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Hot startup of the month: Nigeria's Enricher

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Financial prosperity should be accessible to all while adhering to the principles of Sharia law. Everyone's financial well-being is about the values and principles that guide their lives.

These were the reflections of Enricher Founder and CEO, Shakirat Animashaun, speaking to Connecting Africa in an interview .

"That's why we're dedicated to helping people achieve their financial goals while staying true to their faith," she explained.

"We are not just another savings and investment platform, we use a unique combination of technology and Islamic financial principles to provide the best savings and investment experience," she added.

"We ensure that every investment is compliant with Sharia law and avoids any interest-based transactions," Animashaun continued.

The term Sharia refers to a set of Islamic religious laws that governs aspects of day-to-day life for Muslims in addition to religious rituals.

It lays down governing principles for spiritual, mental and physical behavior that must be followed by Muslims.

Enricher's inner workings

Animashaun said the fintech company offers halal wealth management showcasing sukuk bonds, commercial papers and supply funds all in halal subsectors.

A sukuk is an Islamic financial certificate, like a bond in Western finance, and it complies with Sharia. The term Halal refers to something that is permitted in Islam – often used for permitted food, but in this case referring to permitted savings and investment products.

Animashaun said that interested people can access the platform by downloading the Enricher app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

"Once you get the app, you can register as a subscriber, create your wallet and then decide to save or to invest," she explained.

Enricher ensures that every investment is compliant with Sharia law and avoids any interest-based transactions.   (Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik).
Enricher ensures that every investment is compliant with Sharia law and avoids any interest-based transactions.
(Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik).

"A person can also subscribe to our mortgage offers, our Hajj/Umrah contribution, they can save up for their education, and they can opt for halal buy-now-pay-later options and more," the CEO continued.

Umrah is a quick, non-compulsory pilgrimage to receive blessings at any time of the year, while Hajj is an obligatory, major pilgrimage with more rituals that all Muslims are expected to undertake at least once in their lifetime.

She highlighted that anyone could access the app, regardless of their location.

Fintech expansion plans

The fintech has been gearing up for global expansion and has its sights on the UK and North America.

Animashaun said there is global potential to expand the brand as there has been an increasing demand for Islamic-compliant financial services.

She added that Islamic finance is unique as it bans interest collection and payments and focuses on equity participation and risk-sharing.

Furthermore, investments in sectors like alcohol, gambling and weapons are prohibited.

Animashaun believes that there is room for Enricher to do well globally as there is an urgent need for inclusive finance models, especially in fintech.

The Abuja-headquartered company is looking for funding towards its expansion plans and is seeking global partners with shared values.

Competition in the market

There are some other financial services platforms that offer similar services to Enricher.

A platform like PayHalal, which is a Sharia-compliant payment gateway for transfers that are free of riba (interest), maysir (gambling) and gharar (uncertainty) to merchants and billers, comes close.

"However, we believe we can play a crucial role in increasing financial inclusion among the predominantly unbanked Muslims in Nigeria and soon the world," Animashaun explained.

The company has done well in Nigeria, which has one of largest Muslim populations in Africa. According to TGM Research, it is estimated that 53.5% of Nigerians identify as Muslim.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

Animashaun highlighted that the company complies with the country's regulators and has been collaborating with the FBNQuest Merchant Bank as a trustee, and FBNQuest is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria (SEC) and is licensed by it.

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*Top image is of Enricher Founder and CEO Shakirat Animashaun. (Source: Enricher).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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