If you are planning to start a business in Kenya, or already have, you understand how hard it is to get capital to start or boost an already running business. Without the right information, many Kenyans may resort to the conclusion that getting funding for businesses is a difficult task.
On the contrary, however, several organizations offer funding to Kenyan entrepreneurs, with an agreement that you will repay them, with or without interest. Better still, some other organizations offer grants to businesses as long as the enterprises solve human problems.
Therefore, this article attempts to cover some of the top funding sources that you as a Kenyan, could access and propel your business into a stable future.
Stick to the end…
Institutions in Kenya that offer business funding
#1. Crowd-sourcing institutions
Europa.eu describes crowdsourcing as a way of collecting money from a large number of people via online platforms/institutions. These institutions allow individuals worldwide to donate a small amount for their idea or business venture.
So how do you access a good crowdsourcing institution that fits your needs?
The best way of doing this research is through the internet, especially through artificial intelligence which has made everything simpler.
Here is a list of a few accredited crowdsourcing institutions in Kenya:
Other international crowdsourcing institutions are as follows:
- Lending Club
Before selecting an institution for your financial needs, do your due diligence to ascertain credibility.
There are many banks in Kenya and some of the most popular include:
- Equity Bank
- Co-operative bank
- Barclays Bank
- KCB etc.,
These banks offer different types of loans for different needs. Such loans include unsecured debt, secured debt, term loans, title loans, merchant loans, logbook loans, payday loans, business loans etc.
Of special emphasis are the business loans that are exclusively for business purposes. Banks such as Equity, have special business loans that target the youth, seeking to empower them with the tools and resources they need to build strong and successful business ventures.
All you have to do to get such a loan is approach a respective bank, apply for the fund and complete all requirements.
Attention: Easy Ways to Get a Personal Loan in Kenya
3. Digital mobile-based lenders
Mobile applications in the Google Playstore and Apple store are offering fast and affordable small loans that may help you as an entrepreneur to solve immediate financial emergencies in your business.
Despite their relatively small-range loan limits and higher interest fees, these lenders can prove beneficial if banks haven’t yet accepted your application because of a low credit score.
Some of the most popular digital lenders include:
- Zuri Cash
- Branch loan app etc.,
4. Microfinance institutions
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) only exist to help the unemployed and low-income class obtain low-interest loans often unavailable in the traditional banking system.
Some of the top institutions that offer microfinance loans to MSMEs include:
- Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT)
- Rafiki deposit-taking microfinance
- Faulu Microfinance
- Musoni Microfinance
- Key Microfinance
Here is the exhaustive list of Microfinance institutions in Kenya.
5. Youth enterprise development fund
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) is a government initiative that aims at promoting entrepreneurship for Kenyan youth.
This fund mainly aims to empower the youth by enabling them to start and grow their businesses, thereby reducing unemployment and poverty.
To access the fund, you must satisfy eligibility criteria that may vary according to your specific financial needs, programs and services.
Generally, individuals aged between 18 and 35 years, and have viable business ideas, can apply for funding from the fund.
These individuals must be Kenyan.
To access their online portal, follow this link.
6. Venture capital
In Kenya, getting a venture capitalist can be a tough task as they don’t sit in panels like the famous ‘Shark Tank’ in the US or ‘Lion’s Den’ in Kenya.
They are typically looking for businesses with high growth potential, so it’s important to have a strong business plan and a clear understanding of your target market.
If you can demonstrate that your business has the potential to be successful, venture capitalists may be willing to invest in your company.
Further, you will have to learn how to pitch your business to convince these venture capitalists to invest in your business.
One of the biggest advantages of venture capital funding is that it can provide you with a significant amount of capital to grow your business.
For instance, a US-based Kenyan entrepreneur Margaret Nyamumbo received Ksh44 million for her coffee business after she convinced one of the Shark Tank judges to buy a 5% stake in her business. Read the full story here.
These capitalists are usually very experienced in the business world, so they can offer you valuable advice and guidance.
However, there are also some disadvantages to venture capital funding.
First, venture capitalists will typically want a significant stake in your company in exchange for their investment. This means that you’ll have to give up some control over your business.
Second, venture capitalists may expect you to meet certain financial goals, and if you don’t, they may pull their investment.
Carefully weigh the pros and cons before diving into this.
7. Family and friends
Family and friends can offer a lot of support, especially when starting your own business. All you have to do is convince them that they can invest in your enterprise.
At times, a family may offer funding without an expectation of reimbursement. This will work for you especially if you are not sure if the business will yield any success.
8. HELB Loan
Lastly, students on campus who may fail to access other funding sources mentioned in this post may opt to save their HELB loan and invest it in a worthwhile business.
This list has attempted to cover some of the best funding sources for Kenyan entrepreneurs. In conclusion, here are the seven secrets to a successful business venture in Kenya.