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Bridging the gap between MSME/SMEs and customers

Photo of Josh Izedonmi
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When schooling at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, i lived on campus for a while and observed that there were kids who lived outside the campus, but hung around students' hostels. These kids age 10 - 14 handled basic chores like laundry, basic shopping and all sorts for an agreed fee. They went round from dormitory to dormitory yelling "Any work!" 

Due to the on-going COVID-19 lock down in Nigeria over time, many families have run out of basic necessities like food items, fuel/diesel for generators, LPG/kerosene for cooking, medication etc. Some have relatives who are invalid and need help with cleaning, or handling some day to day domestic chores, repairs etc.

Interestingly, someone asked for help on twitter, requesting for assistance in getting fuel for his gen set at home as he had run out of fuel and due to strict lock down rules would not be able to get any immediately. However this request could have been made possible if an app or service like AnyWork is available, anyone registered would have picked his request and supplied same to his doorstep for a fee.

My idea is centered on having an app or portal which would act as a middle-man, connecting mom/pop businesses, unemployed youths, students and intending customers for a fee.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Connecting small businesses, unemployed youth and students to those who do not have time or are unable to shop/purchase basic necessities  

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

I am yet to carry out a pivot on this idea

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Maybe-with additional support

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

Would connect businesses with customers, would reduce crime and impending civil unrest

What is the name of your business or organization?

Staff - Union Bank of Nigeria Plc

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?


What is your profession?


Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Western Africa

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Business/Consulting
  • finance

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

I need help fine-tuning the idea

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

eCommerce penetration, rising cost of data, lack of trust for goods/services purchased online, location(s) - general apathy

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?


1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Welcome to the challenge Josh Izedonmi ! Great to read through your idea. Might you know what specific help or expertise you might need?