Dar es Salaam. When the two young men met during their days at the Mbeya University of Science and Technology (Must) about five years ago, little did they know that their encounter was the beginning of a venture that would come to be of service to hundreds of their peers from joblessness.

Both computer-wizards, Emmanuel Kimaro, 31, and Abbas Musa, 35, now own a startup with a financial and marketing platform known as ‘Bizzyn’, which they formed purposely to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to grow their businesses.

Mr. Kimaro – who is the Bizzyn CEO – says they came up with the platform after doing research and finding that many SMEs had the potential to grow their businesses. But, more often than not, they often don’t do so partly for lack of keeping business records on their sales, customers and the entire business value chain.

Naturally, this results in losses that could have otherwise been easily avoided.

“I had the idea to forming Bizzyn, and asked my friend to join me as, concidentaly, he too thought in more or less the same way. So, we started the business in 2015 after we graduated from Must. Last year we launched the platform on a trial basis – and, this year, we formally launched our system after receiving positive feeds-back from our clients,” Mr Kimaro told The Citizen via SMEs Digest yesterday.

“The startup is engineered to scale with businesses as they grow. From advanced financials to sales to billing and beyond, it provides the tools one needs to accelerate growth and drive innovation swiftly and confidently,” he said.

“Every mid-size company must become software-enabled and data-driven. Bizzyn is the most effective way to architect value, and transform a mid-market company with today’s technology,” he added.

Since its inception last year, pilot projects have been able to integrate to the system over 200 businesses and companies in Tanzania, especially in the processing-cum-manufacturing industries, including pharmaceuticals with high product demand, he said.

Most SMEs that have been subscribing to Bizzyn are based in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Dodoma, Mbeya and Morogoro regions. Bizzyn is itself based in the nation’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

“After receiving positive feeds-back from over 200 clients, we are satisfied that our system is functional and suitable for businesses that aim to grow more quickly. Until early this month, we bagged even more orders from customers interested in our services,”Mr. Kimaro virtually noted.

He says the initial capital of Sh10 million came from a prize he won in a competition in his field of operations.

The business already employs a few young people, and is already thriving – although his targets of starting the business are far, far from being achieved in their entirety.

“In the next three years, we plan to reach some 60,000 SMEs to efficiently manage their businesses and achieve profitable growth with actionable analytics,” Mr. Kimaro says – adding that they are looking for investors, a development which would enable him and his partner to expand to other countries in Africa.

Why SMEs need to grab the opportunity

Bizzyn co-founder Abbas Mussa – who is the company’s chief Technological officer (CTO) – told SMEs Digest that “Bizzyn is a financial and marketing platform for SMEs that intend to organise and run businesses in a productive way, and on a sustainable basis. It monitors finance, sends invoices, tracks expenses, manages inventories, produces sales reports and manages clients in ways that are designed to increase their sales.”

In that regard, he says, “Bizzyn uses Business Intelligence (BI) and Machine Learning (ML) that empower small businesses to make data-driven decisions through actionable analytics.”

Mr Mussa adds that “the platform already helps to solve many problems for SMEs. Firstly, most of the SMEs were facing different challenges such as problems in using tools to manage their businesses; inability to manage proper financials and accounting; inventory management; client management; creating and tracking invoices; tracking cash flows; recording transactions, capturing expenses, accessing capital – and much more. All these challenges hinder SMEs from prospering and further growth.”

“The platform was intended to save time on bookkeeping and paperwork.

“It automatically handles some of the easy bookkeeping tasks, saving you time and making your day easier. It is very easy to generate and customize. You will always be able to see where you are business wise. No need to worry about the health of your business, it’s readily accessible.”

Bizzyn products and services are affordable no matter the size of an SME’s business, he said.

“There is room to grow. If you are looking to expand your business, Bizzyn can help provide all the necessary documentation when trying to establish a line of credit or otherwise obtain a business loan. It can generate a projected balance sheet, profit and loss statement and a statement of cash flow in the format recommended by most banks,” Mr Mussa observes.

“The platform has access to the inventory, knowing when products are low in stock. With Bizzyn one can control and track goods from one warehouse to another, or from one company’s branch to another.

“Also it can streamline business accounting no matter what industry your business is operating in. It is a cost-effective solution that automates the majority of your accounting tasks – which cuts down on time and the potential for human mistakes,” he says.

Successes and challenges

“We started this company under trial in 2019 – and, last year, we entered into agreements with several companies and businesses. But, the main reason why we started it is that it is much more economical and faster to set up – which differentiates us from most existing platforms. We overcame this by building cases, getting videos done, and incentivising the spread of word-of-mouth,” says Bizzyn founder Kimaro.

“The second challenge was building a team that understands SMEs and their problems. We needed our team members to empathise with our customers.

“We overcame this by setting up interviews for prospective team members with our customers. Even our engineers would speak to a host of customers to understand their daily struggles and potential losses/gains that they could get,” Mr Kimaro says – adding that, “today, Bizzyn has a team of 15 employees, and projects to reach 56 by the end of 2022.

Also, the Bizzyn capital has grown to Sh30 million within a relatively short period – money which is being spent on expanding the system and increasing its sales personnel.

Future plans

“We already have 251 paying customers – with another 100 in the pipeline. While we are not inclined to disclose our revenue figures, we can surely say that we have identified gaps and opportunities for over Sh36 million in businesses carried out for SMEs until now,” says Kimaro, adding they chargeSh30, 000per month for their services.

The Bizzynstartup also provides complete analysis coverage of all business aspects in interactive, insightful and ready-to-use, domain-specific dashboards and micro-management.

“In the next three years, we plan to reach a minimium of 60,000 SMEs to manage their businesses and achieve profitable growth with actionable analytics,”Mr. Kimaro says – stressing that they are looking for investors in efforts to scale to other African countries who would possibly inject at least $30,000 into Bizzyn.

Source: thecitizen.co.tz