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SA Motor Lease joins the FlexClub Network

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SA Motor Lease, a division of PACE Auto Group, will become the latest leasing company in South Africa to offer long-term car subscriptions on the FlexClub network. This follows Avis Fleet launching its own long-term subscription offers earlier this year. FlexClub has created a vehicle subscription account that enables customers to easily subscribe for vehicles online, from a network of rental and leasing merchants. Customers with an account avoid prohibitively expensive security deposits, complex applications and can earn cashback on their monthly vehicle subscription spend.

This comes almost a year after PACE Car Rental, the car rental division within the group, joined the FlexClub network to offer their month-to-month car subscriptions. FlexClub members can use their accounts to shop online for a car that can be delivered to their door within 7 days, from an expansive network of merchants across the country. 

According to FlexClub, merchants on the network have made more than 40,000 vehicles available to members for subscriptions, on contracts ranging from 1 month to 36 months. Since its launch, more than 20,000 people have created a FlexClub account to easily subscribe for vehicles online from the network of merchants. 

SA Motor Lease becomes the latest merchant in South Africa to join the network in a bid to expand the reach of their long-term car subscriptions, joining major brands on the network such as Avis, Europcar, Green Motion and Bajaj. SA Motor Lease has vast experience in the consumer leasing industry, having spent the last decade serving customers looking to lease a vehicle instead of finance. “By partnering with FlexClub, we’re now able to serve a wider range of customers that want an online shopping experience or are looking for more accessible payment options”, says Grenville Salmon, the founder and CEO of PACE Auto Group. 

Car subscriptions continue to rapidly grow in popularity across South Africa, as an increasing number of consumers seek out alternatives to the traditional 6-year vehicle finance offerings that currently dominate the local auto industry. The long-term subscriptions being offered by SA Motor Lease will range from 6-months to 24-months, at a price that will be cheaper than the month-to-month subscriptions already offered by the group via Pace Car Rental. The launch will feature select vehicle models which have already proven to be in high demand from members with a FlexClub account. 

These long-term subscriptions are expected to directly challenge the total cost of ownership provided by traditional vehicle financing and will fill a void left by the limited number of private leasing products available in South Africa. Globally, more consumers are demanding greater flexibility from mobility products and South Africa is not expected to be an exception given the sophistication of the local automotive industry. Market statistics already highlight the fact that the average new car buyer in South Africa trades in their car after 3 years, despite the majority of them committing to 6 year vehicle finance contracts. 

“This mismatch between available products and consumer needs has never been more glaring and we’re starting to see leaders of the largest financial institutions recognize the market readiness for car subscriptions in South Africa”, says Papi Melamu, Business Development Executive at FlexClub. 

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“The other elephant in the room is how much less accessible cars will become if the auto industry will rely solely on traditional vehicle finance, making the increased accessibility of subscriptions even more appealing to industry stakeholders”, adds Melamu. According to FlexClub, almost 50% of the members using their accounts to pay for vehicle subscriptions from the network of merchants are considered “thin file” customers. This means that there is little or no information on their historical financial activity being held by credit bureaus. As a result, these are customers who would have ordinarily been forced to consider more predatory alternatives to traditional vehicle financing. 

Much like the existing month-to-month car subscriptions offered by Pace Car Rental, these long-term car subscriptions from SA Motor Lease will be all-inclusive, negating the need for additional maintenance, insurance, or tracking costs. The FlexClub accounts enable members to seamlessly shop for the vehicle of their choice, select their preferred subscription terms, arrange delivery to their door and continue to manage their subscription all online. While there are no penalties for cancelling or pausing the month-to-month subscriptions at any time, early termination of long-term subscriptions may incur an additional fee. 

“Initially, these long-term car subscriptions from SA Motor Lease will only be available to consumers in Johannesburg and Pretoria. We will be working with SA Motor Lease to support them with a wider rollout, making their subscriptions available to members across the country”, concludes Melamu.

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Press Release

Emil Ekiyor Named In “Indiana 250” Most Influential List

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Emil Ekiyor, Founder at InnoPower (Image: Supplied).

IBJ Media has named Emil Ekiyor, one of Africans in the Diaspora leading accomplished community leader and entrepreneur, in the 2024 Indiana 250, the annual list of the 250 most influential leaders in Indiana. The Indiana 250 Most Influential List, now in its third year, recognises the state’s most influential and impactful business and community leaders, representing public and private companies, law firms, universities, not-for-profit, government and community organizations. Mr Ekiyor, is recognised for his accomplishment as a community leader and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering African and African American communities. The list is available at Indiana250.com.  

