SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, is launching SOLV Ghana, a business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace that offers micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), short-term invoicing financing, buy now pay later services, and business loans via a trusted marketplace of verified buyers and sellers.

Empowering MSMEs in Ghana

“At SOLV, our mission is to empower MSMEs by providing them with innovative solutions that address their financial needs, streamline their operations, and foster sustainable growth,” said Sam Kwaku Peprah, CEO of SOLV Ghana. “The SOLV Ghana platform has successfully onboarded 40 supply chain ecosystems linked to over 9,000 MSMEs participating on the platform. The launch of our marketplace in Ghana marks a significant step towards realizing this vision, and we are eager to contribute to the national economic development agenda.”

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Ghana’s MSMEs account for 83% of people engaged in business and were responsible for 71% of business revenues in the country, but only account for 66% of the profits, according to a 2019 report from the World Bank. Ghana’s MSMEs face many challenges—such as limited access to efficient and fast credit or financing and affordable professional support services—which affect their profitability and impede their growth and ability to scale operations.

Providing Innovative Digital Financial Solutions

SOLV Ghana aims to address these challenges by creating a verified and secured digital marketplace relationship between MSMEs, their suppliers, and participating financial institutions to offer pre-approved loan facilities to fund shortfalls between their cash flows and existing working capital required for restocking. SOLV Ghana also provides reliable and affordable business support services to improve operational efficiency. Financing and access to professional services are critical elements that will enhance MSMEs’ business growth and operational efficiencies and set businesses for success across the country.

“Our distributors are the happiest people today because they are offered a credit limit from SOLV that enables them to buy stock and pay later,” said Joseph Odame, General Manager of Global Poly Ghana, a supplier that participated in the pilot. “As a manufacturer, we are excited about how SOLV’s intervention will help curtail our account receivables and offer us a competitive advantage over our peers.”

SOLV Ghana’s Impact and Future Plans

SOLV Ghana’s digital marketplace offers MSMEs access to a supply chain financing solution backed by multiple financial institutions and anchor relationships. The platform offers short-term invoice financing, buy now pay later services and business loans via a trusted marketplace of verified buyers and sellers. In addition, the platform provides reliable and affordable business support services such as accountants, marketing professionals, and lawyers from multiple service providers to enhance operational efficiency and sustainable growth.

“We are thrilled to support SOLV in bringing its transformative solutions to Ghana. The collaboration between SC Ventures, SOLV, and its local development partners signifies a commitment to driving innovation and fostering economic development,” said Dan Karuga, Member of SC Ventures. “Together, we aim to empower MSMEs and contribute to the growth of the Ghanaian economy, following our learnings and successes in India and Kenya.”

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Continental Expansion and Global Impact

SOLV first launched in India in December 2020 and subsequently in Kenya, in 2022. With plans to expand globally, SOLV Ghana marks the company’s first step towards continental expansion in Africa. In June 2022, SOLV raised US$40 million in Series A funding led by marquee investor SBI Holdings, with participation from SC Ventures. Building on the success of SOLV’s strong performance in India, SOLV has set its sight on further global expansion to 300+ cities in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

“The launch of SOLV in Ghana is a proud moment for us at Standard Chartered and a great opportunity to sustainably support the growth of Ghanaian MSMEs,” said Mansa Nettey, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana. “Our ability to successfully incubate with our local partners affirms our commitment to collaboratively exploring more ventures and business solutions that will progressively advance our mission of rewiring the DNA in banking.”