Small and Medium Enterprises are the key economic drivers in Nigeria. However, access to funds has been one of the issues affecting growth of this essential sector of the Nigerian Economy. While government and relevant agencies have set up credit facilities to mitigate the finance challenges faced by small businesses, many still struggle to meet up with loan requirements, with collateral being a major stumbling block.
In the ecommerce sector, Jumia, the leading online marketplace in Africa, is taking initiative with Jumia Lending, to help entrepreneurs on its platform grow their businesses through strategic partnership with lenders who make loans easily available.
One of such partnerships is with Lendigo Nigeria, a lending platform that offers business loans without collateral. According to the Country Manager Lendigo Nigeria, Seun Oyediran, the partnership with Jumia makes the lending process easier and allows the platform to make good credit decisions when dealing with business.
“Our partnership with Jumia Lending helps build trust with sellers and allows us to have access to their transaction data which allows us to be able to make good credit decisions and finance their growth. We have been actively partnering with Jumia since 2017, and we are happy to continue financing the growth of their sellers,” he said.
A Jumia seller, who is one of the beneficiaries of Jumia Lending programme, Jumoke Akinsanaya, said the collateral-free loans has granted her business direct access to big companies, facilitated bulk purchase and improved her business workforce. “I have been using the Jumia Lending platform to grow my business. At the beginning, we were doing it in bits and few times we were able to process our orders when we got them.
“But with Jumia lending, we’ve been able to buy in bulk and now have access to companies to purchase directly from them and that has helped expand our store. When we started, we had 300 assortments, but now we have 900. I have been able to increase my workforce as well. We started with six staff and we are about twelve now,” the owner of Deeski.com said.
Explaining what qualifies a seller for the loan, Austin Okpagu, Head Consumer Services, Jumia, said sellers on the platform can apply for the loan from a list of Jumia financial service partners with their sale history, and get the loan within 48 hours. “Jumia lending is a lending marketplace that allows Jumia sellers to easily request for a loan from any of our financial service partners based simply on their past revenue on Jumia,” he said.