Kountable announced it has launched credit bureau reporting for SMBs in Rwanda and Kenya based on how well they execute on projects.
“Kountable is pleased to take the lead globally in reporting on good execution behaviors inside of a project with agreed upon milestones,” Kountable President Catherine Nomura said in a press release. “Our model is not loan-based, and because we and the entrepreneurs on our platform get paid based on the successful execution of a project, we’re very invested in being able to identify entrepreneurs with great execution capabilities, even under the toughest of conditions. Early on, banks started reaching out to our SME partners because we were working with them, and this is just an effort to formalize that recognition that there’s more to being a great entrepreneur than paying your bills on time.”
Many SMEs across the globe do not have a financial footprint or credit history due to the limited credit information gathered, which results in financial exclusion on a mass scale.
“Some of our partners may have no credit at all because they’re not able to obtain traditional financing,” said Sheila Ellis, Kountable’s Finance Controller of Africa Operations. “Traditional lenders or banks often want collateral that our partners may or may not have on their balance sheet.” This is a structural problem that has nothing to do with the entrepreneur’s ability to execute.
“A lot of our customers do millions of dollars in trade successfully, manage multiple trades at the same time, are communicative, give us the right data, deliver on expectations, meet their customer’s requirements and get paid,” added Kountable’s CEO Chris Hale. “They get paid for the goods we consign to them as part of our business process. That is us extending them commercial terms. Executing against commercial terms is demonstrating the right kinds of behaviors. Because we have built a technology platform that measures and manages that international trade transaction, sharing that information with the financial ecosystem can help our partners develop their businesses.”
SMBs working with Kountable will also have access to better commercial terms with global suppliers.
“All we are doing is sharing our ability to monitor, influence and measure both conscientious and bad behavior,” said Hale. “No one has the data we have; we have talked to every partner in the ecosystem. No one sees the full picture like we see it, so it’s in the best interest of our enterprise and global trade partners to help create this transparency and share information to make the network run more efficiently.”