Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a major part of Sierra Leone’s economy. According to a recent World Bank report, SMEs in Sierra Leone provide livelihoods to approximately 70 percent of the population and represent over 90 percent of the domestic private sector. However, most of these businesses do not grow beyond the level at which they started, due to several factors including lack of access to credit (and other financial services) and low business skills among business owners. This has become worse in this post-pandemic period as the COVID-19 restrictions had a disproportionate impact on 96% of SMEs who already operate with so many resource constraints. This is why we are glad to partner with Innovation SL on the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP).
The Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP) is World Bank funded, designed to support the growth of SMEs and entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone with the aim of enhancing domestic and international investment, and increasing revenue from non-mining sectors.
Built’s involvement in this project is to equip the business owners with financial literacy and business management skills to help them navigate the complex financial situations they face as they run their businesses. More importantly, these businesses are trained in digital bookkeeping using the Built Accounting app, which is a cloud accounting app that helps businesses keep records easily, building credit profiles that enable them to prove their creditworthiness with financial institutions who need those data for easy decision making.
The objective of SLEDP under the sub component to identify and support local institution that support entrepreneurship and expand the capacity of entrepreneurs attracted the invitation of Built Financial Technologies to be part of the incubation process to support businesses to digitize their financial records for better decision making, and access to seek further opportunities with data that proves their business viability for such opportunities. Built Financial Technologies with support from Innovation SL has provided these businesses with an invoicing, accounting, POS, payments and payroll app for keeping records of their financials. Built Financial Technologies has also supported these businesses by providing training on data recording, reporting, and basic data analysis. Built Financial Technologies would also provide a hand holding support to these businesses for a period of six (6) months to support and cultivate the habit of record keeping. This is part of the technical support Innovation SL is providing to build the capacity of these businesses in data management, reporting and decisions sourced from their business data.
Innovation SL is a social enterprise equipping entrepreneurs with resources necessary to create and grow competitive businesses. Innovation SL is one of the implementing partners selected by The Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP) and the Ministry of Finance to Deliver Incubation and Acceleration Business Development Services to (30) companies under SLEDP.
Built Financial Technologies is a Pan-African financial technology company that is building the digital infrastructure that Africa’s small businesses need to launch, run and grow their businesses. The company provides business and financial tools including invoicing, accounting, POS, payments and payroll app.
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