Kua Ventures, an impact investment firm headquartered in Kenya, has reached a significant investment milestone by exceeding USD 1 million [Approximately Ksh. 145 million] in funding dedicated to fostering the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] within the country. This remarkable achievement comes after four rounds of funding conducted over the past three years, during which 20 promising local SMEs were incorporated into Kua Ventures’ portfolio.
The inception of Kua Ventures’ investment journey in Kenya coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. At that time, numerous businesses, especially SMEs, were grappling with the adverse economic repercussions of the pandemic. Nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfews, reduced cash flows among Kenyan consumers, and supply chain disruptions dealt a severe blow to enterprises, forcing them to scale down production, lay off employees, or even close their doors. Recognizing the dire need for support, Kua Ventures stepped in to provide essential capital, guidance, and a sense of community to help SMEs weather the economic storm.
Today, Kua Ventures has forged a unique model for partnering with SMEs, firmly rooted in the three pillars of Capital, Coaching, and Community, collectively known as the 3Cs. The capital component entails providing growth capital ranging from USD 50,000 to 100,000 [approximately Ksh. 7 million to 14 million], primarily in the form of straight debts, revenue shares, and convertible notes.
Acknowledging that capital alone isn’t a panacea for SME success, Kua Ventures also offers personalized coaching through one-on-one mentorships, enabling entrepreneurs to navigate the various stages of their businesses. Additionally, Kua Ventures fosters a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs, where founders connect, share experiences, learn, and support each other. This 3C model by Kua Ventures positively impacts the Entrepreneur, Enterprise, and Employee [the 3Es], unlocking growth, enhancing business efficiency, enabling founders to make a meaningful impact in their communities, and generating stable job opportunities, among other positive outcomes.
Reflecting on this remarkable journey and reaching the milestone of USD 1 million in cumulative investments, Madalena Santos, the Operations Director at Kua Ventures, emphasized the organization’s unwavering commitment to supporting small Kenyan businesses in achieving their social impact goals through job creation and poverty reduction.
“After investing over USD 1 million in 20 businesses over the last three years, we have witnessed the immense potential within the Kenyan entrepreneurial ecosystem. We eagerly anticipate investing an additional USD 2 million by June 2024, empowering entrepreneurs within our portfolio to continue making a positive impact within their communities and beyond,” stated Madalena.
Peter Fry, the Executive Director of Kua Ventures, underscored the success of the organization’s 3C model, comprising Capital, Coaching, and Community, over the past three years in Kenya.
“Our experience has demonstrated that our 3C model is highly effective in Kenya, and there is a multitude of growth-oriented businesses led by impact-driven entrepreneurs throughout the country,” Peter noted. “As these businesses grow, they hire diligent employees, perpetuating their local outreach vision. This gives us great optimism about our ability to assist more local entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses and supporting their communities,” he added.
Over the past three years, the SMEs supported by Kua Ventures have directly contributed to the creation of more than 200 jobs in Kenya, providing a secure foundation for impoverished communities to improve their livelihoods. This aligns perfectly with Kua Ventures’ mission of offering economic and spiritual resources to hardworking individuals, enabling them to unleash their potential and break free from the shackles of poverty.
With over USD 1 million in investments already committed to supporting Kenyan SMEs and an additional USD 2 million earmarked to almost double their portfolio in the next 10 months, Kua Ventures is well-positioned to make a substantial impact on the country’s SME sector, while also fostering the socio-economic growth of individuals and communities.