Businesses, like people, should have regular checkups to see what shape they’re in. Hello Alice, a fintech company, recently launched the Business Health Score, a new assessment tool that helps small business owners see how healthy their businesses are and learn how to increase their financial health.
The Score will help small businesses identify areas needing improvement, best practices to grow their businesses, and how to secure more investment, capital, and credit opportunities.
“Over the last two years, Americans have applied to start 10.5 million new businesses, leading to a surge in the small business economy and more entrepreneurs who need support to properly grow their businesses. We recognized data was missing from the market that would give enterprise partners and financial institutions a clearer picture of the potential that small business owners possess for massive growth and investment,” says Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, co-founders of Hello Alice. “We are providing unparalleled visibility through the Business Health Score that will empower small business owners to make more strategic decisions and optimize their growth while giving partners and institutions the insight to best help them through personalized service and product recommendations.”
I talked to Hello Alice co-founder and president Elizabeth Gore to learn more.
What motivated Hello Alice to create this tool?
Elizabeth Gore: At Hello Alice, we are passionate about helping small businesses receive access to the capital and resources needed to help them grow. Hello Alice’s recent data shows that nearly 70% of owners applied for funding to manage inflation-related challenges in 2022, and another 70% plan to do so in 2023. Additional data we collected shows that when it comes to credit, only 25% of small business owners have applied for a business credit card, and 85% of those applications were denied due to poor or lack of credit. So we created the Business Health Score (BHS) to empower small businesses to focus on financial hygiene. As small businesses face many challenges in today’s unpredictable economy, we want to help educate businesses on their financial health and receive the tools necessary for success.
How will the Business Health Score help women and other business owners get funding?
Gore: The Business Health Score will help small business owners evaluate their business health, plan how to improve it, and find personalized recommendations on products and services. Given that 90% of Hello Alice’s owners are in the “New Majority”—women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ + and owners with disabilities, this tool will help them identify areas of strength and opportunity for growth. Based on the score, Hello Alice provides recommendations. In addition, the Score offers insights into the financial health of a business, and once business owners understand their financial health, they can make informed decisions about their finances.
Is the BHS a self-assessment tool?
Gore: Yes, the Business Health Score is a self-assessment tool through which businesses answer a series of questions that gives them their Business Health Score ranging between 0-100. The score is calculated based on business management practices, financial performance and position, and credit history—three critical areas that impact a business’s financial health. After receiving their score, companies will be pointed to tools that can help them improve it.
Is the goal to help entrepreneurs get more financially savvy?
Gore: The Score is another step forward in achieving equitable access to credit and capital for small business owners in the New Majority. It will help businesses better understand themselves, creating opportunities to improve their financial health. The tools suggested by the Score will help businesses optimize financial habits, revenue growth, business debts, and credit.
Who is making the recommendations on the services and products?
Gore: After a small business completes the questionnaire, Hello Alice’s technology behind the Score points them to a personalized range of resources and support from enterprise and financial partners as well as Hello Alice itself to help them improve their financial health.
The Business Health Score is the first product released under the newly launched Equitable Access Program, run by Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network with key partners such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, and the Kauffman Foundation.
The Program will provide financial health technical assistance, education, and credit access for high-potential but credit-challenged small business owners. The Business Health Score is the first tool to launch under the program, with additional tools and services to follow in the coming months.