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Xero, the global small business platform, has announced  new agreements with a group of South Africa’s new digital lenders: Bridgement, Retail Capital and Lulalend. These carefully selected finance providers will improve South African small businesses’ access to much-needed funding – and in so doing, help South African businesses reach their growth objectives.

Small businesses using Xero now have access to a much wider variety of lenders directly from the platform. These lenders will also be able to access applicants’ financials quickly and efficiently, cutting down on paperwork and fast-tracking the approval process.

Built on top of Xero’s world-class open API, they enable faster decision-making, access to payments and access to capital.

South Africa’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to the country’s economy as it’s estimated that SMEs contribute over a third (34%) to the country’s GDP and make up roughly 90% of South African formal businesses. To ensure SMEs are positioned for growth and success there needs to be fast and secure access to funds and capital.

Colin Timmis, General Country Manager, Xero SA said: “Xero’s mission is to help South Africa’s small businesses thrive by removing the friction involved in accessing funds. A lack of capital is one of the biggest challenges impeding small business growth in this country. By integrating the latest business finance apps with Xero, SMEs will have access to real-time accounting data, and help them access much-needed capital”.