Sycamore helps Nigerians lend to friends

by Digital Brainiacs
0 comment 1 minutes read

In 2017, Babatunde Akin-Moses took a break from work to study for an MBA at the Lagos Business School (LBS). In the seven years before that, the graduate of Economics from Bowen University had worked in finance and strategy roles at organisations such as Shell, PwC, KPMG, and Pezesha. He also ran a small laundry business on the side.

At LBS, he would meet Mayowa Adeosun and Onyinye Okonji who would later join him as co-founders at Sycamore, a fintech startup they began in 2018. While in school, the three co-founders began to look at the data around small business financing in Nigeria. Having run small businesses themselves, it was a problem they understood and the data showed that SMEs in Nigeria had a hard time accessing capital for their businesses.

In 2020, a survey of MSMEs in Nigeria by PwC revealed that obtaining finance for business operations was a major challenge for 22% of the survey respondents. For those who had obtained some form of external financing, 48% said they received…

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