Co-operative Bank gets US$56m from EIB for SME lending

KENYA – Co-operative Bank has received KSh6.3 billion (US$56 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for onward lending to small businesses to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Co-operative Bank Chief Executive Officer Gideon Muriuki said micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) firms with up to 250 workers can apply for the loan. The long-term loan will be repayable in seven years and will assist MSMEs to fund the acquisition of tangible business assets, working capital, development of distribution networks innovation and business research. Mr. Muriuki…

Read More

Airtel Africa partners Cisco to provide secure internet for SMEs

AFRICA – Airtel Africa, a telecommunications and mobile money services, has announced that its B2B provider, Airtel Business, has formed a new partnership with Cisco. The partnership will provide secure internet access to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and will be in support of their digital transformation journeys. The partnership bundles Airtel Africa’s fixed connectivity solutions with Cisco Umbrella, a cloud-based, plug and play security solution. The combination will secure businesses’ online transaction channels. Initially, the solution will be available in Kenya, Uganda, CongoBrazzaville, and Madagascar before rolling…

Read More

Tony Elumelu Foundation funds 5000 SMEs for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme

AFRICA – The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has selected 4,949 entrepreneurs from across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme. The 2021 beneficiaries were selected from a pool of over 400,000 applications, based on their innovation, performance, and growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty on the continent. Consisting of both new start-ups and existing small businesses, the 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs have undergone world-class business training, mentorship and coaching and will have lifetime access to the Tony Elumelu…

Read More

E-commerce startup Sendbox raises US$1.8m to digitize deliveries for SMEs in Africa

NIGERIA – Sendbox, a Nigeria-based e-commerce fulfilment platform for merchants in Africa, has announced the completion of a US$1.8 million seed round from investors including 4DX Ventures, Enza Capital, FJLabs and Golden Palm Investments. With participation from Flexport and YC Combinator as part of its 2021 winter cohort, Sendbox’s total investment raised has now reached US$2 million following a pre-seed round from Microtraction and 4DX Ventures in 2018. The e-commerce fulfilment platform for merchants in Africa says the new funding will be used to expand the company’s operations in other…

Read More

Fintech company Digital PayGo partners Mastercard to launch mobile payment solutions for SMEs

ZAMBIA – Digital PayGo, a Zambian-based fintech company, has partnered with Mastercard to launch a new merchant mobile payments solution for SMEs in the country. Known as “SME-in-a-Box”, the solution will enable the SMEs to safely make and receive digital payments through various online channels. It will support the enablement of digital payments for merchants and their customers, by providing them with a convenient, easy-to-use, and safe way to perform cashless transactions from their mobile devices. Backed by Mastercard’s payment technology, SME-in-a-Box enables digital transactions through the use of a…

Read More

Guaranty Trust Bank gets US$14.46m from IFC loan for SME lending

KENYA – Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya is set to receive Kshs 1. 6 billion (US$14.46 million) from The International Finance Corporation (IFC) for onward lending to small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). The loan is part of IFC’s funding of financial institutions in emerging markets under its Covid-19 crisis response program. The loans are designed to be disbursed to companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by the pandemic, helping to boost their working capital among other needs. “The proposed loan of US$14.46 million is a one-year loan, with the option…

Read More

Fintech startup Fin-e Innovations raises US$300,000 to bridge funding gap of African energy SMEs

UGANDA – Fin-e Innovations, a fintech start-up based in Uganda, has closed pre-seed funding of US$300,000 from an undisclosed party in the United States. The company intends to address the glaring financing gap among local energy SMEs in Africa through an innovative platform connecting last-mile distributors (LMDs) directly with investors. This platform offers different advantages such as reducing investment risk, speeding up the investment cycle, and allowing for small ticket size investments and it will now run its pilot in Uganda, home to a buoyant energy SME eco-system, and later…

Read More

Tullow Ghana, Invest in Africa to empower its SMEs suppliers who were affected by COVID-19

GHANA – Tullow Ghana, an oil and gas explorer and producer, has partnered with Invest in Africa (IIA) to deliver training to a number of its small and medium enterprises (SME)suppliers as part of the Access to Finance programme. The Access to Finance programme is an eight-month long programme, to be delivered in two parts, designed to equip selected suppliers with the requisite knowledge, skills and support to effectively engage with financial institutions in the areas of refinancing, restructuring of existing funding arrangement to improve liquidity. The programme is designed…

Read More

Sidian Bank signs US$9m deal with Oikocredit for SME lending in Kenya

KENYA – Sidian Bank, a mid-tier bank focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya has signed US$9 million deal with the Netherlands-based social impact investor, Oikocredit. The bank secured a funding deal that will enable the bank to support onward lending to the SME sector in Kenya. The funding will be utilized to support the bank’s growth plans to further its strategy of providing affordable credit to its SME clients and privately-owned business enterprises as it works towards empowering entrepreneurs to realize their potential through providing tailor-made financial…

Read More

Fintech Pezesha closes 7-figure seed funding for Africa expansion

KENYA – Pezesha, a Kenyan fintech startup that is creating an expansible lending framework for Small and Medium Enterprises and institutions, has raised a seven-figure seed extension round in a bid to expand further across Africa and fulfill its mission of facilitating access to affordable working capital for SMEs. The extension round was piloted by GreenHouse Capital, with on-lending liquidity support from Venture Garden Group which is a sister company to GreenHouse Capital. Founded in 2016, Pezesha is working hard to solve the continent’s US$82 billion in working capital and…

Read More