The idea for micro-underwriting dawned on us the morning after Social Invest Fest! At the close of Social Invest Fest! we invited participants to decide which projects would receive funding from the Sarah Dodds Fund. During this process we asked that an accountable individual come forward from each team applying. Then, for some reason it just hit us to ask participants to be "co-accountable" for the funds, alongside the the accountable individual.

We didn't define what we meant by this. A number of people put their hands up. We didn't keep a record of those that were co-accountable. And during this process we made two awards of £3,000. So small fry and pretty messy as a process we came away confused and not really knowing what went on - but with a hunch that something interesting had occurred.

Early the next morning over breakfast it dawned on us that we'd almost, and accidentally, stumbled upon crowd underwriting of the loans. Ten more minutes of discussion over tea and a bacon sarnie at Turl Street Kitchen and the concept of Micro Underwriting had crystalised. Another two minutes of Googling and we realised that while the idea is certainly not new it's not one that is being explored in the UK in any meaningful way. We resolved to do exactly this...