In September 2020, 2SCALE launched a crowdfunding campaign, a platform aimed at alleviating the liquidity crisis faced by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Two years later, two cohorts consisting of over 91 MSMEs from Kenya, Nigeria, and Mali have successfully participated in this initiative. A total of $151,543 was raised during the first phase while $174,573 was raised during the second cohort in 2021. Contributions mainly came from family, friends, and other individuals interested in helping their business overcome cash flow issues. Companies that mobilized 50% of the targeted resources were eligible for a financial bonus of €2,000 from 2SCALE.
While most of these MSMEs had limited or no options in terms of insurance, credit, and risk management, -as is the case with most MSMEs- funds raised through the platform enabled them to continue with their operations. In Nigeria, a food distributor found a viable solution to solve his transportation challenges. Despite the significant threat due to the impact of the pandemic, this MSME acquired a Ford Transit van which he uses to distribute food products to low-income consumers. Read more on the story here: https://www.2scale.org/en/updates/from-disruption-to-recovery-the-power-of-crowdfunding-en
In Mali, while the businesses, especially SMEs, were facing both the Covid 19 pandemic and a security crisis, the crowdfunding initiative came at the right time and lived up to participants' expectations. Despite some reluctance from some contributors, people finally understood that it was a solidarity impulse that should be supported for the relaunch of the economic activities of small businesses. This was the very first time that Dialiya Keita, from the Keitala Négoce partnership participated in a crowdfunding campaign. She recounts:
Crowdfunding was quite new for us. I would say that Malians did not understand the concept at first. Some people asked me a lot of questions because they thought it was a scam. I had to take a long time to convince some people of how crowdfunding works. What really moved me was when companies competing with mine, showed support by donating towards my initiative. That really surprised me! The campaign was a success, and I realized that there are people who care about the success of our business.