Building a multi stake-holder B2B platform to benefit all
At BPC we tackle real life issues with digital solutions, which begins with understanding which issues prevent people and businesses from economic progression. Looking at small businesses, it becomes apparent that they often operate outside of the traditional financial system and as a result they do not have a track record that is required to access a range of financial products. For a small business – whether it is street vendors or farmers – taking full part in the economy means access to working capital, to advice and even to government grants. Without access these types of services, they cannot fully participate or become part of the regular financial system.
Building an environment that empowers small business owners to get access to the financial system and to create their digital footprint is merely the starting point. As soon as we then link those businesses to suppliers, transportation, insurance and even clients, we create a network of cooperation. Such an ecosystem brings value to all participants: first and foremost to the businesses that gain access not only to financial products but also to a broad range of auxiliary services that help them run and grow their business more efficiently. It equally benefits the banks, micro finance institutions and lenders, creating a new sales channel for financial products to those who previously were difficult to reach. The possibilities to enrich this ecosystem are virtually endless, it can serve as a platform for distribution of government subsidies, bring business to freelance logistics professionals who can handle the shipment of goods – in short serve as a digital marketplace which addresses all the specific needs for a given type of business. It brings a wide range of specific solutions onto one centralised platform and creates the holistic view a business needs to thrive.
For these ecosystems to succeed, trust is without doubt the most crucial factor and is therefore embedded in our approach and technology. In these complex, multi stakeholder environments, transparency, expertise and experience are required to create a true partnership approach among all participants. It starts by having a clearly defined business goal, which needs to be supported by a very robust delivery approach and infrastructure with 24×7 availability, and solid back-up and recovery plans. All partners in the ecosystem must be able to rely on a market that is ‘open for business’.
A digital B2B ecosystem creates value for all its participants, and this implies that there is no ‘one size fits all’. Each ecosystem will be unique and heavily depend on the local requirements as well as the type of business it intends to service. When implemented correctly, a digital B2B marketplace does so much more than offering entrepreneurs access to working capital to grow their business – it builds a truly digital ecosystem that provides all participants with transparency, efficiency and most importantly trust. Ultimately this will make not only the individuals but also regional and national economies more powerful and independent.