africa. The mere threat of drought makes traditional lending firms see farmers
as risky borrowers, and causes them to under-invest in their farms. Making matters worse, traditional insurance is generally not available to these farmers.
WorldCover is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that provides a new solution to these issues, with a peer-to-peer funded lending platform that provides customers in developing countries with insurance against natural disasters, and gives investors diversified returns and direct
social impact. WorldCover’s unique funding and pricing model allows them to underwrite farmers in the developing world profitably and confidently.
WorldCover has first launched its business model in Ghana in West Africa, a population of 27 million people. 95% of Ghana’s agriculture population are smallholder farmers, with less than 5 hectares of land — exactly the kind of market that has been under-served by existing insurance providers.
Based on its success thus far in Ghana, WorldCover expects that its model could expand to work across the entire developing world, where 500 million smallholder farming households feed 80% of the population. Ultimately, this approach could scale far beyond drought insurance, to provide protection against other risks.
Find out more about WorldCover by visiting their website here.