Home' Forge : Vol 2 No 1 Contents FEATURE // 51
Andrew Colliver, CEO,
Andrew Colliver leads Banjo Loans, an
online fnancial institution that can ofer
businesses unsecured loans. It ofers an
alternative to the major banks, which
generally require substantial collateral
-- often in the form of an interest in the
business owner 's family home -- to
'Many of our clients don't have houses
to ofer, as they are seeking seed fnance,’
According to Colliver, banks aren't
genuinely interested in small business
customers, because they view them as
costly and difcult to service. ‘When I was
a relationship manager, I had 60 clients.
Today, a relationship manager will service
between 500 and 600 clients through a call
centre. They are servicing this segment on
a scale basis; there's no dedicated banker.'
Previously, Colliver worked for the
National Australia Bank.
He says a common complaint among
small businesses is that they can't talk to
a banker. When they do apply for a loan,
it takes 10 weeks for it to be approved.
Banjo's business model is able to
expedite the application process thanks
to a superior technology platform that
draws on 10 diferent data sources.
These sources provide real-time fnancial
information about a potential client so
that Banjo can obtain a holistic view of its
‘We ofer a 10-minute application process,
supplemented by a phone call, so we can
make fnancial decisions very quickly.
We don’t need a business plan, cash-fow
forecasts or three years of fnancials,’
explains Colliver, who says the business is
tripling loan volumes every week.
Right now, Banjo is focused on building
strategic partnerships with third parties
such as accountants, with a view to
allowing them to complete their clients'
loan applications. It will also continue to
build its customer base.
'We continue to work with government
and industry bodies to build our
reputation as a leading alternative
fnance provider,’ says Colliver.
Ryan Boyd, founder,
Ryan Boyd and his business partner
Paul Maloney, who owns a CrossFit
gym, were so inspired by the story of
TOMS shoes that they decided to use its
approach as the basis for their business
model. The shoe brand with a social
purpose donates a pair of shoes for every
pair it sells.
‘This led to our idea of selling ftness
and lifestyle apparel, and vaccinating
10 children against a life-threatening
disease for every item sold through a
charity organisation. This model lets our
consumers have a direct impact on helping
and improving the lives of children around
the world,' explains Boyd.
Credibility is extremely important in this
business model, and Forward Active's
acceptance into the UNICEF Champion
for Children program helps it achieve
this. Says Boyd: 'This provides the
accountability needed to execute this
business model and to help gain trust'.
Boyd says his business model is a
disrupter in the activewear industry. 'We
are introducing a new business model
that has not been seen in our feld – and
rarely in Australia in any industry. A
for-proft business that has a signifcant
focus on giving will change the dynamic,
as customers may start questioning a
purchase from a competitor that doesn't
contribute back to society.'
Forward Active's main goal is focused on
the amount of children it can vaccinate,
rather than on revenue projections.
'Instead of trying to hit a set revenue
target each quarter, we have goals
such as "Vaccinate 10,000 children by
July". This helps us stay focused on
our underlying cause, while still letting
us have clear and measurable growth
plans,' says Boyd.
He says that social media marketing is
the key in driving sales. 'Platforms such
as Facebook and Instagram give us access
to a huge number of potential customers.
Creating awareness and funnelling
customers to our website is the key to
these marketing strategies, and we do this
by creating quality content that our target
As to where the business will be in fve
years' time, Boyd hopes that Forward
Active will be one of the top active and
lifestyle wear brands in Australia, with
the view to expanding internationally.
'We want to help vaccinate thousands of
children around the world each year, and
be recognised as a business that is making
a very positive impact in this world.'
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