Let me tell you a true story. There once was a young entrepreneur, let’s call him Ousmane, in a small town in a small West African country. He got a lucky break. He won a pitch competition and was able to raise seed funds to launch a private school. After 3 years of excruciatingly hard work, his school became one of the most respected in the whole country. He had more than a thousand students and a waitlist even longer. Investors started to notice. Ousmane was invited to present his business. When the investor asked him how much money he needed, he couldn’t answer. When the investor asked him how much money he had made, he couldn’t answer. When the investor asked for his profit margins…you get the point. Then the investor asked to see his records and Ousmane pulled out a pile of scrap paper. The investor passed.
If you are an entrepreneur, that story is the stuff nightmares are made of. You are probably a bit queasy just from reading it. You know the truth; that Ousmane is not alone. Few small business owners can answer those questions. Few small businesses have their financial records in order. And so, few small businesses are able to attract investors or affordable bank loans.
Despite those challenges, it’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Ghana and on the continent. Africans are connected. According to a McKinsey & Co. study, internet penetration in African cities is now the same as it is in Chinese cities. Africans are informed. GSMA found that the number of tech hubs in Africa grew by 50% from 2016 to 2018. Africans are at cutting edge. Google is opening an Artificial Intelligent lab in Accra. But this emerging reality is contrasted by entrepreneurs using the same management tools that their grandmothers used in the market nearly a century ago.
OZÉ is building financial management tools that accelerate business growth rather than holding it back. It is a mobile-first platform which enables business-owners to focus on what they do best, whether that is turning milk into yogurt or lines of code into an app, by reducing the burden of record-keeping and analysis. Using human-centered design, it was built with entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Business owners and employees simply input sales and expenses into OZÉ. The app then uses advanced analytics to provide personalized recommendations on how to improve the business’s performance and create financial reports.
Doris Adoboe, the CEO of EXA Ventures and an OZÉ user, shared, “Until I met OZÉ, things were bad. I was writing records in my books sometimes, not always. With OZÉ now, anywhere, anytime, I can show you my financial records. And now a lot of people are interested in investing into my business.” Through partnerships with financial institutions and government, OZÉ makes the connection between our users and the institutions who can invest in their growth.
OZÉ users are also invited into a community of dedicated business-owners. Through seminars, online resources, and social media, OZÉ entrepreneurs are connected to new information, new customers, new suppliers, and new investors. Emanuel Dompreh, the CEO of Dousty Ventures said, “I’m delighted with the OZÉ app because of its simplicity and how efficient it is. I also commend the customer service personnel for their support always and doing their best in building relationships with business owners and users of the app.” This sentiment is why OZÉ has quickly reached the #1 Trending spot of the Google Play Store charts in Ghana.
Let’s return to Ousmane and imagine that he was an OZÉ user. At the click of a button, he could see his operating expenses. He would know his profits and if his margins were improving. He could simply share a digital copy of his records. He would have gotten that investment. He would have built a second school building and enrolled another 1000 students. OZÉ is building infrastructure for the small business ecosystem so that entrepreneurs can build the future of Africa.
If you want to join the thousands of small business owners using OZÉ to grow their business, download the app on the Google Play Store or visit www.oze.guru