What problem are you trying to solve?
Micro businesses in Kenya have few, if any, options for a reliable source of credit to grow their businesses. Despite its technological advances, mobile credit in Kenya has left behind the poorest 40% of the population – with penetration in this segment at less than 10%. Pezesha is solving the problem of low-income micro businesses (majority being women) getting affordable access to credit in a way that can build their credit history to be part of the formal financial system. Currently banks, formal institutions, and lending apps that require smart phones won’t approach these people, leaving the only options being from the informal sector which many deem to be at exploitative rates of interest, and with no way to leverage the good behaviour of repayment. Without access to a line of credit micro businesses are hampered in their growth, unable to access funds to unlock the potential within their businesses to flourish.
What is your solution to this problem?
Our response to the problem of low income borrowers being unable to access an affordable line of credit is to build a solution which can accommodate them. Pezesha is a two-sided marketplace which provides credit for borrowers and a return for lenders. We do this by not only seeking alternative data sources to generate a credit score, but through building strategic partnerships with in-person social networks that exist in their communities. The combination of a rigorous data-driven credit scoring model, strong focus on user experience and local talented team mean we are agile to iterate our solutions to best suit the customers’ needs. To note, unlike banks, Pezesha will provide a loan to someone who is not recorded on the credit bureau. Once they complete their loan(s) with Pezesha, this information is shared with the central credit bureau for other public organizations to access.
Why are you going to win The Spindle Award for Best Innovation?
Pezesha has build the first mobile Peer to Peer micro lending marketplace in East Africa with an aim to empower more than 200 million informal micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging economies who lack adequate financing to thrive and grow. A micro kiosk owner in Kenya who was stocking only a crate of dozen of milk in a week, with Pezesha loans, they can now restock more than 5 crates, doubling their profits in turn a ripple effect up the supply chain and the entire economy.