Africa Prize for Engineering: How Social Lender Is Bridging Financial Gap In Africa- Faith Adesemowo
Social lender is a digital service that provides immediate access to formal financial services to those with little or no previous access. More than 50% of Africans lack access to Formal financial services.
Those that mostly fall in this group are artisans, farmers, traders, young professionals, small business owners and students.
The Social Lender platform developed by Faith Adesemowo and her team is aimed at providing formal and informal financial services. The Social lender partners with banks, microfinance institutions, micro insurance companies and agricultural input companies. Users can access Social Lender’s platform through the internet, SMS, USSD, apps, APIs or partner bank ATMs.
The innovation has already attracted commendations and impacted over 100,000 customers in Nigeria and South Africa. At the recently held Africa Prize for Engineering event, Social Lender was a runner-up of the coveted prize. In this interview with TECHMIRROR MAGAZINE, Faith the team lead, spoke about the initiative, the goal and what the Africa Prize for Engineering means to the Social Lender. Excerpts below.
Techmirror: What Motivated You To Introduce Social Lender?
Faith: We saw that there was a problem of access to formal financing, which is why we thought to bridge the gap and ensure that people could access funding and also leverage their reputation to access credit, we also felt it important to have a modern solution to the crisis of finance and funding, which led to the digital solution Social lender.
Techmirror: In Africa, there is the challenge of Digital knowledge, how do you intend to reach those with little or no knowledge?
Faith: People can access our services through the use of SMS and USSD. We have also set up ambassadors who help orientate communities and reach out to sensitize people better, we are doing this to bridge the gap and reach more rural areas especially in Nigeria and to ensure that we have more modern solution in the society.
We also have a robust partnership that ensures we provide banking solution with our partners.
Techmirror: How did you feel with the Africa Prize for Engineering Award?
Faith: I was elated and I am still elated at the recognition, I did not see this coming early and I share the gratitude to my team and people. It is a huge motivation for us and for us to do more. We will always do more to ensure that we reduce poverty
Techmirror: What makes your brand unique?
Faith: We provide technology and at same time provide access, some of our competition competes with certain parts of business and we are a solution provider which makes us different. Our technology is also a superb one and not just the regular you find out there, we are bridging gaps and doing it efficiently and uniquely
Techmirror: What is your message to the organizers of the Africa Prize for Engineering?
Faith: My appreciation goes to the organizers of the event, they have been super amazing. I would also love to say a big thank you to partners and users who have trusted us and also have been helped by the virtue of the Social lenders initiative. We are committed to better delivery and better service.