Nestle supports informal retailers in Africa with working capital to keep them afloat

AFRICA – Nestle has partnered with South Africa based fintech platform Nomanini and Standard Bank, to provide technological and operational support to informal retail Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) across the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

Under the partnership, the retailers will be offered uncollateralised loan in the form of physical stock from Nestle following analyses of the MSME’s sales history by Nomanini.

The analysis will be necessary in order to create a credit score for the retailers and determine their credit worthiness.

If approved the food giant company will be able to provide the much-needed working capital by retailers to stock a wide range of high-quality products through Nomanini’s platform.

Announcing the project Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé ESAR, emphasised that the region’s economic growth is interdependent on strong partnerships amongst various stakeholders, including the informal retail sector.

“As one of the fastest-growing consumer retail markets in the world, Africa is full of economic potential. This potential lies firmly within the informal retail sector, which constitutes the vast majority of the retail market in Africa.

“To give impetus to this positive outlook, we have leveraged Nomanini’s technology to unlock business opportunities, drive economic growth, create jobs and improve ways of doing business,” he stated.

The move was triggered by the fact that majority of retail transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa are cash-based and occur in informal channels, according to IFC research.

 Many retail MSMEs are therefore unable to create the digital footprint necessary to access the credit they need to keep their shelves stocked with high-quality essential items.

Additionally, many MSMEs across Africa have been negatively affected by disrupted supply chains, inter-trade, as well as reduced consumer sales, which have resulted from Coronavirus lockdown regulations.

“Being able to support the creation of wealthier and healthier communities by providing working capital to retail MSMEs is a real win for all.”

Adrian Vermooten – Chief Innovation Officer at Standard Bank Group

According to the press-release by Nomanini, the launch of the program follows the successful implementation of the concept in Zambia as a trial.

To this end, Nestlé is set to expand the solution into other countries, benefitting thousands of MSMEs across the region.

“Our solutions are designed with MSME retailers at the core so that we can support, rather than disrupt their businesses.

“We know that while many of these MSMEs are un- or under-banked, they would qualify for credit if they were. By using our technology and data, our partners can help MSMEs access credit responsibly,” shared Vahid Monadjem, CEO and Founder of Nomanini.

As the pioneering fintech platform for the informal retail ecosystem, Nomanini integrates payments, working capital, and data analytics to unlock the latent potential of Africa’s economy.

The company provides retail MSMEs with the tools to improve their businesses by combining new digital financial services with existing distribution networks.

Its range of solutions supports world-class digital banking and supply chain financing in cash-first markets.

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