Ashoka Fellow
South Africa
Fellow Since 2011
This description of Charlene Lea's work was prepared when Charlene Lea was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
During a time of crude home repossessions after loan default and resulting widespread payment boycotts, Charlene developed a vital intermediary between hostile lenders and borrowers. Armed with deep insights into the concerns of both groups, her Home Loan Guarantee Company (HLGC) created innovative insurance and risk management products protecting against HIV/AIDS risks and a portion of the borrower financial risk while requiring all parties to bear some risk. These products attracted lenders back into a market that badly needed servicing as the desire for homeownership was ballooning with the impending decline of Apartheid. She is now spreading many of her core ideas to other parts of Africa.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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