Building a Future of Financial Inclusion in Africa: My Preliminary Experience with FinTech Pezesha in Leading the Way in Embedded Financing by Elisabeth Di Domenico (A24)

by tuftsigl
Jul 16

This summer, I am working remotely as a Communications and Business Development Consultant for Pezesha Africa, a fintech startup based in Nairobi, Kenya. Pezesha was founded by its CEO, Hilda Moraa (pictured bottom left on the poster), an award-winning entrepreneur and author. She has more than ten years of experience in fintech, regulations and working with multinationals like Coca-Cola to develop innovations across Africa. She previously founded WezaTele, another fintech startup in Kenya that was acquired in 2015. Pezesha is a holistic, digital financial enabler ecosystem empowering underserved small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in Sub Saharan Africa by connecting them with affordable financial services. These affordable financial services come in the form of a financial literacy curriculum, low interest loans and connections to capital holders.

I was committed to seeking out social impact work within a finance context in Sub Saharan Africa for two reasons. The first being my own personal, contextual understanding of the region and its economic challenges due to my Tanzanian nationality and the summers I have spent in East Africa throughout my life. These summers have been incredibly pivotal in shaping my academic and professional interests as I have had firsthand experiences in witnessing the incredible potential this region has but that is often hindered by various issues, such as political instability. Secondly, through my first-year studies in Economics and International Relations, I have been incredibly eager to apply the economic theories and concepts to the real working force. In working with an early-stage startup that is rooted in affordable financial services for an abundant working force, I have been able to expand and challenge my previous understandings outside of the Western sphere.

Since joining the passionate Pezesha team of 20 at the end of May, I have taken up the responsibility of conducting market research in Sub Saharan Africa to better understand the context of region and aid in positioning Pezesha forcefully. Alongside this, I have been running and growing its social media platforms (even dabbling in creating TikToks). Thus far, what has been incredibly fruitful is the close relations I have formed with founder and CEO Hilda. Together, we have been working on crafting an effective and comprehensive image and story for Pezesha. In working together, I have been able to learn the ropes of tackling the male-dominated fields of technology and finance from an inspiring and brilliant woman. Pezesha is regarded as a leader in embedded financing by its peers and is consistently sought out for its wisdom and methods.

Moving into the month of July, I have begun working on organizing and promoting Pezesha’s first series of webinars in teaching potential SME partners and lenders about embedded financing and what it means in the context of Africa. The goal of these webinars is to educate business owners and our peers about this sector and hopefully spread awareness. Alongside planning our own events, I will be attending and participating in various conferences and panels on behalf of Pezesha.

Although I have been working for Pezesha for less than a month, I have already learned so much as it concerns fintech in Africa as well as the impact analysis on how it benefits the business owners of these SME’s (a considerable amount being women). I am looking forward to my continued partnership with Hilda and the rest of this team as the summer progresses. It has been particularly inspiring to see the incredibly brilliant and motivated leaders in fintech in Africa, all with the goal of better understanding the fast-growing economic development of this region as it adopts the technologies of this day in age.