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Born in Nigeria, Emil embarked on an educational journey to the United States at age 15. He excelled academically and athletically in high school, earning a full scholarship to the University of Central Florida. As a college football team captain, Emil demonstrated stellar leadership and strategic skills. He went on to have a six-year professional football career with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil transitioned into entrepreneurship and community leadership roles.

Emil currently serves as CEO of InnoPower Indy Inc., driving innovative community empowerment programs. He has also served as President of the Indianapolis Black Expo Indy chapter and Indy Youth Sports, while serving on nonprofit boards like Friends of Education, Teach for America Indy and the Boys Scouts of America.

With a commitment to advancing black talent and closing wealth gaps, Emil brings collaboration, innovation and courage to his community leadership. He continues to create sustainable change as a beacon of hope for African and African American communities.

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The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy to Showcase I-PHILANTHROPY Platform at 2024 IMBW @ RALLY

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Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) Chairperson, Thelma Ekiyor Solanke (Image: Supplied).

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) is set to introduce its groundbreaking I-PHILANTHROPY platform at a high-profile roundtable discussion during the 2024 innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, taking place on August 27-28 in Indianapolis. This landmark event, hosted by NPO Chairperson Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke, will explore innovative solutions for creating access to capital in disenfranchised communities.

I-PHILANTHROPY is a cutting-edge digital solution that leverages technology to support Nigerian small business owners and create unprecedented access to capital for micro-enterprises. The platform’s success in Nigeria offers a promising model for addressing similar challenges faced by underserved communities in the United States.

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“I-PHILANTHROPY represents a paradigm shift in financial inclusion and support for micro-enterprises,” said Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke. “We’re excited to share our experiences at innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY and explore how this model can be adapted to empower disenfranchised communities in the USA.”

The roundtable will discuss:

– I-PHILANTHROPY’s impact on capital access for Nigerian micro-businesses.

– Potential applications of the model in US minority communities.

– Strategies for engaging diaspora and global participants in local economic development.

– Opportunities for international collaboration in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship.

This showcase is a highlight of innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, a premier event that combines innoPower’s focus on empowering minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovative solutions to global challenges. The conference brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

“The I-PHILANTHROPY platform aligns perfectly with our mission to foster growth and success among minority-owned businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder at innoPower. “This roundtable offers a unique opportunity to learn from international best practices and explore new strategies for addressing capital access challenges in our communities.”

Erica Schweyer, Executioner at RALLY, added, “By bringing together diverse voices from technology, business, and philanthropy, we aim to catalyze transformative ideas that can have real-world impact on disenfranchised communities both in the US and globally.”

 

Sign up for the Roundtable and receive a 88% discount https://innopower.formstack.com/forms/imbwdiscount

 

About Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO):

NPO is at the forefront of leveraging technology for social good in Nigeria. Their I-PHILANTHROPY platform is revolutionizing how global participants can support Nigerian micro-enterprises and contribute to local economic development.

About innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY:

This collaborative event combines innoPower’s focus on fostering growth and success among minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovation and transformative ideas. It brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

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Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank to fund underserved MSMEs in Nigeria

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Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank Nigeria Plc to reach underserved MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) at scale. By providing long-term capital and capacity building to unbanked and under-banked companies in Nigeria, the investment is expected to support sustainable private sector development and inclusive growth.

Nigeria, with a population of 230 million, has an unemployment rate at a staggering 33%. Additionally, over half of the rapidly growing population is below the age of 30, which further exacerbates the need for job creation and workforce development. As Nigeria also copes with a multitude of crises, including insecurity, food shortages and inflation, the resilience and power of MSMEs is critical to driving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

Swedfund’s investment aids in advancing sustainable private sector development, encouraging inclusive growth, and expanding access to finance. Access Bank, known for its strong market presence and with a committed MSME strategy, serves as an effective partner to reach MSMEs in need of financing in Nigeria, says Kitanha Toure, Regional Director of West Africa at Swedfund.

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Access Bank is systemically important and well-positioned to reach a significant number of MSMEs in Nigeria. Swedfund’s investment will contribute to direct and indirect job creation and other tax-generating activities as well as improved access to finance for rural and underserved groups, female- and youth-owned companies.

Access Bank is eligible to meet the 2X Criteria, a global baseline standard for gender finance, and recognised as the best SME bank for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The loan is part of a syndicate led by the Dutch development finance institution, FMO, with a total value of USD 295 million. The syndicate consists of other Nordic and European development finance institutions such as BII, BIO, Finnfund and Norfund.

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