When evaluating who can gain access to working capital, the private sector misses vital information about the capacity of low-income families by using limited metrics such as credit scores and traditional balance sheets. The complexity and diversity of today’s world requires a new and innovative alternative that provides a comprehensive view of the potential of all communities and families, but especially low-income communities and families, to those who hold the key to working capital. At FII, we have developed such an alternative. We call it the Initiative Score, but it might be easier to think about it as a “hustle score.”
We collect a wide range of indicators from families with whom we partner, over 400 data points per family and counting. Families regularly submit data through UpTogether, our online platform, providing common financial indicators such as income and assets. However, they also tell us how their kids are doing in school, how they are supporting one another, what goals they are setting, the progress they are making toward those goals, and much more. As a result, we capture the hustle and strengths of low-income communities. These data points are not currently accessible to those who manage and drive resource allocation , therefore, not considered when those in low-income markets apply for capital, access government services, or benefit from philanthropic support. This results in an underserved population who find themselves shut out.
The Initiative Score is calculated using 70 different step functions that pull data from indicators of family well-being in four subscores: financial, social capital, health, and youth and family and is calibrated to reflect the familiar FICO (300-850) scoring range. We are now using the score to deploy dollars to FII families through the UpTogether Fund.
To learn more about the Initiative Score, we invite you to read the following.
If you want to learn how you can partner with FII and use the Initiative Score contact: Ashley Sherwin, firstname.lastname@example.org