EWB Canada invests in Africa’s Bloom Impact

0
2969

Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) announced a new investment in Bloom Impact, a digital service that empowers businesses to learn about and access credit and savings products through their mobile phone.

This is the ninth venture to receive an investment through EWB Ventures, an early-stage investor in innovative Africa-based social enterprises.

“Bloom Impact is a great platform that links MSMEs with the financial services they need,” says Elena Haba, Legal and Investment Officer with EWB’s Strategy and Investment team.

 

“For us, the unique approach and scalability of Bloom’s potential impact was most compelling. By working on closing the financial gap faced by MSME’s, Bloom is helping these small businesses grow and generate much-needed employment opportunities for under-served individuals. If we support MSMEs to thrive, the jobs generated through them and the wealth created by them can ultimately help alleviate poverty. We think Bloom will be particularly useful for women, who face many barriers in accessing traditional banking and financial services.” Elena Haba, Legal and Investment Officer, Engineers Without Borders

“For us, the unique approach and scalability of Bloom’s potential impact was most compelling. By working on closing the financial gap faced by MSME’s, Bloom is helping these small businesses grow and generate much-needed employment opportunities for under-served individuals. If we support MSMEs to thrive, the jobs generated through them and the wealth created by them can ultimately help alleviate poverty. We think Bloom will be particularly useful for women, who face many barriers in accessing traditional banking and financial services,” said Haba.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for up to 90% of all businesses, but many are un/underbanked, creating a financing gap of $140-170 billion. This is why Bloom Impact is stepping in to disrupt how entrepreneurs access financial services.

A registered B-Corp and an LLC operating in Ghana, 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 and providing digital, eligible, validated, scored and financially-educated customers.

EWB’s investment will help to grow the product adoption, referral and incentive programs, as well as advance product development.

“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 and CEO, Carol Caruso. “We are delighted to partner with EWB 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.”

Do you have a story that you think would interest our readers?
Write to us editorial@cio.co.ke

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.