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Kua Ventures, Startup Savanna Support East Africa SMEs

This is the latest private sector effort to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurship and access to finance

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Kua Ventures, a faith-driven impact investor based in Nairobi, has partnered with Startup Savanna, an initiative fostering entrepreneurial growth and innovation in Kenya, to support SMEs in the region. This collaboration allowed 10 entrepreneurs to pitch for a maximum of Ksh15 million in funding for their businesses.

The partnership between Kua Ventures and Startup Savanna is the latest private sector effort to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurship and access to finance, which has stunted the growth of most SMEs in the East African region and prevented them from realising their impact potential.

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Central to Kua Ventures approach to supporting SMEs is the 3C model consisting of capital, coaching and community. The capital component consists of secured and revenue-based loans of between Ksh5 million and Ksh15 million for business growth and expansion, while coaching involves matching the entrepreneurs with local and international mentors to enhance their leadership skills and refine their business strategies. The community component, on the other hand, enables like-minded entrepreneurs within the Kua Ventures portfolio to connect, share ideas and build their capacity.

Startup Savanna, an integral component of the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) funded by the World Bank Group, serves as a conduit for Kenyan startups to access international expertise, investment opportunities, and support infrastructure. Through collaborations with global experts and local entrepreneurial support organisations, Startup Savanna aims to propel the growth and sustainability of businesses, thereby contributing to job creation and economic development.

Kua Ventures Executive Director, Mr Peter Fry, said the collaboration between Kua Ventures and Startup Savannah would go a long way in promoting sustainable development and social change.

“We are thrilled to partner with Startup Savanna in our shared mission of supporting local entrepreneurship and promoting social change. By combining our expertise and resources, we aim to help local entrepreneurs to innovate, grow and create lasting social impact in the region through the creation of stable jobs and contribution to global efforts of reducing poverty in our communities,” he said.

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Mr Jackson Kinyanjui, Startup Savanna implementing team lead said collaboration with Kua Ventures represents a significant milestone in its efforts to build a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya. “Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy, and we continue to give them platforms to learn and grow,” he said.

The pitch event served as a platform for SMEs to showcase their innovative solutions, network and seek funding that would help in scaling their businesses and impact. The 10 ventures that pitched were drawn from various sectors and industries such as green energy, education, agribusiness, hospitality, events management and laundry services.

These were: Pauline Wanjiku from TLC Laundry, Victor Maina from Duhqa, Jackie Kamau  from The Laundry Lady Ltd, Meshack Mutisya from Irish Events & Catering LTD, Martin Muigah from Event Automation Solutions, Edward Kinyanjui from  Plexus Energy Ltd, Peter Muraya from Victoria Kids Care Ltd, David Wanjau from Deevabits Green Energy Ltd and Chris Silali  from GenePlus Global Limited.

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BT Reporter
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