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Kasmoni Savings and Credit Cooperative – A Challenge from Amsterdam

In Amsterdam’s Challenge 4, CommuniCity invites tech developers to contribute to the creation of an innovative application for the Kasmoni Savings and Credit Cooperative in Amsterdam. Serving as the pioneering host for Challenge 4 within the CommuniCity initiative, Simion Blom has recently partaken in an interview, in which he explained why he submitted this challenge. Here are a few of the topics addressed:

Interviewer: “What is the background of this challenge?

Simion Blom: There are a lot of talented people who don’t have much money in their hands. It is crucial that these entrepreneurial and creative people get a better financial position to do something with their ideas. The Kasmoni Savings and Credit Cooperative wants to fill this gap. Our Cooperative is inspired by circular thinking and community well-building.

Interviewer: “Why is this a good moment for this challenge?”

Simion Blom: “Many entrepreneurs have struggled in the past three years due to coronavirus and high gas prices after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. I think entrepreneurs need more support. And then not from the “me” perspective. I think we should focus more on the community and a local financially healthy “ecosystem”. An economy for the “we” so that the community can grow as a whole.This neighbourhood has felt the effects of capitalism in recent decades. There are many large enterprises in the Southeast, but the money is extracted from the area. Per square metre, Southeast is one of the richest neighbourhoods in the Netherlands, while the local population sees little of that.”

Interviewer: “Why a digital solution?

Simion Blom: “A digital solution is accessible. Almost everyone can use digital tools. The tool needs to be accessible and easy to use, but professional and reliable, as it involves money. Kasmoni is Surinamese for cash. The system is found in many parts of the world. Especially many women use it. Kasmoni has been a way women arranged important things as a collective since the 19th century. It is a project with deep roots and history.”