There’s no doubt that the widespread coronavirus will have dreadful economic consequences in many of the world’s national economies for years to come. Relative to the rest of the world, Canada had a relatively good response to the pandemic, easily beating their southern neighbors the United States proportionally. According to estimates, the percentage of the total population of citizens who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Canada was only 2.3%, while it was 21.6% in the US. However, Canadian citizens have still been subject to mainly economic hardships due to the extended lockdown necessary to keep that positivity rate so low. In steps fintech startup co-founder Eva Wong, whose Toronto-based company Borrowell is trying to help Canadians improve their credit. The company was founded back in 2014 and is now home to more than 1.5 million customers.
According to a survey done by Borrowell, nearly 30% of Canadians have reported that they are feeling “extremely stressed” about their financial situations coming out of the pandemic. Around 70% surveyed reported that they were stressed paying for basic necessities such as food, which is reported as the largest issue. Fintechs globally appear to be fighting against the tide of economic turmoil, as the pandemic has actually created an overwhelming demand for contactless services. Adding to that the economic hardships many are facing, fintech is the perfect industry to take off and step up to help. Borrowell has even recently closed a deal at the end of last year acquiring Refresh Financial in hopes to make the process of offering loans much more seamless and integrated into the Borrowell experience.
Wong was not an initial founder of Borrowell, and wasn’t even experienced in the fintech industry upon arrival. But her ambition to take the project to new heights and expand the opportunity to aid people helped propel the company upwards. She said “You start this wanting to be ambitious and wanting to have impact. So it’s definitely exciting to see it come to fruition.” She adds by mentioning that the pandemic is just a stepping stone, as the company has tremendous potential to continue growing and expanding their network for years to come. Not only this, but she consistently offers advice and encouraging words to aspiring entrepreneurs, stating that they should do something that they’re slightly afraid of and beyond their perceived capabilities. With the aid of recently acquired Refresh Financial, Borrowell hopes to help many more Canadians start to gain their financial confidence back.