UNCDF supported the partnership between OZÉ and the Youth Banking Department of Ecobank to provide a comprehensive set of financial services and use the predictive power of data to support both MSMEs and FSPs in their respective goals.
Under the GrEEn project, and in this specific UNCDF partnership, OZÉ helps Ecobank Ghana to assess the creditworthiness of young entrepreneurs of the Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana: OZÉ’s data and machine learning allow the app to predict credit risk and provide young entrepreneurs with affordable capital from Ecobank. OZÉ also supports the MSMEs, improving their capacity to borrow and accompanying them in their journey towards economic independence.
The specific objective of the Ecobank–OZÉ partnership, which runs from 2020 to 2023, is to boost the financial inclusion of excluded young MSME owners on a sustainable basis by:
a) bringing digital solutions to more rural areas and assessing the uptake and usage outside the Greater Accra Region
b) evaluating the sustainability of a fintech start-up, OZÉ, serving these areas
c) building a business case for FSPs basing their lending decision-making on the credit scoring of young entrepreneurs.
While the pilot is still ongoing, UNCDF and OZÉ have already been able to show results of several quick-win features during the first months of deployment in the Ashanti Region. As of June 2021, after three full months of active acquisition, the OZÉ app had registered 1,910 new users.
This case study shares more on the design of the app and initial lessons learned for practitioners.