Sheba Platform Limited launched a new time befitting endeavor called ‘Sheba Briddhi’ joining hands with Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B).
The project is being funded by UK Aid and managed by Nathan Associates with the objective to effectively address the forward market linkage challenges prevalent in the service market industry of Bangladesh and bring the service providers under the financial inclusion umbrella.The ‘Sheba Briddhi’ project offers a suite of B2B financial solutions to facilitate the growth of service oriented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSE). The services include business development, account and books management, market linkages and access to formal financial services. All the services can be accessed through Sheba’s ERP apps Manager.
This project successfully onboarded 10,000 new MSEs on to Sheba’s platform extended Business Development Services (BDS) to 700 MSEs and facilitated disbursement of GBP 150,000 loan to 43 MSEs through leading formal financial institutions of Bangladesh: IPDC, BRAC Bank and BRAC during the one year project tenure.
The grant money from BFP-B has been utilised for skill & behavior curriculum development, the launch of credit appraisal system, digital know your customer(KYC) rollout, facility management, product development, training and promotional activities.
The Manager application records MSEs’ order and payment history. This data set can be used to assess MSEs’ creditworthiness. Sheba has also developed its digital KYC system for the onboarded MSEs and can submit a full set of documents to the FIs within 01 business day (after collecting from MSEs) which lessens the burden of FI as well for documentation and subsequent processing.
The aim is to establish a uniform credit appraisal system by Sheba and associated FIs where the documentation part would be managed by Sheba and FIs would sanction loan solely based on those data with no further assessment.Both BFP-B and Sheba XYZ have recognised the need for sustained public and private sector collaboration for extending micro-merchant centric financial services. The financial institutions can introduce wider range of digital financial offerings to tap this potent, yet “underserved” service industry.
Moreover, FinTechs can explore the possibility of piloting a wallet-based instant-credit facility.
Furthermore, both BFP-B & Sheba XYZ recommend that different government regulators can promote digitisation and design special policies to address micro-merchants’ needs.