Helping Middle Market Enterprises Thrive
17 August 2020
ElementaryB’s CEO Karen Ruddich and COO Israel Obinyan explain how and why the GBP 1.3 trillion turnover MME market needs a smarter financial services approach and provide an update on ElementaryB’s progress in helping these firms to succeed
The Covid-19 pandemic is just the latest of a series of challenges the UK’s Middle Market Enterprise (MME) sector has had to face. In life before Covid, this group of companies would have been dealing with the complex changes, pitfalls and opportunities thrown up by Brexit. Now, many of them are simply wondering “How am I going to pay my bills? Am I going to have a business to keep up tomorrow? Am I going to be able to pay my employees? Do I have access to funding?” This same group is often seen as underserved and falling through the cracks in the UK Financial Services market.
ElementaryB is a new financial services approach designed to help leaders of these enterprises find new opportunities and ways to meet these challenges head on, make better decisions to take them through the current crisis, and position them for continued growth. ElementaryB CEO Karen Rudich and COO Israel Obinyan discussed the future outlook with host Julia Streets on the podcast series StreetsTalksTo
ElementaryB is squarely focussed on the MME sector – a vital part of the British economy with £1.3 trillion annually of business turnover. The midsize sector comprises over 30% of employment opportunities in the UK, and they make up over 30% of annual business turnover. Any changes, and any pains, felt by the segment are obviously going to expand wider into the economy.
“How can we put these midsize companies back in control?
Where are they suffering in terms of facilitating their decision making,
in terms of accessing the right tools, the right services, the right products,
let alone finding the best price and the best opportunities out there?
That really is how we started to design our proposition.”
– Karen Rudich
ElementaryB has taken time to talk to MMEs. We started with the basics, listening to customer’s needs, and understanding their pain points. By taking a step back and asking how can we help them, we are able to help put these midsize companies back in control. MMEs are suffering in terms of their decision making, in terms of accessing the right tools, the right services, the right products, let alone the best price and the best opportunities out there. We designed the proposition putting MMEs really, truly at the heart of the future, and then figured out what ElementaryB needed to prioritise in order to get them that control and that stability for being in the driving seat of what happens to them.
At this time CEOs and CFOs absolutely need to be making informed decisions, but too much data or the wrong data gets in the way. Moving them away from the mayhem of trying to aggregate data from disparate systems and to operationalise things that typically are quite difficult is central to the ElementaryB proposition. We can take away that complexity, providing insight and input into their decision making process giving them the ability to then focus on exactly what that business is engaged in doing, which isn’t data mining.
This support manifests itself through identifying what their historic financial trends look like, applying some insight to derive some future forecast and benefit. We can then use these insights to help MME leaders identify key products and services, particularly to address any short term or medium needs that they might have. ElementaryB will be able to take away all of the pain of trying to scan the market and figure out what is best in class for them.
“What I’ve been thinking about more directly are the individuals within the MME,
the users that we’re basically building a proposition to support.
Specifically, thinking about the CFO, and the CFOs need to be a driving strategic member
of the senior leadership of any company that they’re in.
Moving them away from the mayhem of trying to aggregate data from disparate systems
and to operationalise things that typically are quite difficult,
at a time where they absolutely need to be making informed decisions.”
– Israel Obinyan
The road ahead for MMEs is about knowing in real time, what is your situation? What’s your position? Having the access to all the tools and products that you need, or you may need. Being able to play around with options.
We are in the early stages of our growth at ElementaryB, and being able to listen and then start from a blank sheet is an advantage. We do not have legacy systems or attitudes that we need to try and modernise. We can actually go and scan the market, get the best of breed, and be able to innovate with different technologies and different approaches.
Exploring these different approaches is more important now than ever. We are all having to quickly adapt to changing work and home lives. The first natural reaction is to freeze and have a little bit of a panic, but the lack of innovation always comes back to bite you. The key question to ask is “What are we at risk of overlooking while people are just simply getting through?” What has been eye-opening is the ability for communities to pull together, and the new ways to really work with amazing people. ElementaryB is putting together a team with a cultural drive that enables us to move beyond that freezing, and actively build a better future.