Twiva To Offer 0% Interest Loans for Influencers’ Content Creation Gadgets

Peter Kironji, CEO & Co-founder at Twiva, left, holding the partnership agreement with Austen Stranaham, COO at Shortlist
Peter Kironji, CEO & Co-founder at Twiva, left, holding the partnership agreement with Austen Stranaham, COO at Shortlist. [Photo/Twiva]

Twiva, an Influencer-powered social commerce platform boasting a network of over 11,000 influencers, has today forged a strategic partnership with Shortlist, a talent advisory firm dedicated to connecting African talent with startups, social ventures, and mission-driven organizations.

Operating across Africa, India, and more than 20 countries worldwide, Shortlist is currently at the forefront of a 3.5 year program titled ‘Accelerating the Rise of Cloud Work in Kenya.’ This visionary initiative, funded by the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE), endeavors to create and enhance over 8,500 jobs in the cloud work sector for Kenyan youth. It aims to provide formal employment opportunities for early career professionals in the global digital economy.

Under the umbrella of the CFYE-funded program, Shortlist has introduced a device financing facility, facilitated by zero-interest loans earmarked for the purchase of essential devices such as cameras, laptops, and mobile phones. The aim is to extend this facility to thousands of Kenyan youth, fostering accessibility and enabling them to embark on promising career paths. This collaborative effort between Twiva and Shortlist signifies a significant stride towards empowering the youth by bridging the gap between digital opportunities and the talent pool in Kenya

“Many young individuals in the content creation arena face the challenge of inconsistent income, making it difficult for them to afford coveted gadgets like the iPhone 14 or 15, or the MacBook they aspire to own. To address this, we’re providing them with an opportunity to contribute a minimum of 15% and repay the remaining amount over the course of a year. This approach makes it more manageable for them to plan their finances effectively and acquire the devices they desire,” explained Peter Kironji, CEO and Co-founder at Twiva.

To be eligible for this exclusive offer, a minimum downpayment of 15% of the device’s total cost is required. The remaining balance can be conveniently settled through monthly payments spread over a flexible period ranging from 3 to 12 months. Importantly, to ensure financial feasibility, your monthly payment commitment should not surpass 25% of your gross monthly income. This structured payment plan is designed to accommodate your financial capacity, providing a pathway to ownership that aligns with your income levels and promotes financial sustainability over the repayment period.

Recent survey findings indicate that a substantial 73% of Kenyans are grappling with severe financial distress or struggling to meet their basic needs. According to a survey by Infotrack released last week, a significant 18% of Kenyans are in severe financial distress, while an additional 55% are facing challenges in making ends meet.

Grace Gikonyo, Head of Marketing & PR at Twiva, shed light on the financial landscape among influencers, stating, “Through extensive market research conducted among our pool of 11,000 influencers, we discovered that a majority rely on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services. Interestingly, the utilization of BNPL leads to influencers spending nearly 80% more when opting for buy now, pay later services.”

Of late, there has been a surge in cases where Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) agencies exploit their clientele. These agencies extend their goods and services to a demographic that may currently struggle with affordability, thereby tapping into a larger market. A notable incident highlighted by the People Daily Newspaper recounted an individual who ended up paying KSh 211,200 after 18 months. The financial burden was exacerbated by M-pesa transaction charges of KSh 27 for every transaction, coupled with a KSh 12,000 deposit. Consequently, the individual incurred a total cost of KSh 237,456 for an item with a market price ranging between KSh 100,000 and KSh 130,000.

“The surging popularity of BNPL services prompted us to initiate a pilot study on their usage. While the findings may not be statistically significant due to the small sample size, the study revealed that young consumers, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 35, exhibit the highest reliance on online BNPL services. The primary motivations cited by consumers for opting for these services included budget constraints, an inability to pay the full price of a product or service upfront, and a desire to avoid interest and fees,” explained Austen Stranahan, Chief Operating Officer at Shortlist.

The Chairman of the Digital Financial Services Association of Kenya, Kevin Mutiso, recently condemned the additional collateral charges imposed by Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services as criminal. He attributed this issue to defaults on repayments, which have been exacerbated by the poor performance of the economy. Mutiso disclosed that BNPL players often impose extra charges on borrowers as interest, capitalizing on the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar.

This trend has gained traction on social media platforms, notably TikTok, where influencers collaborate with Lipa Later companies to promote these services through engaging skits, songs, and dances. Linda Ray, an influencer on Twiva’s platform, highlighted the allure of BNPL, stating, “You get a little bit of instant gratification, as you may set eyes on a luxury brand purse, phone, or something slightly beyond your day-to-day budget. However, you still have the ability to acquire that product or service and spread the payments over a period, but sometimes the interest rates are so high. You may end up paying way beyond the price.”

“The collaboration between Twiva and Shortlist opens up an affordable avenue for micro and nano influencers, earning at least KSh 10,000 per month, to acquire high-quality devices with no interest or fees attached. In this unique arrangement, influencers have the autonomy to determine their monthly payment amounts within the one-year repayment period.

Affordability has long been a hurdle for influencers aiming to enhance content quality and boost their social media presence. Through this strategic partnership, Shortlist and Twiva are on a mission to empower influencers by providing them access to cutting-edge devices. This empowerment, in turn, facilitates the elevation of social media content, accelerating the influencers’ careers.

This joint initiative underscores the shared commitment of Shortlist and Twiva to bring about positive change in the lives of Kenyan youth. By fostering innovation and creating opportunities for personal and professional growth, the collaboration aims to contribute to the holistic development of the country’s young talents.

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