Esusu: The Missing Link in Credit Reports

By Russell Siegelman, Gelila Bekele
2021 | Case No. E770 | Length 15 pgs.

Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel founded Esusu in 2018 to help low-to-moderate-income renters build credit history. Esusu, a for-profit impact focused venture, collected rental payments from property managers and reported this data to major credit bureaus, which helped renters improve their credit scores.

In April 2020, only six months after closing their first institutional round of capital, New York state issued a lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, the Esusu leadership team addressed numerous priorities—transitioning their team to operate online, managing employee health concerns, calling clients and investors while still running the company’s day-to-day operations. Ultimately, Wemimo and Goel must decide whether to cut costs in order to keep Esusu’s existing business afloat or build new products and leverage new partnerships to serve renters and property managers during a time of crisis.

In this case, students are encouraged to examine the history and evolution of the credit-scoring models used in the U.S. The case also explores the impact that a lack of credit records may have on American families in particular among minority groups. The case chronicles how Esusu sought to tackle these challenges in a time of crisis, as well as the strategic decisions they faced along the way.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students analyze the impact and business opportunities of a for-profit impact venture, identify the potential tension between maximizing these opportunities, and develop ways to manage that tension
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