Area of Work:
Digital Financial Services, Livelihoods and Microenterprise
Informal micro and small enterprises (MSE) are crucial to fostering inclusive growth in South Africa’s townships post COVID-19, as they account for 40% of economic activity in townships. To strengthen the resilience and financial health of informal MSEs (looking at spaza shops specifically), BFA Global, in partnership with J.P. Morgan, is supporting 3 growth-stage fintech innovators with grant capital and bespoke venture building support to develop and scale relevant digital solutions that can help spaza shops in South Africa’s informal settlements to increase sales, operational efficiency and livelihood opportunities.
To achieve this, BFA Global will facilitate innovation pilots with each company, focusing on digital stock management, digital payments and access to appropriate financial solutions. These solutions will help them reach more informal MSEs to provide (a) access working capital to purchase stock, (b) digitization of business operations and payments to reduce operating costs and develop a data trail, and (c) connections with e-commerce platforms. BFA Global will hold a virtual convening to share lessons among tech partners and publish three blogs to disseminate insights from the pilots.