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How Empowa is Empowering Mozambicans to Own Homes via the $EMP Token Built on Cardano

A vast number of individuals in Africa rely on income from informal sources which greatly hinders their ability to obtain property through the credit market. Due to the untraceable nature of their earnings, it becomes exceedingly challenging for them to establish the necessary profiles required for accessing mortgage loans.

In Mozambique, reports suggest that only about 600 families can afford mortgages, yet the country is home to 30 million people.

Empowa’s Zimbabwean founder, Glen Jordan, however believes that the mortgages are not catered to the reality of the market.

“There’s no way that there are only 600 families in a country that can afford a home loan … it’s not the fact that there’s no money there,” said Jordan in a recent interview.

According to Jordan, the ability of the blockchain to transfer value cost effectively without an intermediary makes it a possible tool to more accurately account for all this value that is not deemed useful.

How Empowa Works

has been described as a financial technology company utilizing on-chain payments and NFTs to enable funding for affordable housing through a lease-to-own model. The starup aims to allow global access to investments in Africa’s emerging affordable housing market.

The startup lets people earning low-income amounts to buy homes on lease from partner property developer companies with the capital provided by accredited individual and institutional investors via its Empowa Trade

According to Empowa, after confirming product market fit, Empowa loans are issued to the local service partner which enables them to offer a lease-to-own option to their customers ensuring Empowa can contract with a single party. Thus, Empowa is not responsible for the day-to-day management of the lease-to-own contract.

Empowa Pay, its property payment application, is used to record and digitize both tenant and service partner payments in real time.

Empowa says it protects investors against potential defaults with the $ (Empowa Token), which partners put up as collateral when issuing debt. One $EMP token represents $100 of house, Empowa says.

In the event of default, the quantity of $EMP used to secure the position can be sold on the open market to protect investors from total loss.

In 2022, Empowa raised over $300,000 through the sale of its NFT debt product (SDRI) to investors which was used to finance housing loans for 30 families in Beira, Mozambique.

(Secured Defined Return Instrument) is Empowa’s primary debt product, powered by the Cardano blockchain. SDRI is described as a financial instrument that allows investors to participate in affordable housing projects in Africa.

In what was its pilot project, Empowa partnered with Casa Real, a Beira-based construction company offering housing solutions to low and middle-income earners with ‘starter’ one-bedroom homes going for $10,000 per unit. The houses are said to be resilient against cyclones with seven high-intensity cyclones having hit Mozambique over the past two decades.

The pilot project was deemed a success and completed in 2022. In November 2022, Empowa started a second project dubbed ‘Catalyst’ in partnership with the Municipality of Beira, Mozambique, to provide access to finance for climate-smart affordable homes for 25,000 families in the town.

In April 2023 the company conducted a token sale for its native token, the $EMP (described as a proportional representation of the Empowa ecosystem) which raised $3.75 million to finance ‘Catalyst.’


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