Mazior Nyanyo on bridging the financial literacy gap among MSME owners in Ghana

Whatever anyone knows, they learned and thus, you can learn it too.

Mazior Nyanyo, Founder, CEO, JidiTrust

Mazior Nyanyo is big on self-learning and education. As a founder of a tech startup in Ghana, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and skill set through self-learning and is employing the benefits of this learning model to increase the financial literacy of micro, small and medium business owners in Ghana.

Globally, there are 3.5 billion adults who lack access to financial knowledge and services. In Ghana, as high as 42% of adults lack access to financial education and services.

Through her company, JidiTrust, the MEST alumna is tackling business finance literacy through the adoption of the Jiditrust app that teaches MSMEs to manage their finances through a library of short video courses in Twi and English.

Mazior spoke to the MEST Marketing and Community Team and had some great insights and experiences to share about financial literacy in the sub region and what her journey has been as a founder.

What is the need that JidiTrust seeks to address?

MSMEs contribute to 80% of employment and 70% of Ghana’s GDP. It is interesting to note that 90% of MSMEs’ owners are females who typically start businesses out of necessity but with very little to no access to financial education. 80% have below high school education and 90% do not do bookkeeping. The result of this is, 80% of MSME owners lack access to credit/finance and low growth of their micro-businesses.

For many Ghanaian families, small businesses are the only source of income. Without business training or formal education, entrepreneurs struggle to keep records, price their goods and services, formalize their business, save for the future, or acquire microcredit, leading to low growth of their businesses.

JidiTrust means “Faith and Trust”, and it is a financial inclusion company building financial capability of MSMEs using tailor-made local language financial literacy content and quizzes, daily bookkeeping, data-driven insights, goal-oriented savings, and access to flexible micro-credit. It is a simple yet powerful solution that is relevant and accessible to the African context.

What were some of the challenges JidiTrust encountered in its pursuit to provide financial services to the unbanked MSMEs?

A major challenge for Jiditrust has been the language barrier. We have had to adapt our systems to a local language, twi, to allow for non-english speakers to access our platform. There is also the issue of low digital literacy among our target audiences as most have very little knowledge in the use of smart phones. We have had to innovate around this to stay relevant to our targets. To solve this, we created booklets which allow our customers to record their transactions which are later transferred onto our digital platforms by a customer service person.

For business owners who are digitally literate, the app allows them to take control of their business by using a paperless format to record their transactions for easy tracking and accountability. Another important feature of the app is the ability to make payments through the app.

What has been done to differentiate JidiTrust from the competition?

Our unique approach is to provide experiential learning and reinforcements alongside digital tools that allow customers to learn and implement improved financial practices directly into the businesses.

We are different from our competitors because we target the root of the problem by offering education in the local language. Our simplified web application for bookkeeping is a testament to our user-centered approach and thinking. We are on the ground, in the markets listening to our users, and offering value through partnerships with local associations and stakeholders.

We mainly target semi-urban areas which have larger markets where our competition does not operate.

How do you motivate your team?

At JidiTrust we are all one big family and seek to maintain an open culture of shared values towards achieving our vision. We encourage every member of our team to ask questions to foster innovation. I honestly am grateful for the JidiTrust family, they are the real s/heroes.

What are the fundamental/ key qualities every startup founder/leader should possess or learn?

Honestly, you need to be resilient, bending but not breaking. You also need to have your time management on point. Also be prepared for the worst case scenario but plan for the best case and take action.

How have you developed yourself in your role as founder and leader of a tech startup? What are you reading, watching, or listening to?

First thing is, I have a growth mindset so I’m always open to learning new ways of doing things. I love books and nonfiction. I read 2 books in a month, and I buy hardcover books so I can reread them. I mainly read about economics, communication, selling and marketing amongst others.

I also consume a lot of YouTube, mainly Vusi Thembekwayo andTom Bilyeu.

What’s the best advice you have received as a startup founder?

You have value. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Whatever anyone knows they learnt, thus, I can learn it too.

Learn more about JidiTrust.

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The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: www.meltwater.org

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MEST Africa

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The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: www.meltwater.org

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