Faith Nyambura Mwea, a proprietor running and operating Shammah Limited, is a business owner who is looking into the future. She has been selling mobile phones and accessories in the mid to lower market segment.
As the country gets more connected, Faith and her cohort grabbed on the opportunity to import the common used phones and accessories to sell to the common man. A very large market that will continue to grow as technology costs come down.
All the members of this portfolio also have online e-commerce sales channels which diversifies the local risks of the physical markets they operate their brick and mortar stores in. In fact, 70% of sales are made online. The most popular goods are home living goods, mobile phones and accessories and consumer electronics.
Faith and her colleagues in this group of 150 business owners are seeking a working capital loan of about EUR 300 each. To ensure transparency, Umati capital secures the product right from the supply side to when it is released to the borrower in Nairobi. In this way, the borrower sells and pays back and re-orders; growing with every trade cycle.
From the data, a typical trade cycle, from import to sale takes about 90 days.
Despite completely doing everything legitimately, paying taxes and driving the bottom of the pyramid economy, and ironically, Faith's portfolio of borrowers have high credit scores but would never qualify for trade finance facilities at traditional banks which would require complex collateral processes.
By using technology, Umati Capital is able to aggregate and distribute trade finance to Faith in a commercially sustainable way.