Enova’s Current Small Business Lending Strategy
“We are being very conservative with our small business lending right now. There’s a tremendous amount of demand,” said David Fisher, CEO of Enova, on the company’s most recently quarterly earnings call. “I think both demand from businesses who need money coming out of COVID still but also from a lack of competition and a reduction of competition. So there’s a tremendous amount of demand. We’re filling a very small portion of it as we are trying to remain very, very conservative with respect to our originations, so we can manage through any turmoil in the economy.”
Fisher said that for its small business lending right now, the focus is really on diversification, that being “diversification across states, across industries, across product types and across kind of the credit spectrum.”
“…as we’ve just seen over the last 6 to 12 months, there are some industries that are doing well for a couple of quarters and some that are doing worse and then that rotates,” he said. “And having that strong diversification has allowed us to manage through that variability over the last couple of years without too much difficulty.”
Despite the company’s conservative strategy right now, Enova still managed to originate $826M in small business loans in Q4 2022, an increase from the $807M in the previous quarter.
Given all of Enova’s consistent success, especially in the current environment, one analyst asked if there was a play for the company to increase its marketshare.
“So we’re not being super aggressive with taking share right now because we don’t want to be too aggressive with our lending,” Fisher replied. “But we continue to build out products and expand the types of opportunities we can offer to small businesses and we’ll continue to do that over time so that as we do get aggressive hopefully in the next — more aggressive over the next 6 to 12 months, we can take our industry-leading position, combine that with the new products that we can offer customers and we’ll be even in a more dominant position. So we’re gaining share kind of just by the fact that competitors are pulling back even more due to credit concerns or lack of capital and we’re fine with that. But we’re not trying to maximize our market share right now because we do want to make sure that we’re being smart about credit. But continuing to build in the background so that when we do get more aggressive, we’re really well positioned.”Last modified: February 10, 2023