Brendan Cronin

Founder & CEO, Commercialis

Commercialis - Bridging the digital divide in small enterprise

Commercialis is a new venture that provides a 3rd party financial reporting service to the informal business sector in frontier markets. This presentation uses its recent (and ongoing) experience starting up in Uganda as a case study to cover some of the motivations, opportunities, and challenges in developing accessible financial and enterprise services for this market segment.

Small and micro business in frontier markets lack the necessary access or capacity to benefit from a wealth of affordable accounting and advisory packages available through web-based delivery models (i.e., Quickbooks Online, Wave). This means most continue to use very limited computer applications, handwritten records, or no records at all to manage their businesses. In turn, this means poor access to finance and no opportunity to benefit from the power of basic accounting tools and indicators. Commercialis aims to fill this service gap through a transcription and analysis platform available on a monthly subscription basis. We send transcriptionists to their businesses, collect transactional and balance sheet information, and return an easy to read and educational financial report on a monthly basis. We are currently running a trial in Uganda and hope to prove both demand for the service and profitability of the delivery model. Also currently looking for partnerships as systems, delivery model, and market focus continue to evolve.

Formerly engaged in professional sailing, engineering pursuits, social enterprise, and humanitarian relief work, this is Brendan's first company and represents his belief that tempering good intentions with good business will lead to the most robust and sustainable development in the world's frontier markets. Brendan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from INSEAD.

Brendan Cronin