UK-based fintech BankiFi and financial wellness community Financielle have joined forces to launch a new ‘playbook’ designed to help female-founded UK SMEs, in particular, to tackle common small business management issues.
The playbook offers support to SME founders around reducing the time, costs and stresses associated with managing a growing business, with a focus on late payments to SMEs.
BankiFi and Financielle cited recent research that found only 29% of all small businesses are female led in the UK.
Mark Hartley, chief executive officer of BankiFi, said that the new playbook gives founders of all genders “a helping hand” to get on top of their business finances.
“Right now, companies that fit this description need all the help they can get, especially if they are led by individuals underrepresented within the sectors they operate,” he said.
“Small business owners are the crux of our economy, but are often treated like second-class citizens when looking to receive financial support.”
Hartley cited data which showed, on average, small businesses are faced with a 55-day wait to receive invoice payments, making it one of the biggest reasons for SMEs to go out of business.
“By utilising our technology, we are now able to reduce this down to zero to one day, helping owners to gain back valuable time,” he added.
Co-founder of Financielle Laura Pomfret said: “Small businesses owners are often overwhelmed with the variety of jobs needed to be done and are routinely denied the level of service afforded to their bigger counterparts.
“Sadly, this problem often disproportionately affects female founders, who take on a greater proportion of unpaid labour in the home, impacting the time they can focus on growing their SME. We wanted to make a meaningful contribution for businesses in that position.”
BankiFi also recently launched its ‘Go Get Paid’ app in partnership with The Co-Operative Bank, the aim of which is to help reduce the problem of late payments.
The Co-operative Bank’s chief people and sustainability officer, Catherine Douglas, added: “Many challenges are felt by all those who run a small business generally, but there are added complications when those entrepreneurs are women.
“It is even more difficult for women to start their own businesses; from the hardship of trying to raise money as a woman entrepreneur, or having to deal with the societal expectations that women should be the one to look after the family.”
Douglas said: “We recognised that addressing these fundamental challenges for entrepreneurs was important, and this is why The Co-operative Bank worked with BankiFi on the ‘Go Get Paid’ app.”
Listen to BankiFi’s Mark Hartley discuss his participation in Open Banking Expo’s Women in Open Banking initiative in this podcast episode.
Click here to download the SME Playbook.