Branch and Solv Kenya have announced a strategic partnership that seeks to boost the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya. The partnership aims to provide loans, business development support, and market linkages to Kenyan MSMEs, ultimately bridging the credit gap and accelerating business opportunities for entrepreneurs across the nation.
Under the partnership, Branch will extend loans and working capital of up to Kshs. 1 million to MSMEs on Solv Kenya’s platform, facilitating improved cash flow and stock financing from suppliers and distributors.
Rose Muturi, the Managing Director of Branch East Africa, emphasized during the partnership announcement that the seamless access to digital financial services will address liquidity challenges for MSMEs. She stated that the collaboration goes beyond offering instant digital loans, focusing on empowering MSMEs with market linkages and support to build sustainable businesses that contribute to Kenya’s economic growth.
Ms. Muturi said, “Access to credit facilities and business support is key to unlocking the full potential of our MSMEs. The partnership is a significant step forward in achieving this goal. 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, with its diversified portfolio covering various supply chains, including food, consumer goods, construction, alcoholic beverages, electronics, and more, will enable MSMEs participating in the enrolled value chains to obtain stock financing from Branch MFB through the Solv digital platform.
Dan Karuga, CEO of Solv Kenya, highlighted that the partnership helps de-risk lending to MSMEs while opening them up to a diverse portfolio across different supply chains. He stated, “This partnership is 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.”
MSME Accounts for 98% of Business Entities
The MSME sector in Kenya constitutes 98% of all business entities, playing a crucial role in economic growth. However, it remains largely informal, with only 20% of the over 7.4 million MSMEs operating as licensed entities. The partnership between Branch MFB and Solv Kenya is expected to provide significant embedded financing solutions for these MSMEs, often excluded from the formal economy.
Matt Flannery, CEO of Branch International, emphasized their commitment to collaborating with industry players to offer financial solutions. “Our partnership with Solv Kenya creates a significant embedded financing solution for MSMEs,” he said. The MSME sector in Kenya presents enormous opportunities for socio-economic transformation, providing jobs for low-skill and economically excluded individuals, including women, persons with disabilities, and those with low levels of education.