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Nigeria: Shecluded to close financial Inclusion gap

Fintech startup, Shecluded secures Google grant to drive financial inclusion for African women

Shecluded, a Nigerian-based startup that aims to improve financial inclusion amongst women has received equity-free grant funding by Google for Startups through the Black Founders Fund Africa to develop its technology-enabled platform for women. The latest funding will allow Scheduled to provide more access to financial services and business resources to women in Africa.

Women play a vital role in the Nigerian economy. According to a report released by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), women in Nigeria accounted for 41 percent ownership of micro-businesses. While the financial inclusion rate in Nigeria is poor, a breakdown of this figure suggests that women are more disadvantaged than their male counterparts.

In 2012, according to the Access Survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Inclusion (EFInA), 38% of adult women have access to formal financial services compared to 47% of men. Another EFInA’s annual survey published in 2020 reveals that the number of banked male adults at 50.6%, compared to 39.1% reported for females.

Launched in 2019, Ifeoma Uddoh is the brain behind Shecluded. The startup claims to have disbursed over $1 million in growth loans. The company also claims to have enabled 17,500+ women with access to business development support, wealth advisory, health insurance, credit education, and financial and business literacy resources.

Ifeoma Uddoh, Founder/CEO of Shecluded said, “Our mission is to put more money in women’s hands and adopting more advanced technology will allow us to reach more women. We are super excited about this grant, as well as the mentorship and support that comes with it. We look forward to all the meaningful impact it will make for the women in our network.

“At Shecluded, we are seeing firsthand the urgent need for women to easily access key financial growth services. We believe that an advanced technology platform will go a long way to improve our ability to reach and provide these important resources to more women across more regions/locations.”

The grant will be used to build Shecluded’s mobile application – expanding its capacity to process thousands of loan applications and service requests simultaneously. It will also enable operations set-up across key regions in Nigeria and West Africa, increase its marketing efforts and staff strength to meet growing demand.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $432.294 billion in 2020 compared to $448.12 billion in 2019

Population: 206,139,587 in 2020 compared to 200,963,03 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019