This unique programme will support low-income entrepreneurs aged 18-35 from marginalised communities in Kenya, providing access to financial support needed to sustain and grow their businesses. It will target 90% female entrepreneurs and 10% entrepreneurs with a majority female workforce.
The innovative programme consists of a holistic package of loans and business support services, alongside voluntary support from local Standard Chartered employees in Kenya.
The revolving fund will provide loans between US$1,000-US$25,000 and a 5% interest per annum. Repaid capital will be released in subsequent rounds as a revolving fund, which will then be reused to support additional entrepreneurs. This model will allow entrepreneurs previously excluded from the financial landscape to access capital and grow their businesses into commercially viable and investable models, whilst replenishing the loan fund through repayments for investment in further businesses.
Emilia McElvenney, Director of Development and Programmes at YBI said:
“One of the greatest challenges facing young entrepreneurs trying to access the finances they need to grow and develop their business is that they have no credit history, collateral, or the tools to produce the financial data and reports needed to access investment. Somo has changed this story for the young entrepreneurs they support. They have developed incredibly innovative digital tools and training that break down these barriers. Through these platforms, young entrepreneurs are enabled to build connections with investment opportunities, while investors can make informed data-based decisions to help successful businesses grow.”
Amelia Hopkins Phillips of Somo said:
“Somo is excited to provide needed business development and financial access support to female entrepreneurs across Kenya. When we invest in women, we invest in families and communities. Through the support of Standard Chartered Foundation and Youth Business International, we look forward to partnering with more women to create positive change.”
You can find out more about the programme here, and more about YBI's work with Standard Chartered here.