International Expansion Opens Accloud Up to 114.3M Growing MSMEs
Accloud is in talks to roll out its platform to micro-businesses in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda following its significant success in India.
Accloud’s self-built online accounting and business management software allows Indian micro-SMEs, such as regional farmers and rural seamstresses, to manage and grow their business. These same opportunities are now close to being brought to entrepreneurs in other developing countries.
Building on success in India
The cloud-based platform is currently available to micro-SMEs across India through strategic partnerships, including most recently with the Federation of Industries and Associations (FIA), a leading representative trade body in the state of Gujarat. Through these agreements, Accloud will will reach more 10 million Indian businesses who will be using Accloud technology within five years.
Following rapid growth across India, Accloud is now in advanced discussions with strategic partners in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda, which together count approximately 14.3 million SMEs, both registered and un-registered.
Bringing growth opportunities to Indonesia
Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country by population, and Accloud sees enormous possibilities for local businesses looking to grow their customer base and business opporties. Accloud’s technology will provide new opportunities for growth to Indonesian SMEs, which account for nearly 97 per cent of domestic employment and 56 per cent of total business investment.
Supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals
Accloud is committed to directly investing in projects that benefit local communities and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Bangladeshi market represents an opportunity for Accloud to meet this commitment alongside its commercial ambitions. The government’s ‘Digital Bangladesh’ initiative promotes the uptake of mobile money and digital payment platforms in rural communities, which aligns with Accloud’s ambition of bringing mobile business services to hard-to-reach groups.
More than 66 million Bangladeshis have internet access, representing just 41 per cent of the population. However, that is a significant increase of 9.5 per cent, or 5.8 million people, compared with 2019. Accloud technology will help increasingly connected Bangladeshis use the internet to trade with new buyers and sellers, and turbo-charge their businesses.
Accloud in Africa
The International Labour Organisation estimates 74 percent of sub-Saharan women work in the informal, non-agricultural sector. By bringing these sectors into the formal economy, Accloud believes it can bring greater gender equality, which has a proven link to wider prosperity.
 OECD, SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Indonesia 2018, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/sme-and-entrepreneurship-policy-in-indonesia-2018/the-business-environment-for-smes-and-entrepreneurship-in-indonesia_9789264306264-6-en
 Digital 2020 Bangladesh, https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-bangaldesh
In Kenya, small and medium-sized enterprises make up about 98 per cent of all businesses in the country and employ almost 15 million Kenyans. Yet, SMEs are currently hindered by inadequate capital, limited market access and poor infrastructure.
Rwanda’s fondness for person-to-person (P2P) transfers, which have rocketed during lockdown from US$7.6 million a week in January to US$42 million a week by April, makes it another ideal market for Accloud to expand into and support local enterprises.
Ross James, Founder and CEO of Accloud, said: “It’s a common story around the world that small and mighty businesses form the backbone of national economies, and yet face the greatest challenges in accessing support services. Our mission is to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to manage and grow their business, and to lift themselves and their communities from poverty to prosperity.
“Our partners in India have been integral in helping us reach remote and under-served communities. Finding new partners internationally means we can change the world of business in other countries too. Indonesia, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Kenya each have particular qualities and specific challenges, which makes Accloud technology uniquely placed to make a real difference to people’s lives and livelihoods.”
The Accloud platform
The cloud-based platform offers three modules. Firstly, it helps previously under-served entrepreneurs run their business, providing tax and accountancy services. Secondly it helps people to grow their business, providing access to an online marketplace where they can buy and sell goods beyond regional and state borders. Thirdly, the platform provides access to capital at a fair market rate.
Accloud also offers a much larger ecosystem that empowers businesses to grow and access new markets and services in the palm of their hand.
Accloud in action
In India, doing business beyond local regions is difficult, with geographical, language and systemic barriers preventing free trade and access to banking services. One occupation that commonly faces these challenges is the seamstress. They also face a further threat from retailers that look to squeeze margins and sell below cost.
Accloud gave India’s seamstresses the support they desperately needed to scale up securely, and escape the unfair, one-way terms with their usual suppliers and clients.