Kenyan-based fintech firm Pezesha has emerged winner of the 2020 AFI Inclusive FinTech Showcase, capturing the AFI members and the panel of expert judges with strong online pitches of their innovative solutions that can lead to financial inclusion.
The platform is a holistic digital financial performance infrastructure for underserved African MSMEs, offering them financial education, lending, and debt counseling, plus a proprietary credit scoring system to vet these MSMEs without a credit history, de-risking lending.
According to Swahili translation, Pezesha stands for “financial empowerment” and gives a platform for MSMEs to key into finance pools once linked with investors like retail lenders, banks, and other microfinance institutions.
Founder and Chief Executive of Pazesha, Hilda Moraa in a live feed connection, spotlighted the role of her company in helping MSMEs across Subsaharan Africa win essential capital their businesses require
Pezesha focuses mainly on African underserved markets for now and just made history as the competition’s second winner. The mode of operation centers around relying on partners and suppliers to create credit scores and offer credit access when more inventory is bought.
This is facilitated by investors who depend on algorithms that variegate risk as enabling lending to small secure businesses.
Last year’s inaugural showcase was won by OKO. Pezesha has developed strong links to critical AFI themes like creating a customer base that consists of 80% youth and 60 percent women.
Moraa believes that over 20,000 youth-run MSMEs have been given working capital that has led to the creation of over 1,000 formal sector jobs and 5,000 informal ones.
Since it’s launch in 2017, the startup has educated over 200,000 MSMEs, given more than 75,000 loans to MSMEs, and shared over $2 million across Kenya.
Pazesha won the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa Program 2020 earlier this year which was powered by The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoft).
It received a €3,000 prize money, a free membership at the LHoFT, and an entry plus full accommodation to attend the “Assises de la Coopération Luxembourgeoise”.
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