It is often a difficult endeavour for a micro and small enterprise (MSE) to seek business loans from formal financial institutions, largely due to the absence of reliable supporting documents for loan applications. Furthermore, there is a significant gap between the business loans an MSE typically seeks and the amount they receive, if any at all. Moreover, the time it takes to process such loans is often too long to meet the needs of the funds for MSEs.
SMILE is an innovative mobile-based platform that addresses this market failure by providing low-cost productivity enhancement services to MSEs, which on one hand, help improve the operational efficiency and business health of MSEs, and on the other hand, help increase access to finance for MSEs from formal financial institutions.
SMILE will be implemented through a partnership between piStrategy Consulting and Robi Axiata Limited, with support from BFCF. SMILE offers MSEs a customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to enhance business management operations in a practical and easily understandable manner. The system uses tools and approaches which are currently available in more complex ERP systems, which are both more expensive and require a larger infrastructure to operate
Over 1,000 MSEs will be introduced to SMILE for inventory and sales transaction tracking, over 50% of them will be making regular use of SMILE, and a meaningful percentage of the regular users will be using SMILE to gain Access to Formal Finance by December 2018.