Like many small businesses around the world, companies in Ghana find delayed payments of invoices to be a significant problem. Suppliers can find themselves waiting as long as 150 days after delivery of goods or services to receive payment. These delays can cause cash flow issues for the companies concerned, prohibiting investment, or in the worst cases, causing the business to become insolvent.
Growth Factor provides a solution to this problem with a platform that enables companies to submit unpaid invoices, and in under 48 hours, receive up to 80% of the value of the invoices paid in the form of an unsecured loan. This gives the businesses the flexibility to effectively operate on almost immediate payment terms, repaying the loans at the point the invoices are paid.
It was the unique support provided by the KIC program that enabled Growth Factor to conceive of this innovative product and develop it into a market-ready solution.
The company was initially interested in helping solve problems for SMEs working in the agricultural sector. They observed that large buyers would often have stringent compliance requirements, for which SME suppliers required upfront capital to implement. During the KIC market research phase, SME owners consistently talked about wanting to meet regulatory standards, but simply not having the financial backing to do so.
By taking their questioning of SMEs to the next level, the Growth Factor team realized the reason behind not having the capital to invest was that companies were often waiting significant amounts of time after goods or services were delivered to receive payment.
Speaking about how the program provided them the unique opportunity to gather the insight needed to conceive of their product, the CEO of Growth Factor, Kelvin Tyron commented: “The power to develop innovative solutions comes from gaining a deep understanding of the problem. This is what the KIC allows you to achieve. We experienced the problems of the farmers and the food processors, and, with the support of the KIC, developed a solution that has the potential to transform the agricultural industry.”
Having come up with their initial idea, the KIC continued to support Growth Factor by providing the company access to their ‘strong network and vast resources that entrepreneurs need to validate their assumptions’.
CMO of Growth Factor, Itumeleng Moagi said: “We received financial support to travel far and wide in order to validate the idea. We were linked with strong contacts that brought great insight into the problem and were able to come up with a comprehensive solution.
“The KIC’s all-round support was overwhelming – the KIC truly invests in people.”
Where they are today
Although Growth Factor did not go on to win the KIC in 2018, they were impressive enough that one of our program partners awarded them funding to continue their incubation and business growth.