Startups & Ideas

Kua Ventures, Startup Savanna Tackle SME Funding Gap in East Africa

In a significant step toward bolstering the East African entrepreneurial landscape, Kua Ventures, a faith-driven impact investor headquartered in Nairobi, has teamed up with Startup Savanna. This dynamic initiative, dedicated to nurturing innovation and growth within Kenya’s entrepreneurial sphere, aims to provide crucial support for the region’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The collaboration recently facilitated a pitching event where 10 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to compete for up to KES 15 million in vital funding.

Kua Ventures’ strategy for empowering SMEs centers around its 3C model, encompassing capital, coaching, and community. The capital aspect involves offering secured and revenue-based loans ranging from KES 5 million to KES 15 million, fueling business expansion initiatives. Simultaneously, they provide coaching by pairing entrepreneurs with experienced mentors, both locally and internationally. This mentorship program fosters leadership development and strategic refinement. Lastly, their community focus creates a network of like-minded entrepreneurs within the Kua Ventures portfolio, encouraging connection, knowledge sharing, and collective growth.

Startup Savanna, a key player within the World Bank Group-funded Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP), complements these efforts by bridging the gap between Kenyan startups and global opportunities. By facilitating collaborations with international experts and local support organizations, Startup Savanna paves the way for increased investment, enhanced capacity, and sustainable business development. These efforts directly contribute to the vital goals of job creation and economic progress throughout the region.

“This alliance between Kua Ventures and Startup Savanna marks a turning point for sustainable development and social transformation,” affirmed Peter Fry, Executive Director of Kua Ventures, during the pitching event. “We are excited to join forces with Startup Savanna, unifying our expertise in pursuit of empowering local entrepreneurship. Together, we aspire to drive innovation, expansion, and enduring social impact, creating stable employment and actively combating poverty.”

Jackson Kinyanjui, Startup Savanna’s implementing team lead, echoed these sentiments: “Partnering with Kua Ventures propels our mission of cultivating a thriving environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Kenya. We are dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and platforms to flourish, recognizing their vital role as the backbone of our economy.”

The recent pitch event functioned as a launchpad for SMEs, allowing them to present their innovative solutions, network with influential figures, and secure the funding essential for scaling and driving impact. Kua Ventures and Startup Savanna’s partnership signals a decisive move by the private sector to address the financial barriers hindering many East African SMEs, empowering them to fully realize their transformative potential.

The 10 ventures participating in the pitch represented a diverse spectrum of industries, from renewable energy and education to agribusiness, hospitality, events management, and laundry services. Participating entrepreneurs included Pauline Wanjiku of TLC Laundry, Victor Maina of Duhqa, Jackie Kamau of The Laundry Lady Ltd, Meshack Mutisya of Irish Events & Catering LTD, Martin Muigah of Event Automation Solutions, Edward Kinyanjui of Plexus Energy Ltd, Peter Muraya of Victoria Kids Care Ltd, David Wanjau of Deevabits Green Energy Ltd, and Chris Silali of GenePlus Global Limited.

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