Bankamoda was born in October 2018 in Colombia, with the objective of providing exclusive financial services for micro and small businesses in the fashion industry. This was stated in an article by Fashion United, from Mexico, on August 25.
According to that publication, the initiative came from the hand of Maria del Mar Palau, CEO of the Crypto Cash company, who along with two other partners decided to carry out a proposal for a niche, but with dyes of innovation and potential. They also highlighted that it already has 690 active clients.
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Palau provided some details with numbers of what is happening in Colombia in this area: „There are more than 145 thousand productive units of micro and small enterprises that are part of the business fabric of the fashion system, without counting the medium and large ones. That means that it is the main employer in the manufacturing industry in the country, with 27 percent of the employment generation, with more than 850 thousand direct jobs and it is believed that there are 1.8 times in formal indirect jobs and the additional informality can be more or less another million and a half jobs (according to data from 2019)“.
He then added: „The sector is traditionally informal or pseudo-formal because 82 percent of the people in the industry are mothers, many of them heads of household, whose work often cannot be eight hours a day, but who do it on a piecework basis or at specific times.
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In addition, he said, working in the industry provides the opportunity to generate social mobility: „Many generations of women who only made clothes now have the possibility of having their children or grandchildren with a university education, and this has allowed these generations to enter the fashion industry with more aggressive bets, with their own brands, or to get into more sophisticated product marketing channels, and that is the social impact, which attracts Bankamoda.
According to Bankamoda, the idea is that small companies, through financial leverage instruments, can grow and have access to a more accelerated social mobility than that registered by the last two generations.
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The development of the business model is accompanied by a goal, which is to include and provide access to more productive units to the formal credit system.
In this context, Palau specified: „Perhaps the most assertive way we have found is B2B2C. Although we are a Fintech focused on SMEs, (we do digital self-management through our website, any company can access, do the whole process online and we respond in 24 or 48 hours maximum, depending on the amounts and the condition of the client), what happens with some companies is that since they have not traditionally had access to formal credit in the banking system they are very afraid to approach without a previous recommendation. They see it as something too good to be true. So we decided to work with big players in the industry to attract those small businesses with recommendations that give them confidence and make it easier for them to come to us.