EWB invests in disruptive financial technology venture
EWB adds Bloom Impact to its venture portfolio
EWB welcomes Bloom Impact to its venture portfolio!
Bloom Impact is an innovative social enterprise working in Ghana to unlock opportunities for small businesses underserved by traditional models of banking and financial services.
In sub-Saharan Africa, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for up to 90% of all businesses but many are un/underbanked, representing a financing gap of $140-170 billion. This is where Bloom Impact steps in to disrupt how entrepreneurs access financial services. The digital marketplace is accessible from smartphones and uses machine learning and other technologies to allow MSMEs to create a digital profile, learn about and apply for financial services, and receive offers that best meet their needs. This makes it easier for business owners to apply for financial services, reduces costs, and provides financial education. This also helps financial service providers, such as banks and microfinance institutions, by cutting their customer acquisition costs and providing new digital, eligible, validated, scored and financially-educated customers.
The opportunity for impact is huge, especially given Bloom Impact’s potential to scale up and serve more communities in Ghana and in the west African region.
For EWB, the scalability of Bloom’s potential impact was really compelling. By helping to close the financial gap faced by MSME’s, Bloom Impact is helping these small businesses grow and generate much-needed employment opportunities for underserved individuals. Collectively MSMEs are the largest employers and greatest creators of wealth in sub-Saharan Africa, so if we support these businesses to thrive, the jobs generated through them and the wealth created by them can ultimately help alleviate poverty.
“EWB understands the barriers that prevent scale and growth in emerging markets and how social enterprises can have an impact,” says Bloom Impact co-founder, Carol Caruso. “We are delighted to partner with them due to this experience on the ground, our shared mission to drive inclusive finance and EWB’s wealth of talent management support, which is critical to our success.”
This is the ninth venture to receive an investment through EWB Ventures. The investment will help to grow the product adoption, referral and incentive programs, and advance product development.
EWB’s portfolio has several financial inclusion ventures, including Numida Technologies, FarmDrive and Rent-to-Own, addressing the issue from different angles.
To find out more about Bloom Impact, take a look at our backgrounder and follow them on Twitter @BloomImpact.
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Elena is a Legal and Investment Officer with EWB’s Strategy and Investment team. She holds a civil law and a common law degree, practiced as a commercial litigation lawyer, and has extensive experience in business and legal advisory services and capacity building for MSMEs.