The United Arab Emirates is positioned on the cusp of a digital B2B boom. The nation has secured more than half of the Middle East’s e-commerce market, according to recent research, meaning it has the upper-hand to grab a huge piece of the predicted $50 billion B2B e-commerce industry throughout the Middle East North Africa region by 2020.
Plus, with the recent departure of major banks from the nation, the UAE is a prime market for alternative lenders as small- and medium-sized businesses seek capital.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Beehive has reportedly gotten an early jump on the opportunity. The UAE-based company revealed Wednesday (Feb. 18) that it has begun servicing SMEs in the nation with its lending tools.
Specifically Beehive can now connect SMEs with investors to offer short-term financing, crucial capital for small suppliers to manage their cash flow. The company’s platform means companies can list their unpaid invoices and receive financing in less than 2 days.
Financing rates for the capital will begin at .75 percent a month, Beehive said. Invoices that can be listed must have a payment date within 60 to 120 days.
With approximately 300,000 small businesses in the UAE, and with the International Finance Corporation calculating the current MENA SME lending cap at $260 billion, Beehive has entered a market with the potential for major gains.
Beehive is also servicing SMBs in the region through a business platform that is starting to catch fire across the globe. P2P lending and digital crowd funding, experts say, allows small businesses access to working capital like never before, and a World Bank-commissioned report predicts that the global industry could be worth $96 billion by 2025.