BusinessDay

How Onuoha built a system that coordinate MSMEs operations, track growth

 

Chinedu Onuoha is the founder of Kashia, a digital financial data platform that assists macro and small-medium businesses to effectively and efficiently record financial activities and run operations in a structured manner.

Onuoha was inspired to establish Kashia to unleash the immense potential in the MSME space and drive economic growth.

“Kashia was founded in 2020 during the hit of the pandemic. t took us 18 months to fully develop the platform before finally launching,” he says.

“We leveraged remote working tools to make the best use of the lockdown period to create this amazing product that is helping small businesses,” he explains.

Onuoha explains that his former role as the group head responsible for digital banking business development in Access Bank gave him insight on how difficult it was for businesses obtain loans easily from commercail banks. He noted that his team primarily focused on digital lending and financial inclusion.

“The interesting thing is that the Banks had the funds to lend, but very few small businesses could meet the requirements to access the loans.”

“The issue was that there was no credible data available for the banks to make an informed credit decision. To close this apparent gap, I decided to develop Kashia,” he says.

Through the information that is generated from the platform, banks can access the credibility of these MSMEs and confidently make loan offers to them, he stresses.

Read also: MSMEs’ survival threatened as cost of doing business soars

Speaking on the impact in the MSMEs landscape, he notes that feedback from its customers on the effectiveness of their services is a testament that the business is on the right path.

He notes that if they can reach their target of 500,000 to 1,000,000 businesses within the next two to three years, then they are sure to have made a significant impact on the MSME landscape in the country.

Responding to the question of what stands the business from other platforms designed to support small businesses, Onuoha notes that they are forming alliances with banks and trade associations to support the businesses.

“All of which provide us with a faster path to delivering our solutions to more customers within a short timeframe, he says.

“Also we are designing for the Nigerian and African market, the platform takes into consideration the unique characteristics of most MSMEs and has provided solutions that speak to the peculiarities of each industry vertical.” he further says.

“Another thing that stands out to us is that businesses that cannot afford an accountant can get the benefits of a professional accountant by running their operations on Kashia, ” he adds.

On major challenges limiting MSMEs in Nigeria, he notes that the huge infrastructural deficit in the country remains a big problem for the ecosystem.

He adds that many small business owners have good ideas but operate on a very small scale. whereas with proper funding, these ideas can grow into large major businesses in Nigeria and help to reduce unemployment.

“A lot of small businesses also require exposure and training. through some of the government agencies in charge of MSMEs with providing some level of support in this regard, Onuoha notes.

No business without setbacks, speaking on the challenges faced by Kashia in the course of its operation, he explains that like most other technology companies in Nigeria, our company also has to deal with the issue of recruiting and keeping technology talents.

“We will continue to do what we have to do and also build the right institutional culture where they can see a future and grow with us despite all the environmental challenges of Nigeria,” the platform CEO explains.

Responding to the plans installed by the platform for customers in the next five years, he stressed that for the rest of 2022, they will be enriching Kashia with a lot more features, and businesses on our platform will be able to access loans from Banks and other licensed Fintech lenders directly from Kashia.

“Kashia plans to expand beyond Nigeria, every achievement they have accomplished so far, they plan to replicate in other African countries,”

“Our goal is to make Kashia the primary accounting and business operations platform for MSMEs in Africa,” Onuoha says.

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