Innovative web platform to assist Irish people stuck in debt
Cavan business man Hugh Leddy is to launch an innovative web platform in early 2013 to assist the 100,000 Irish people stuck in debt by matching them with potential ‘ordinary’ business angels. Leddy is currently raising funds for his project, called Debtrow, that will act like a dating agency for debt laden individuals, putting them in contact with suitable solvent Irish people prepared to help and invest in their fellow Irish citizens. It’s a win-win situation for everyone .
Leddy found himself recently at the wrong end of the property bubble, and was down more than a million euro and on the dole. He began thinking outside the box and came up with innovative debt matching website concept. His autobiography, Down a Million on the Dole to be published this Christmas has been accepted by Fundit.ie, the crowd sourcing funding website. The pledging period has more than 40 days to run and closes in the first week of September. Leddy will use the profits from the book to bootstrap his debt matching website, Debtrow.ie
, to be launched next year although registration is available now for interested parties.
On Debtrow, people will be asked to colour code themselves Green, Orange and Red. Green indicates they are solvent individuals, orange are people struggling with debt and red are people who have reached a debt cul de sac. Everyone gets a number, a number on debt row, and they can then post up their profiles.
“It is a win-win situation for everyone,” says Leddy, who explains how the Debrow site will work: “For example a carpenter is out of work, he has been laid off. To get back into work, he might need money to purchase a van and tools. He registers his talents. On the green side there might be someone who is solvent, perhaps a retired person or someone in a well paid job with no or manageable debt. They like the sound of RED224 and agree to support him in his new venture. RED224 has now a chance to set up and develop his business.”
Through Debrow, GREEN114 would have an opportunity to help a fellow citizen, take a punt on the investment and have the potential to earn more than if the money was sitting on deposit. He/she is acting like an ordinary business angel, helping people in real need.
“People in the RED and ORANGE need help now. People are losing their family homes, emigrating or taking their own lives as a result of massive personal debt, debt they cannot shake off, and we have the ability to connect people and help them correct their debt,” adds Leddy.
“Through Debtrow, ordinary people can connect with their fellow citizens. They can help them. People think of business angels as gifting vast sums of money but everybody with spare capital can become a business angel. This is an immediate way we can help our neighbours, now, before they lose everything,” says Leddy. “Towards the end of this year new personal insolvency laws will come into effect. Commentators are predicting some 10,000 family homes will be at risk of repossession. That potentially puts 40,000 children out of a secure home environment. Are we prepared to sit back and let this happen?”
Leddy’s book, Down a Million on the Dole can be supported on Fundit.ie. Pledges begin as little as 5euro. His book launch is planned for November 25 in the Hotel Kilmore in Cavan town.