Economic growth in a country is evident through prosperity and increased opportunities. When citizens experience economic growth driven by ample employment opportunities, it fosters the emergence of financially stable individuals. It is evident that robust economic growth contributes to human development, subsequently fostering further economic advancement.
Aside from economic growth being the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries, individuals who make up the economy, and small and medium businesses, have continued to falter to play their part due to limited financing options to handle basic investments for their sustenance.
Attempting to change the situation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made it mandatory for traditional banks to give out 65% of deposits as loans to expand the economy. Despite fining banks that fail to meet the quota, it is still a herculean task for banks to reach the target, largely due to the various bottlenecks from the lenders, as individuals and business owners find it hard to access the loans.
This resulted in the creation of digital lenders targeted at MSMEs and individuals who are typically excluded from accessing loans from mainstream banks. These digital loan providers are playing a pivotal role in stimulating economic activities and fostering financial inclusion.
One such is SeedFi, a digital-first loan company that provides short and long-term basic loans to both Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and individuals.
According to Pelumi Alli, co-founder, and CEO, SeedFi aims to be the financial plug for business owners – providing them with opportunities to access capital. This is very timely as only 2,083,200 MSMEs have access to credit in Nigeria, according to recent reports by SMEDAN. These businesses face challenges in securing loans from traditional banks due to stringent requirements, a gap being filled by SeedFi, by offering straightforward application processes and approval in record time, thus making capital more accessible to entrepreneurs.
‘’With capital infusion, SMEs can strategically expand their operations, explore new markets, and invest in technology. This not only benefits them but also contributes to overall economic expansion’’, he added.
Another feature of SeedFi is its flexible repayment terms. SeedFi users have the flexibility to manage their cash flow effectively, by tailoring their repayment dates to align with their business cycles.
“Individuals are not left out”, Samaila Dogara, SeedFi co-founder and CCO added. Whether it's for unexpected medical expenses, education, unforeseen expenses, or home improvements, SeedFi loans empower individuals to navigate life's uncertainties, he enthused.
He stated that SeedFi’s loan approval process is swift and hassle-free, allowing individuals to access emergency funds whenever they need them the most.
Samaila said the short-term loans act as a financial safety net, helping individuals manage unexpected expenses without long-term financial burdens and by offering individuals the means to address immediate financial challenges, they contribute to building financial resilience. which in turn enhances overall economic stability as individuals and businesses can weather financial shocks more effectively.
SeedFi appears to be getting the thumbs up from satisfied customers as the CEO, Mwanga Candles and Diffusers, Omoyeni Disu, commenting about it said, ‘’Seedfi has a seamless process. They took their time in explaining how it all works, it took about 2 days from advisory to completing my transaction. As a Business owner, I recommend’’.
‘’We not only provide businesses with funds for their business, but we also see ourselves as their financial partner on the journey to success. Our loans are like seeds to help businesses grow, which is why we also provide financial advice to our customers where needed.” Alli added.
As SMEs flourish and individuals navigate financial challenges with their support, SeedFi asserts that a positive ripple effect is created throughout the economy, which will be evident in jobs creation, increase in consumer spending power, and availability of a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem to serve as driving force for sustained national economic development.