According to the Global Findex Database 2017 (World Bank), 1.7 billion adults globally have been categorized as “unbanked”. Of these 1.7 billion demographic, women are overrepresented. In the Nigerian economy alone, over half or more of the adults are unbanked.
This category of individuals do not own a bank account and beyond owning an account, they lack the financial literacy required to operate one. These individuals have no (or restricted) access to financial services such as savings and loans, and predominantly rely on a cash-based economy.
OSB is solving the problem of financial inclusion in Africa, beginning with Nigeria. The model being deployed by Osemo Borealis is the creation of a savings and loans platform enabled by technology which provides standard banking offerings to the unbanked in an accessible and affordable manner.
Majority of users of this platform are market women in the financially excluded sectors of Nigeria who do not have the knowledge and resources (capital or collateral) required to obtain loans or overdrafts from standard financial institutions.
To further encourage owning of bank accounts, OSB recently partnered with Wema Bank PLC, one of the leading banks in Nigeria to distribute an innovative SME banking solution coupled with instant ATM cards to its customers.
With a growing customer base of 2,100 micro-businesses carrying out basic SME financial services such as savings and loans, OSB has given out over 5,000 loans to its customers till date. Loans given out, of which 90% recipients are market women, amount to the value of $2m