Walking along the streets of Nairobi one is fascinated by the number of micro, small and medium enterprises that line up the road. According to a survey done by the Kenya Association Of Manufacturers(KAM) micro, small and medium enterprises contribute up to 40% of the GDP of the country, and the majority of them are in the informal sector where there is barely any regulation and financial access through proper channels.
The majority of these enterprises are focused on wholesale or retail trade with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) stating that majority of them close after 2 to 3 years of inception. The main reason attributed to closure was a shortage of operating funds due to increased expenses and declining revenue from the business. Diversion of returns and operating capital from the business to other uses also led to business closures.
According to the report about 80.6 % of establishments reported to have gotten startup capital from their own savings while about 4.2% got loans from family and friends, only 5.6% of MSMEs got financing from banks.
Chamas(Self-help groups) only financed 1.4% and cooperatives about 0.4%.
Cost of credit, the report states, and lack of adequate collateral are hindrances to the uptake of loans for the majority of businesses that need credit.
How can we be able to bridge this gap of providing credit efficiently to these MSMEs?. Research has shown that the majority of enterprises in these segments lack proper record keeping and financial management structures. They often rely on manual bookkeeping which has proved to be inefficient and lacks the capability to provide forecast and insights into the business.
Point Of Sale systems exist which can help in automating these tasks but often you find they are out of reach in terms of cost for most small enterprises and are often bulky for most of them as they tend to be mobile at times.
DukaPOS comes in to help in addressing this problem. It is a mobile-based point of sale solution that comes with a wireless receipt printer that helps in managing all aspects of the enterprise. One can view sales reports, generate invoices, manage stock, and manage staff. In addition, one can be able to monitor trends of the business to determine whether they are making profits or losses.
This data becomes very valuable for the enterprise when seeking credit as a financial institution is able to determine the viability of a business to lend to. One is also able to forecast their sales using business intelligence thus is able to plan efficiently their payment schedule.
We launched DUKAPOS in March of 2020 and despite the challenges of COVID 19 we have seen a huge uptake by small enterprises. We plan to continue expanding in the coming months as we continue creating an efficient solution for small businesses.
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