Kenyan start-up MESH reached 150,000 members in its online community for young entrepreneurs in the informal economy. Launched in November 2021, MESH is Kenya’s first platform connecting individuals and small business owners to networks, training, and formal economy opportunities. This milestone resulted from a year-long partnership with Mastercard Strive Community, providing funding and support.
Kenya’s informal sector makes up 41% of GDP, with 95% of young Kenyans involved. However, young entrepreneurs lack access to loans, services, and formal employment. MESH helps overcome these challenges through networking, training, and commercial partnerships.
Shujaaz Inc and TRANSFORM invested in MESH to unlock Kenya’s informal economy. MESH redefines work by providing gig opportunities, training, and commercial partnerships. Anuj Tanna, Co-Founder and CEO, is proud of connecting 150,000 entrepreneurs and empowering their success.
Mastercard’s Strive Community not only provided financial support but also enabled MESH to test and scale its innovative training model. Through peer-led, digitally-driven learning formats, MESH offers bite-sized skill programs in multiple languages, empowering its members to build digital IDs and access new work and service opportunities.
Natasha Jamal, Vice President of Social Impact at Strive, emphasized the transformative power of combining network access with digital technology. The success of the collaboration between Strive Community and MESH demonstrates the positive impact that can be achieved by empowering small business owners with tailored digital solutions.
MESH’s sustainable growth is evident through its expanding network of commercial partners, including multinational corporations and local start-ups. These partners join the platform to directly access the thriving MESH community. Testimonials from MESH members highlight the platform’s efficacy in transforming their businesses and lives. Users like Brian Amwayi and Violet Otieno describe MESH as a game-changing platform that connects young entrepreneurs, enables product expansion, and provides insights and support.