Branch MFB, Kenya’s pioneering Neo-bank, and Solv Kenya, an inclusive B2B marketplace, have teamed up to provide Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] with loans, business support, and market connections. This collaboration seeks to propel SME growth by addressing financial gaps, offering financial advice, and fostering business relationships throughout Kenya.
Branch MFB will offer up to 1 million Kenyan shillings in loans and capital to SMEs on the Solv Kenya platform, supporting their cash flow and enabling them to finance inventory from suppliers and distributors.
Rose Muturi, the Managing Director for Branch in East Africa, highlighted the importance of this partnership in addressing the financial challenges faced by SMEs. She emphasized that the initiative is about more than just offering digital loans; it’s about providing SMEs with the tools and connections they need to thrive and contribute to Kenya’s economy.
Solv Kenya, with its wide-ranging platform that includes various industries from food to travel, allows SMEs to finance their stock through Branch MFB’s digital services.
Dan Karuga, African Lead at SC Ventures and CEO of Solv Kenya, noted that the partnership reduces lending risks to SMEs and exposes them to a broad spectrum of supply chains, aiming to open new funding avenues for them to grow.
SMEs play a vital role in Kenya’s economy, making up 98% of all businesses. However, the sector is predominantly informal, with only 20% of over 7.4 million SMEs operating as licensed businesses. This partnership aims to offer substantial financial solutions to these often overlooked businesses, enhancing their integration into the formal economy.
Matt Flannery, CEO of Branch International, affirmed their commitment to collaborating with industry partners like Solv Kenya to provide financial solutions that support SME growth and inclusion in the economy. The partnership is poised to transform the socio-economic landscape in Kenya by supporting marginalized groups, including women, people with disabilities, and those with lower education levels, through job creation and economic participation.