Friday, October 9, 2015

Camerbloggers hangout at Ovamba



I attended another Camerbloggers hangout at the Ovamba Cameroon Solutions office in Akwa earlier today. It was a cheery and highly engaging meeting between some Ovamba employees and Camerbloggers. The Ovamba’yees, Osbert Chiabi, Prashant Mahajan and Bianca Lee (who came all the way from the US) introduced us to their company and elucidated thoroughly about their activities. I wasn’t there at the beginning but I grasped something substantial when I joined the others a couple of minutes later. Here is the summary.

Ovamba Solutions is basically a financial institution by investors after years of experience in the African finance markets. It was created to support African economies by improving access to credit for the small & medium enterprise (SME) market. Ovamba uses a marketplace lending (p2p) model that allows their retail and institutional lenders to bid on / acquire up to 50% of loans. But the sme must fulfill certain financial conditions before receiving the loan. For instance, the company must be legally registered with Cameroonian tax authorities. It must have been in business for at least two years. It should have an existing account at a financial institution where you deposit cash from your establishment’s financial dealings. The owner must be above the age of 21 and willing to provide personal guarantee for a loan. Your business must not be involved in any of the following industries: Alcohol, gambling, money lending, adult entertainment, tobacco, weapons, timber and primary agriculture.

After the graphic demonstrations, the speakers threw the floor to the corporate bloggers demanding questions and points of doubt. And there were lots of questions flying towards them left, right and centre, to which they took time to answer as best as they could. I even got the impression that burrowing from Ovamba can be relatively easier than burrowing from a commercial bank. Prashant Mahajan, their tech guru also spoke on the digital side of things and monetized blogging which we were keen on. (The guy almost made me want to become an Indian Bangalore institutes techie with his knowledge!) "I can tell you all what you're doing on your laptop right now?" "Uh?" (Shocked) "You're in my digital space now, remember?" And he laughed, Kiki. It was one great helluva event! Why not check them out for details on ovamba.com