NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Absa Bank Kenya has partnered with Pan-African investment platform, Melanin Kapital to launch a program that will lend social impact-driven startups up to Sh3 million.
The initiative, dubbed Tuungane2x to See Her Empowered seeks to reach 1,000 women-focused startups and enhance financial inclusion by providing them with financial training, investment-readiness capacity building, structured mentorship, structured networking, and access to finance.
Absa Bank’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna highlighted that most investors and lenders find it risky to provide funding to small-scale businesses owing to the lack of correct structures and documentation, collateral, relevant networks, and track record among other challenges.
“This partnership is as a result of feedback we have received from SMEs across Kenya and especially start-ups and through it, we seek to address some of those bottlenecks with the aim of ensuring that they can survive after their 3rd birthday and beyond,” she said during the launch.
On her part, Melanie Keïta, Melanin Kapital’s CEO said that the investment platform aims at making finance possible for early-stage impact businesses by de-risking them, making them investable, and connecting them to impact-driven capital.
“We aim at bridging the SDG financial gap by channeling more investments towards early-stage entrepreneurs operating in Africa, looking for pre-seed, seed as well as funding that focuses on solving a critical social impact challenge,” she added.
To qualify for funding, interested startups will have to access and register through the Tuungane 2X platform and undertake a six-month investment readiness program that will culminate into project pitches to impact investors.
“We are committed to continuing supporting Micro and Small Enterprises to develop resilience mechanisms to enable them to withstand different social, economic & political circumstances,” Wasunna added.