How Pezesha continues to support supply chain merchants with working capital needs to thrive and build business resilience in the wake of COVID-19.

Pezesha and Twiga team at a Twiga depot in Eastlands, Nairobi
Pezesha and Twiga team at a Twiga depot in Eastlands, Nairobi

Pezesha is focused on “missing middle” segment opportunity

According to a special report by COMESA on the Economic effect of COVID-19 on Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs), the biggest challenge experienced by SMBs during the COVID-19 period has been lack of Operational Cash flow. This has negatively affected their business operations and some have been forced to close shop as they are unable to pay their suppliers who in turn supply them with goods that drive their sales and healthy cash flows. These SMBs are in the “missing middle” of the market and comprise of mainly micro-business owners or retail chains (kiosks/dukas/”mom and pop” shops) who experience cash flow issues on a daily basis and would be able to grow their businesses if they could purchase more inventory on credit. These businesses sometimes also work with other service providers to expand their products and services provided such as those offering payment products or logistics services among others.

Despite these SMBs accounting for over 70% of Kenyans purchases and job creation in Kenya, they still continue to face a massive financing gap that prevents them from growing their operations sustainably and at scale. Commercial banks and Fintechs are reluctant to finance these businesses due to the high risk that cannot be traded off with collateral and the lack of data as most are still operating with minimal to no structures, leading to only less than 5% credit penetration in this segment, due to these key reasons as per a recent report by Agra.

On the bright side, the rapid mobile adoption in Kenya at more than 90% has accelerated alternative approaches to solving the financing gap to SMBs in the supply value chains. It has harnessed the use of mobile money infrastructure to collate transactions digitally to then be able to provide alternative credit scores to the underserved SMBs by enhancing lending decisions through exploring mobile financing opportunities.

Pezesha’s approach to supply chain working capital needs

We have continued to see that there are more working capital needs through the supply chain of different verticals, with retailers needing affordable credit to fund inventory and float from wholesalers and distributors. We believe this is a trend that will continue in future, as more value chains are being aggregated and formalized acrossAfrica. Pezesha has tapped into this trend, where we have developed an end to end value chain marketplace through collaborative approaches with strategic partners in the supply chain sectors already working with underserved SMBs. These strategic collaborations have successfully automated digital alternative transactional data of their retailers and made available to Pezesha to assess their creditworthiness in real time and generate real time credit scores in the end of the chain, connecting them with access to affordable credit options including other financial services in the value chain to support these merchants to survive and remain resilient during COVID-19 period and beyond through productive lending that drives growth and network effect.

Some of the testimonials from merchants we have supported

Here are some testimonials of a few merchants in the supply chain network that we have supported during the COVID period.

This is what a Twiga merchant we have supported had to say;

“My experience with Pezesha has been great. It has helped me restock whenever I need to. I acknowledge that my business was not doing well and making payments to my suppliers has been a big issue during the pandemic period. Am now back on my feet because of Pezesha’s credit facility that has been an enabler to my business. I am now able to also meet the demands of my customers on time”

This is what a PesaTransact merchant we have supported had to say;

“I needed to pay bills for one of my regular customers, however I did not have enough float to make the payments. Pezesha facilitated my top up with PesaTransact. I was able to buy more utility float and meet customers demands, in turn my commissions payments with Pesatransact have greatly increased”

This is what a Jumia merchant we have supported had to say;

“I wanted to meet customers orders that were about to be cancelled because I lacked enough cash to pay my suppliers . I requested a loan via Jumia Lending and a Pezesha officer reached out to me on the same day with an affordable loan offer which was enough to pay my supplier. I was happy to get a loan the same day I applied and I was able to deliver to my customers on time.”

Collaboration is key to impact more businesses in the value chain

Are you a supply working with retailers or distributors or wholesalers across any sectors? We ask you to join us in 2021 to help you retain your customers, grow your revenues and offer credit sales without taking any risks by partnering with Pezesha’s end to end automated supply chain working capital solution that provides a win-win for everyone in the value chain. Do reach out to us at hello@pezesha.com to learn more and work with us to impact more small businesses with affordable working capital needs in 2021 to recover and weather the current pandemic.

We are a digital capital enabler platform connecting quality SMEs and Merchants with access to working capital and other financial services from our marketplace