Inspiration

My name is Ibrahim from Kano Nigeria. A little about me is that my parents are financially excluded because they would not take a loan with interest no matter how small. This is because of their culture, religion, fear of anything going wrong, and the hassle of obtaining a loan from banks. It happens that there are more than 73 million people in Nigeria alone who are like my parents, apart from several other millions in Africa, India, and the middle east. 99% of these people are financially excluded. They want a loan with no interest, no stress, no collateral, and that will directly impact their life, business, and income. This inspires me to build a solution to fill this gap. To build an informal financial solution that allows small and medium-scale entrepreneurs and farmers who are majorly earning low income and financially excluded in Nigeria to have access to interest-free, cashless credit and inputs without collateral or business histories and pay in installment through our Arewa card voucher.

What it does

ArewaCash is an informal financial solution that allows small and medium-scale entrepreneurs and farmers who are majorly earning low income and financially excluded in Nigeria to have access to interest-free, cashless credit and inputs without collateral or business histories and pay in installment through our Arewa card voucher. We also allow users to save using our Arewa card voucher daily through our agents.

How I built it

After preliminary investigation and business insight into the problem of financial inclusion in Nigeria, I thought of building a web platform for the MVP targeting small and medium businesses in Northern Nigeria. I used Google firebase for the backend services with little Nodejs for verification of Bank Verification Number (BVN). I used NextJs, a React framework for the frontend technology.

Challenges I ran into

Some of the challenges I ran into are:

  1. BVN verification API;
  2. Working with NextJs;
  3. Working with Firebase Cloud Functions.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Some of the accomplishments include:

  1. Building a landing page that I love myself;
  2. Coming up with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that can be taken to the early adopters;
  3. Learned a lot while building the project.

What I learned

I learned how to efficiently used Firebase services such as Authentication service, Firestore, and Databases

What's next for ArewaCash

Our Vision is that 5 years from now, the majority of financially excluded people from Nigeria will have access to credit facilities to boost their productivity and income generation.

The ArewaCash 3 year financial plan is based on the assumption that ArewaCash will raise $100M in external funding in the form of Venture Capital or similar external funding. This money will be deployed in the following main areas:

  1. Setup offices, and other facilities
  2. Grow the R&D team (Market force in Financial technology)
  3. Hire the experienced senior management team
  4. Stabilizing the organization
  5. Beefing up direct sales activities by continuing engaging in direct dialogue with some key customers such as farmers and traders associations

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