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Branch and Solv by Standard Chartered Collaborate to Extend Loans to Kenyan MSMEs

Branch, the loan app company, now a registered Micro-finance neo-bank in Kenya is partnering with Solv Kenya, a B2B Marketplace launched by Standard Chartered Bank back in 2022. This collaboration aims to extend loans, provide business development support, and establish market linkages for Kenyan MSMEs, setting a foundation for their growth and development. By bridging the critical credit gap and offering financial guidance, the partnership is poised to accelerate business connections throughout the country.

Branch MFB will offer loans and working capital up to KES 1 million for MSMEs on Solv Kenya’s platform, facilitating improved cash flow and enabling efficient stock financing from suppliers and distributors.

Rose Muturi, Managing Director of Branch East Africa, emphasised the transformative potential of the partnership, stating, “This partnership goes beyond simply providing instant digital loans to enterprises. It’s about empowering MSMEs with market linkages and support to build sustainable businesses and contribute to Kenya’s economic growth.”

Highlighting the significance of the initiative, Muturi added, “Access to credit facilities and business support is key to unlocking the full potential of our MSMEs. 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.”

Solv Kenya features a diversified portfolio on its platform, including sectors such as food, consumer goods, construction, and more. Through this partnership MSMEs will have access to stock financing through Branch via the Solv digital platform.

Dan Karuga, African Lead SC Ventures and CEO of Solv Kenya, shared his optimism about the partnership, saying, “This partnership enables us to de-risk lending to MSMEs while opening them up to a diversified portfolio across various supply chains.”

Karuga further explained, “It’s a perfect alignment of our technological expertise and a testament to the power of collaboration in driving innovation and growth in Africa’s digital economy. 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.”

MSMEs play a crucial role in Kenya’s economy, accounting for 98% of all business entities and providing vital employment opportunities. Despite their significance, the sector’s high informality rate poses challenges, which this partnership seeks to address by offering significant embedded financing solutions for MSMEs often excluded from the formal economy.

Branch which was founded in 2015, has been a leader in digital finance, pioneering artificial intelligence for credit risk assessment in markets with limited credit infrastructure. Following its transformation into Branch MFB after acquiring Century Microfinance Bank in March 2022, the bank continues to push towards becoming a Pan-African Digital Bank.

Solv Kenya, backed by the Standard Chartered Group, aims to facilitate commerce in a trusted environment while providing access to finance and business services for small businesses, thereby accelerating their growth.

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