The Digital Revolution remains one of the key milestones of the 21st Century. Technology has helped in shaping the way things are done. It has also changed the way we do business. Processes that were hitherto manual, are now getting automated and businesses continue to be better, faster, smarter and more efficient.
It is very important for small businesses to leverage on technology because it has numerous advantages. According to a research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group(BCG), Small and midsized businesses(SMBs) that leverage new technology, have 10 points higher job growth and 11 points higher revenue growth than “low-tech” SMBs. The right business technologies can help small businesses to simplify their processes, understand and serve their customers.
we will be examining how two startups- Farmcrowdy and LifeBank, are using technology to improve their services.
This startup prides itself as Nigeria’s first agric-tech company whose mission is to end poverty in Africa, one rural farmer at a time. In an interview with Business Insider by PulseNG, Farmcrowdy’s CEO and Co-founder, Mr. Onyeka Akumah said the platform connects sponsors-investors, with small-scale farmers to boost food production in Africa. It identified over 38 million small-scale farmers that are mostly Financially excluded and find it difficult to secure access to loans they need to expand their farming activities. So Farmcrowdy was set up to connect these individuals with sponsors who are excited about impacting the lives of the farmers. These sponsors also earn returns at harvest when the food cycle is completed.
The platform also trains the farmers to improve the quality of their output. This is done through both class and field training on modern agricultural practices. Through this platform, individuals have had the opportunity to participate in agriculture without being on the farm.
Farmcrowdy has empowered over 12,000 farmers across 13 states in Nigeria; reared close to 2,000,000 birds, cultivated 16,000+ acres of farmland with over 35,000 farm units sold.
To improve its service delivery, it launched a mobile app that makes it easy for users to sponsor and monitor their farms. With two clicks, users can access their dashboard and monitor their farms through text, image and video updates.
Lifebank is a healthcare technology and logistics company founded in 2016 to solve the problems of blood shortage in Nigeria. Nigeria’s blood shortage results from a combination of supply and logistics issues. Not enough Nigerians donate blood.
When blood is available, there is limited information about its quantity, type and quantity; and it is often transported without proper cold chain refrigeration, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial proliferation. These challenges prompted Mrs. Temie Giwa-Tubosun to setup Lifebank. Lifebank has saved over 3,500 lives, delivered over 13,000 pints of blood to rural communities in Nigeria, and served over 340 hospitals.
In 2018, Lifebank unveiled two new products to improve its services. SmartBag is a blockchain-powered product that helps patients and health providers determine the safety records of blood and blood products. Information about the processes involved in blood supply is recorded on a blockchain, preserving its integrity. LabX, on the other hand, is an essential medical product discovery platform installed on a tablet and placed in hospitals. With LabX, hospitals can now find and order blood(and other essential medical products) with the touch of a few buttons as well as provide insight about a hospital’s essential medical product use and predict its future needs.
It is important for businesses to stay up to date on tech trends, so as not to fall behind or miss any opportunities. Businesses that don’t evolve with technology will find it difficult to retain market share and in the long run, lose their relevance.