Bloom Impact: A mobile marketplace of financial services for entrepreneurs
Ghana-based financial tech venture Bloom Impact is helping micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) access financial services through a mobile platform. MSMEs currently face an estimated $140 billion to $170 billion financing gap, yet they account for up to 90 percent of all businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and more than 50 percent of jobs.
EWB became the founding investor in Bloom Impact last September after seeing how the venture’s platform is disrupting how MSMEs apply and access services. Bloom’s mobile platform assesses the eligibility of MSMEs for financial services from third-party providers based on the company’s business data and generates options for the business. The platform allows them to learn about available financial services on the market right through their phone. Entrepreneurs control the application process – where and when convenient to them – and avoid costs and hassle while looking for banking services. Partnering with financial service providers also helps Bloom Impact facilitate connections to potential business customers, reducing the costs of customer acquisition.
Bloom Impact is making it easier for MSMEs to access financial services, and ensure healthy, stable local economies. This year, Bloom helped one of their users, Vida, apply for her first business loan when her husband fell ill and lost his job. Vida was taking care of all of the family expenses and, as a result, the small beauty salon that Vida has run for 15 years in Accra, Ghana suffered. Vida used Bloom Impact’s platform on her mobile phone to learn about credit options on the market and she was able to apply for a loan to gain working capital and purchase needed equipment.
To date, Bloom Impact’s app has been downloaded more than 600 times and offers more than 40 products available to users. Several hundred applications from small business owners have been submitted for these services. The venture aims to reach 6,000 users in 2018.