Barter As A Solution For
Post-Pandemic SME Recovery

April 14, 2021
by Sérgio Lopo, Managing Director, Bartercard Europe

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a change that had already been announced in the economic and financial system, but also in the way we live, how we organize ourselves as a society and how we work. The lockdowns, while necessary to contain the contagion and allow the management of the pandemic, will have related economic repercussions: the insolvency of countless companies, the growth of unemployment and increased indebtedness, not to mention the need for business to adapt to a forced reinvention to survive - whether in business models, forms of financing, or changing the way we work and the relationships between companies. We must seize this moment as an opportunity to adapt to a more sustainable model of society.

How can we create a more balanced, resilient, and self-sustainable society? It is important to think about different challenges, which are now more relevant than ever:

  • Self-sustainable: ensuring the production of our basic needs locally, avoiding the high cost in ecological externalities and contributing to local development and more resilient regions.
  • Collaborative: to be able to produce in a more optimized, conscious, and effective way, the services, and products we need, in collaboration and interdependence, instead of competition.
  • Innovative: strategic thinking to create services and products that bring innovation and allow us to contribute to the resolution of the challenges that we face as a society, both for our well-being, but above all for our survival.
  • Regenerative: creating a permanent spirit of renewal in everything we do to nurture a constant evolution of people and businesses.
  • Aggregative: Involving all areas of knowledge in the innovation process, to create services and products that respect ethics and to minimize and mitigate the unthought harmful effects of technology.

We believe that part of the answer is to work in community, in complementarity, and to use different forms of cooperation. The creation of a sense of community of people and businesses, with greater knowledge of who does what, allows a direct and local relationship in solving most needs and thus greater resilience towards the outside, which makes communities more prepared for future crises. If this is an advantage in the short term, in the medium-long term, it empowers communities and people, making them less dependent on the state and creating a strong civil society, with alternative mechanisms that economically weigh less on the state.

Our purpose at Bartercard is precisely to help businesses succeed in a collaborative context, with a special focus on micro and small businesses. This is what drives us, and we believe that the model we have made available to businesses in each of the geographies where we are present makes the difference.

If on the one hand SMEs are the backbone of our economies, on the other hand, they are the most vulnerable to changes in the economic cycle and suffer with more impact less positive government decisions. Our job is to address the four main weaknesses that SMEs face: lack of information, access to finance, increase in sales, and digital presence.

The Bartercard model is a platform where members promote themselves; create sales opportunities and strengthen their business ties; while conducting business transactions without fiat money; without taking credit risk or having to wait for payment. All this occurs in a digital environment, secure and with all the technological tools for each company to manage their business in a simple and agile manner.

The Bartercard model is based on the principle of mutual credit, materialized in Barter, one of its expressions. Businesses on exchange basis earn trade credits (instead of cash) that are recorded in their account. They can then buy goods and services from other members using their trade credits - they are not obliged to buy from those to whom they have sold, and vice versa. These exchanges are managed by Bartercard on behalf of the platform members, providing each member with record keeping, assistance and facilitation of business transactions, and promotion of the network and its members.

We believe that our model can be a very powerful tool for SMEs and the strength of the economy, fostering reciprocity and accelerating the necessary shift to a new way of doing business - together and in community.

How can we help businesses survive the next economic crisis and change the way businesses connect? With Bartercard - Connecting businesses, we connect people!