Bloom Impact

A digital marketplace empowering underserved, African small businesses by providing affordable access to financial services.

In sub-Saharan Africa, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for up to 90% of all businesses in these markets, but many are underbanked, creating a financing gap of $140-170 billion.

Bloom Impact address this Financing gap and other societal problems including limited Employment. MSMEs in emerging markets consistently cite “Access to Finance” as their greatest challenge for growth, and these MSMEs are the foundation of almost every economy, their success is directly tied to a nation’s success. African MSMEs are also critical to providing employment, generating 70-90% of new employment opportunities. Finding formal, affordable financial services with Bloom Impact, MSMEs can scale, be sustainable & create job opportunities.

The Background

We are a social enterprise Fintech offering a digital marketplace that provides access to financial services to unbanked & underserved small business owners in Africa. Our mission is to empower small businesses to grow and offer employment by easing affordability & access to finance. Business owners apply on our mobile App for a loan, savings or checking account, and our scoring algorithm connects them with the best suited financial service providers and products on our platform.

Our Strategy

The Bloom Impact marketplace is accessible from smartphones and leverages 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.

In addition to the tremendous convenience and cost savings, Bloom Impact provides for MSMEs, creating financially educated business owners is also a critical component. For the financial service providers that Bloom Impact partner with, such as banks and microfinance institutions, it disrupts their customer acquisition approach by cutting costs, eliminating risks, increasing response rate and providing digital, eligible, validated, scored and financially-educated customers.

Bloom Impact simplifies access to financial products, reduces costs and educates MSMEs on the financial services available to them.

Bloom Impact leverages a customized algorithm to analyze MSME data and determine the most suitable product offerings. The system also verifies and validates certain data, including digital KYC (Know your Customer regulation), and checks credit scores to determine and advise upon eligibility.

Bloom’s marketplace completely disrupts the entire application process for MSMEs by allowing them to learn about options on the market right through their phone, control the application process – where and when convenient to them – and eliminate costs and hassle when looking for banking services. Being unaware of suitable offers on the market, understanding terms and conditions, along with long and cumbersome application processes are often listed as a barrier for MSMEs applying for financial products. Bloom’s platform also helps address information asymmetries between financial service providers and MSMEs.

Bloom Impact works with Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to address inclusive finance for MSMEs.

Bloom Impact offers customer base growth and drastically improves customer acquisition for financial service providers by digitizing the process and eliminating costs, risks and improving turn-around-time.  Bloom’s goal is to provide a cost-effective customer acquisition channel for credit, savings, current and other financial products, thus working directly with FSPs as opposed to competing with them.

Providing Economic Independence

Bloom Impact benefits MSME’s by removing barriers to financial access by digitizing the often complicated and costly endeavour of learning about, comparing and applying for product offerings. After creating a digital profile and application, Bloom Impact analyses the MSME’s eligibility, including credit score, data verification, and business health before recommending exact product matches for the business.

Bloom Impact looks to positively impact small business market growth in Accra, Ghana in a healthy and sustainable way. This leads to an increase in local job creation for unemployed, underserved people, and they particularly support female entrepreneurs who run many small businesses but are the most excluded from access to banking.

Key Achievements

Canada’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) initial investment in Bloom Impact will be used to grow product adoption, build additional partnerships and advance product development. Specifically, Bloom Impact is seeking to address the $140-170 billion finance gap faced by MSMEs.

Bloom Impact’s mission is consistent with other EWB portfolio ventures in that it addresses inequality and unlocks opportunities the underserved need in order to thrive. EWB’s portfolio has several financial inclusion ventures, such as Numida Technologies, FarmDrive, and Rent-to-Own working to address the issue from several angles. Bloom Impact presents a different and unique approach, that complements the work of other portfolio ventures.

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