Running a small business has never been an easy job, but in the past few weeks it has become considerably tougher. The entire global business community is suffering as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent isolation measures put in place – and small to medium sized businesses are taking the hardest hit. Unlike enterprises, SMEs don’t have huge cash reserves, or a multitude of suppliers to turn to. They can’t easily pivot their business model or operational infrastructure to weather the coronavirus storm. But rather than keep pointing out the challenges that millions of companies are facing, we need to ask ourselves: how can we help them out?
Fintech has the potential to save SMEs
We’re already seeing many fintechs offering freemium services to boost company performance and offer additional support at this challenging time – Forbeshas put together an excellent round-up. WeOwn has always been committed to helping small businesses accelerate growth, and now more than ever, we want to make sure that our digital marketplace enables SMEs to get the financial support they so desperately need. Technology has the potential to save many companies.
Businesses need quick, affordable finance
The fintech industry has already realised that there’s a fundamental problem with SMEs accessing capital; existing methods simply don’t offer the affordability, speed and liquidity that growing businesses need. The alternatives we are creating will address this hole in the market during many companies’ greatest hour of need. For months now, WeOwn has been developing a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, which cuts the time and cost of securing business finance, without asking for months and months of balance sheet forecasting. Our platform creates direct lending opportunities for businesses who’ve had loan applications turned down by mainstream banks, or who need finance quicker than the traditional system can supply, with no paperwork, no securities and much less red tape. Our lending platform is launching at a time when the need for quick, affordable business financeoptions is about to reach critical mass – andwe are inviting companies to registeron our platform now, because we are lining up lenders who want to help SMEs repair the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
WeOwn’splatform is part of a bigger picture
I’m very aware that WeOwn is a business, and we are launching a new commercial service, but this discussion is much bigger than our peer-to-peer lending platform.We are part of a fintech movement using technology to provide cheaper, quicker access to capital, with greater accessibility than traditional funding routes alone, and this is exactly what the business community needs right now.In addition to complex and expensive existing options, many of the government-led initiatives for funding and grants will be too slow to process applications, and in that time many SMEs could go out of business. Time is of the essence. I’m not saying that government support isn’t worthwhile, but the more avenues there are for SMEs to access finance when we begin to recover from the devastation that COVID-19 is causing, the better. WeOwn is creating a cost-effective alternative option for small companies to explore, many of whom will already feel like they’ve exhausted existing routes to capital and can’t get the resources they need at this difficult time. So, this is our call to SMEs: come and register with our platform for free. You can still pursue government support, or get a loan with your business banking partner, but we may be able to sort out funding much quicker, on a better deal. Working with a technology-driven company who understands the challenges of running a growing businesscould well be the quickest, simplest way for SMEs to secure financial support. The fintech industry has got your back. Sascha Ragtschaa