Ghana’s Bloom Impact, a machine learning loans marketplace accessible from smartphones has raised undisclosed funding from Engineers Without Borders Canada, EWB Ventures, an early-stage investor in innovative Africa-based social enterprises.
EWB has also invested in M-Shule, Numida Technologies, FarmDrive and Rent-to-Own. Its latest investment in Africa will allow MSMEs to create a digital profile, learn about and apply for financial services, and receive offers that best meet their needs.
According to Elena Haba, Legal and Investment Officer with EWB’s Strategy and Investment team, “For us, the unique approach and scalability of Bloom’s potential impact was most compelling. By working on closing the financial gap faced by MSME’s, Bloom is helping these small businesses grow and generate much-needed employment opportunities for underserved individuals.”
EWB believes that by supporting MSMEs to thrive, the jobs generated through them and the wealth created by them can ultimately help alleviate poverty. EWB also thinks Bloom will be particularly useful for women, who face many barriers in accessing traditional banking and financial services.
In addition to the tremendous convenience and cost savings Bloom Impact provides for MSMEs, creating financially educated business owners is also a critical component.
Bloom Impact also partners with banks and microfinance institutions and it disrupts their customer acquisition approach by cutting costs and providing digital, eligible, validated, scored and financially-educated customers.
The investment will help Bloom Impact to grow its product adoption, referral and incentive programs, as well as advance product development.
“EWB understands the barriers that prevent scale and growth in emerging markets and how social enterprises can have an impact,” says Bloom Impact Co-Founder and CEO, Carol Caruso. “We are delighted to partner with EWB due to this experience on the ground, our shared mission to drive inclusive finance and EWB’s wealth of talent management support, which is critical to our success.”