SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Kountable has recently reported SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) behavior to the credit bureau TransUnion in Rwanda and Metropol in Kenya. More than 30 businesses were selected from these two countries for executing on projects while in partnership with Kountable, a global trade and technology platform.
The company is taking the lead on this type of reporting globally, where there is often a lack of positive credit reporting and SMEs consequently fail to develop a financial footprint or record of credit. Ultimately, this will help SMEs who partner with Kountable get access to capital that may not have been available to them previously.
Kountable’s business model is unique in global trade and is not loan-based. Instead of financing projects from large entities like government agencies, NGOs or multilateral organizations, Kountable buys the required product on behalf of the SME and gets paid after the project is completed and the SME is paid by its end customer. These projects are valued at anywhere from a few hundred thousand USD to in the millions and are in the sectors of healthcare, education, IT, energy and industrial development.
Traditional lenders or banks often want collateral or assets that SMEs cannot pledge, which leaves these smaller businesses with limited and undesirable options such as offering a business owner’s home in order to secure financing.
“This prevents our SMEs from scaling their businesses,” explains Sheila Ellis, Kountable's Finance Controller of Africa Operations. “Financial inclusivity is important to us, which is part of why we're doing this. We want our SMEs to have access to other capital opportunities in the future to continue to grow their business. Just as much as we are reporting on timely repayments though, we are also reporting on delayed or defaulted transactions.”
SMEs that work with Kountable and demonstrate execution capability with a history of timely repayment will get the benefits of better access to the financial ecosystem.
Says Catherine Nomura, President and Founder at Kountable, “SMEs play a critical role in global trade, sustainability and economic growth. Identifying and supporting the best of them helps all the partners on our platform, whether they be global manufacturers selling into emerging markets, funders of large projects in those markets and their bankers or the institutions and their constituents who benefit from the right goods at the right price getting to the right place on time. Credit reporting for SMEs is just one of many ways Kountable is committed to providing trusted data to help all the players in global trade work better together.”
ABOUT KOUNTABLE: Kountable has built a secure, cloud-based technology platform to make a market where global organizations and central governments can engage qualified SMEs as part of their supply chains in a way that is safe, transparent, auditible, fundable and profitable.
I recently had an opportunity to catch up with Chris Hale from Kountable. Kountable is doing some real trade finance, providing preshipment...