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QUIPU is a digital marketplace for micro-merchants that strengthens informal economies

About the project


Two out of every three people in the world live in slums and work in the informal economy. They’re street vendors and artisan shoe makers, plumbers and chefs. However, families from these places live under the poverty line. We have very little information needed to improve these economies because they’re unbanked and offline. 

But, they have smartphones and strong community networks. That’s where we come in.


We are bringing informal economies online with the touch of a smartphone with the QUIPU Marketplace.

Using the QUIPU app, micro-entrepreneurs create business profiles to buy, list and sell goods and services on the QUIPU digital market using local tokens. The local tokens are interest-free community credits that users can use to buy and sell from eachother without using cash.

We are creating a marketplace with a digital payments system for previously cash-based, offline, and unbanked places. 

QUIPU leverages transaction data like spending patterns, revenues, and seller ratings, to build creditworthiness. With the QUIPU app billions of underserved micro-businesses can, for the first time, prove their creditworthiness and unlock equitable financial services like loans.

Join us in creating a digital economy where micro-entrepreneurs can collaboratively can create and retain wealth in the areas that need it the most.


What are the funds for?

QUIPU is fundraising to pilot its solution in a community in Baranquilla, Colombia.

We believe solutions that tackle structural inequity work best when they come from people closest to the problem. That’s why QUIPU was co-designed alongside micro-entrepreneurs in a semi-public housing community in Barranquilla, Colombia, where 3,000 families live. 

Informal settlement where QUIPU is piloting


Meet Juan (corner store), Julia (hand-crafted shoes), & Danyris (restaurant) - QUIPU's first users.

After a year taking several trips back and forth to the community to co-design the platform, QUIPU has completed the minimum viable product and is ready to launch and test the solution this December! That’s where we need your help.

In order to launch and implement QUIPU, we have to cover a few costs:

  1. Launch, training, and promotion of QUIPU: QUIPU plans to hold open events in Villas de San Pablo to fuel user adoption of the application. We are asking for $6,500 to host open markets, on-site workshops, operate sign-up events, and offer 1 on 1 training sessions. 
  2. Flights to Barranquilla, Colombia to help implement: We are asking for $4,000 so the team can visit the community multiple times during to help users during the launch and post-launch period.

About the project owner

QUIPU is a team of Latin American born, MIT and Harvard graduates who have witnessed firsthand how marginalized communities struggle to survive. Our concerns about the livelihoods for the people of our home countries is deeply rooted. Now, we are out to build economic justice, one community at a time.


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