Small-scale businesses in Kenya can now access up to Kes1,000,000 in working capital from Branch Microfinance Bank to replenish their stock and therefore grow their enterprises.
The financing boost, poised to benefit over 150,000 Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises in Kenya, follows a partnership between Branch MFB and the B2B trade platform Solv Kenya.
“We remain committed to cooperating with other industry players to offer financial solutions. Our partnership with Solv Kenya creates a significant embedded financing solution for MSMEs,” said Branch International CEO Matt Flannery.
The Branch-Solv Kenya partnership is poised to significantly de-risk lending to MSMEs in Kenya while simultaneously opening them up to a diversified portfolio of opportunities for growth in a range of supply chains.
In addition to receiving higher loans, participating businesses are set to benefit from continuous business development support and market linkages to foster their growth and enhance their capacity to create jobs.
“By combining our expertise, we will provide Kenyan entrepreneurs with the comprehensive support they need to scale their businesses and contribute to a more vibrant Kenyan economy,” said Branch East Africa Managing Director Rose Muturi.
She added that the initiative offers seamless access to digital financial services and will help address liquidity challenges facing hundreds of MSMEs.
At the moment, Solv Kenya runs a diversified portfolio on its platform serving MSMEs in various supply chains, including food, consumer goods, construction, alcoholic beverages, animal feeds, electronics, airline, and travel.
MSMEs participating in the enrolled value chains will be well-positioned to obtain stock financing from Branch MFB through the Solv digital platform.
African Lead SC Ventures and CEO Solv Kenya Dan Karuga said, “We are confident we will unlock new capital streams for SMEs, enabling them to scale efficiently. Together, we aim to reach out to more MSMEs and offer them convenient and affordable credit solutions that suit their needs.”
Read also: Equity opens 10 branches in expansion blitz
MSMEs in Kenya
According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS), only 20 percent of the over 7.4 million MSMEs in Kenya operate as licensed businesses, a situation that constrains them from accessing substantial financing for growth from banks.
Powered by the Standard Chartered Group, Solv Kenya facilitates commerce in a trusted environment while also providing access to finance and business services for small businesses. In March 2022, Branch received Central Bank approval to acquire Century Microfinance Bank before later rebranding to Branch MFB.
Since its acquisition of Century Microfinance Bank in 2022, Branch MFB has operated as a branchless lender, having transitioned into a micro-bank.
“It makes no sense to tell our customers where our branches are as it will never satisfy their needs,” Branch International Managing Director for East Africa Rose Muturi told Business Daily.