Microcredit helps the world's poor create sustainable futures. But one overlooked fact is it often doesn't work as well in impoverished rural areas as it does in cities. We're using network analysis research to build an innovative microcredit organization that will be more effective and efficient for rural regions.
Our organization, Unión MicroFinanza ("Union Microfinance" in English) will initially serve 32 villages in one of the poorest regions of Honduras. We'd love to see our organization eventually expand to other regions.
We're currently seeking donations and academic partnerships. We're in the process of building a website that will provide info about our organization and ways to donate.
We have two main audiences. The first is potential donors to our organization. This includes a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations—one group we've been targeting is churches, whose congregations can "adopt" one of the villages. These people want to know, generally, who we're helping and how we're doing it.
Another audience is academics. We're seeking research partnerships and grants, so these people want to know more about the details of our research-backed methodology and how we differ from traditional microcredit firms. They want to know we're serious about what we're doing!
We'd like a professional logo to help us establish credibility. But we'd also like the logo to represent that we're a little different. We're just as serious as other microcredit organizations, but we've got a fresh approach.
One thing we'd love to see—if you can make it work—is the idea of a social network incorporated into the logo. Our social network research is crucial to our approach and who we are. You can find some example visualizations of social networks below:
As you can see from these graphics, a defining feature of social networks is that they're interconnected. In other words, they represent more than just "a group of people." We know this is hard to represent in a logo, so this isn't an absolute requirement. But if you have a creative way to represent a social network, we'd really love to see what you have in mind!
A second motif you can work with is "union"—the idea of a union, our organization working collectively with villagers to bring them out of poverty.
And a third idea to play with is the union symbol, which looks just like a U. Maybe only the academic sorts will get the reference, but everyone else will think it's a play on the U in Unión.
The logo will be used on our website and in documents and brochures.
After reviewing our first submissions, we realized we'd like to avoid a color scheme that's overly bright and "web 2.0." Visually, it looks great, but probably isn't best for a finance organization.
We really like the colors burnt orange and bold shades of blue. A color scheme that includes both or one of these colors, or a color scheme that would complement them, would be ideal. (We're not against using bright colors, just not too many of them at once!)
Note that the "O" in the word Unión is the Spanish spelling; it contains an accent.