Money Sweetspot bags accolades for its empathy-driven approach

In its first year, ethical lender Money Sweetspot has made a big impact for the better by providing financial reset and debt consolidation services designed to empower people to take charge of their finances, reduce debt and get on with life.

The social lender is winning praise and recognition for its empathy-driven approach, having picked up the Social Impactor Award at the 2023 Sustainable Business Network Awards. Money Sweetspot CEO Sasha Lockley, who co-founded the company with credit risk specialist Meurig (Rig) Chapman, was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the Global Entrepreneurship Network New Zealand Awards 2023.

Adding to the accolades, Money Sweetspot was a finalist in the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards 2023 (Central Region) for Best Emerging Business and Excellence in Innovation.

Being accepted into the Edmund Hillary Fellowship contributed to Sasha’s life-changing decision to leave a well-paying executive role in favour of launching this social lending enterprise as a way to address a negative culture of judgment around indebtedness in the financial sector.

“It was the start of a journey to acknowledge that we need to do better and bring people back to the centre of financial services,” says Sasha. “We need to recognise that people’s lives are unpredictable. Bad things can happen but rather than punishing people for that by saddling them with spiralling debt, we need to help New Zealanders who are trying to get out of debt.”

Money Sweetspot CEO Sasha Lockley with co-founder credit risk specialist Meurig (Rig) Chapman.

“Our goal in 2024 is to reach as many New Zealanders as we can that need us and continue building our marketplace presence and influence.”

Nearly 450 people across New Zealand have embarked on a financial reset journey with Money Sweetspot, which provides debt consolidation loans at much lower interest rates than those prevailing in the open market and without any of the silly penalty fees.

By paying on time, avoiding further debt and learning more about how debt works, Money Sweetspot customers can earn points enabling them to pay off debt faster or put money into savings. Supporting Money Sweetspot’s social impact mahi are charitable equity investors – the Tindall Foundation, the Christian Savings Bank and Anglican Care Waiapu – along with various financial mentors and community group partners.

“As well, the BNZ has provided $10 million loan capital that we can lend to customers, and we are now in the process of further diversifying that funding pool with the goal of having another $25 million to loan by March 2024.”

“We are one of the first finance companies in the world to link financial education with the repayment of debt and creation of savings. We’re finding that many people are highly engaged and are watching all of our financial education content. They appreciate our focus on listening and not judging them for being in debt.”

By staying the course with their own financial reset and their own financial well-being, they can also donate to a cause they care about every three months, [through The Good Registry].

“Customers win because they move on from debt. Investors win because they still get fair social and financial returns. Communities win through the donations our customers make. Lenders who prefer to keep their customers don’t win…but I’m absolutely fine with that!”

“Our goal in 2024 is to reach as many New Zealanders as we can that need us and continue building our marketplace presence and influence.”

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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