SparkIL to offer interest-free P2P loans to businesses in Israel

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A newly-launched platform is the first to offer interest-free peer-to-peer loans to small businesses in Israel.

SparkIL was established in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel and The Ogen Group with the aim of helping individuals to support the small business of their choice in Israel, while strengthening meaningful connections and relationships between the lenders and Israel.

Users can participate in crowdfunding campaigns offering interest-free loans to businesses which meet SparkIL’s criteria.

The platform’s funding opportunities are categorised by ‘people, place, and purpose’, allowing people to choose from businesses represented by specific demographic communities, locations, or socioeconomic causes.

Read more: BBB: £18.1bn invested into UK small businesses last year

After the repayment of the loan, lenders can choose to withdraw their funds from the platform or reinvest into other businesses. When the borrower’s funding goal has been met, the full loan will be released.

“SparkIL presents a unique opportunity to engage world Jewry with the ability to make a direct impact on Israeli society at the ground level,” said Na’ama Ore, chief executive of SparkIL.

“At a time when we are seeing increased disengagement with Israel, this digital platform could serve as a much-needed bridge connecting lenders with the entrepreneurs and businesses who need their help the most.”

Read more: Largest P2P firms now based outside of London

The platform said that the decision to offer interest-free loans represents the actualisation of Jewish tradition and values, noting that the Torah scholar Maimonides said that the highest form of giving is when a donor or lender empowers the recipient to become self-supporting — a directive generally defined as granting a business loan or helping someone find a job.

“Rooted in a sense of mutual responsibility, this is a win-win proposition — for lenders who are looking to put their values into action and for businesses with pressing capital needs. SparkIL is poised to contribute toward the goal of securing a vibrant Jewish future for generations to come,” added Amira Ahronoviz, chief executive and director general at The Jewish Agency. Ahronoviz is also chair of the board of SparkIL.

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