AS MANY small businesses face an economic dilemma because of the pandemic, two companies have joined forces in the belief that their financial innovation can assist struggling entrepreneurs.
Term Finance Holdings Limited (TFHL) and 3Stone Limited have developed Term Finance (SME TT) to provide improved and innovative access to finance and loans for small, micro, and medium (SME) sized enterprises.
A strictly digital platform, SME TT which has been in beta testing for the past six months will be launched to the public on September 21. It is hoped that this new platform will provide economic diversification that focuses on innovation in the financial services infrastructure, to help small businesses with a competitive edge in the regional and international markets.
In a media release, TFHL CEO Oliver Sabga said the technology driven process allowed for the application, submission of documents and communication to be done entirely online, negating the need to have long lines, or wait a lengthy period for a decision.
He noted that time is money, and unnecessarily long wait times can result in dire consequences for smaller businesses.
He said, “Our credit assessment methodology is now more fit-for-purpose, innovative and flexible than legacy financial institutions, giving us insight into areas that the big banks do not know how to evaluate.
“A study a few years back indicated that SMEs generate approximately 30 percent of our country’s GDP. If we can support SMEs in their growth missions, we can grow the economy. This is very exciting.”
3Stone director Dr Christian Stone also noted that the need to create accessible avenues to finance and explore the possibilities of supporting entrepreneurial development through lending to SMEs.
“SMEs have had to rely on internal funding to a greater extent than larger organizations, as traditional loan funding for SMEs has been difficult to obtain.
“This partnership between 3Stone and Term Finance is not only timely, but also a much-needed boost for the national ecosystem, and by extension the entrepreneurial community in TT, as access to funding remains a major sticking point in realising successful entrepreneurship,” Stone said.
This move has the support of president of the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce Gabriel Faria, who said, “This partnership shows the ability of the companies to leverage their collective competencies to go beyond simply granting loans, to offering much needed value-add services like mentorship and guidance to SMEs.
“I am also confident that Term Finance will utilize its existing technology to add an element of innovation to the corporate lending industry.”
TFHL is a web-based credit institution operating in the Caribbean region and 3Stone Limited has been responsible for the execution of the annual National Secondary School Entrepreneurship competition.