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SMEs prospering with Prospa as more turn to alternative lenders

From and early age, Greg Moshal has always been involved in small business. With his beginnings in a family venture to owning his own, the struggles of obtaining finance to start and grow a business became an all too familiar story.

Speaking of his own experience starting and running a business, Greg told Dynamic Business “I tried to access funds the traditional way and it was such a slow and painful process, with no guarantee of success.”

Spotting a problem in the market and setting out to solve it marks the beginning for most successful start ups. With over 2 million small businesses in Australia accounting for 70 percent of the workforce, Greg had certainly spotted a problem. To resolve it, Greg joined forces with Beau Bertoli to co-found the online small business loan provider, Prospa.

“There is significant unmet demand for small business loans because small businesses frequently find it difficult to access traditional sources of funding,” said Greg.

Equipped with his own small business experience and Beau’s background in the finance sector, he said “both of us could see the market was crying out for faster simpler ways of funding small business. We saw an opportunity to provide a quick, easy finance solution to help small businesses grow and prosper. And that’s where our name came from!”

Confident that services like Prospa were in great demand, the pair turned their attention to the question of delivery. “From a strategy and product development standpoint, we needed to determine the right markets to play in and the best product structure,” said Greg. Setting out to be leaders in their field, the partnership used a combination of big data analytics and market research to identify Prospa’s target customer and how their needs could be met.

Addressing the plight of many small businesses, Prospa fills a gap in the market by simply doing what large lenders can’t do. Greg said “we provide unsecured funding to a small business with a ten-minute online application process, approvals same day and funds within 24 hours.”

Having already helped thousands of small businesses access funds, their customer base is continuing to grow rapidly across a number of industries including fashion design, travel, medicine and hospitality to name only a few.

“Our product and its features are suited to the real world needs of the Australian small business market,” said Greg.

Underserviced by large lenders for far too long, more and more small businesses are turning to emerging ‘FinTech’ solutions to unlock their growth potential. But with traditional lenders still shying away from the deemed risks associated with small ventures, the question remains, how do FinTech providers like Prospa make it work? Of course, the answer lies in the name: by leveraging the latest available technology and data.

Greg said “we developed a proprietary technology platform with over 400 data points that allows us to get a very clear picture of the health of a small business and make an informed credit decision. We call this scoring system ‘ProspaScore.’”

And with the agility of a small to medium venture themselves, he said “we are continually developing and refining our product offering, leveraging our proprietary technology platform and challenging the status quo.”

An emerging industry it may be but Greg believes it is only just getting started as the business and technology environment continues to evolve and cultivate growth and opportunity in the small-to-medium business sector.

“There are an increasing number of financial services-focused tech start-ups…. Hand in hand with this growth has come an increasing appetite by investors to nurture, fund and collaborate with entrepreneurs.

“We are seeing increasing levels of government and industry support to make finance more accessible to small businesses, as a way of improving the performance of our economy and creating jobs and wealth in Australia.”

Having recently been endorsed by the previous Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, as being crucial to small business growth in Australia, Greg said Prospa will remain committed to changing the way small businesses experience finance.

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Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs was editor of Dynamic Business.

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