Access to finance remains one of the key challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Jordan. High transactional costs, risk of funding and lack of understanding of the SME business environment have been the main factors preventing commercial banks from operating in that space.
Liwwa’s fully automated lending approach aims to resolve this funding gap by providing fast, affordable credit to SMEs neglected by the banking sector. It connects borrowers to investors through a peer-to-peer lending platform, whereby borrowers (SMEs) can access capital, while investors earn regular monthly returns on their investments. Credit facilities range from USD 10,000 to USD 100,000; the entire application process is digital and goes through the company’s website. Liwwa gets in touch with all its potential clients through phone calls and on-site visits by the relationship managers prior to providing the loan.
Regional Manager Fadoua Boudiba: “We very much value this balanced ‘tech and touch’ approach and Liwwa’s clear mission to deliver job and income growth in Jordan. Our debt facility allows Liwwa to further increase its outreach.” The fintech company is also taking first steps to expand its activities to other countries in the MENA region, starting with Egypt.
Fadoua Boudiba also points out Liwwa’s broader role and influence in Jordan’s financial sector. “It is helping Jordan paving the way to keep developing its digital policy which is more advanced than in other regional markets. Also, Liwwa helped shift the credit bureaus in Jordan from accepting only physical signatures with witnesses present, to digital signatures which were necessary for many businesses to stay afloat during the pandemic.”