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Start-ups focused on low earners to get fresh financing

Australian High Commissioner to Kenya Alison Chartres (right) and Ygap Kenya head Carol Kimari during the launch of Ygap Kenya offices. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
Australian High Commissioner to Kenya Alison Chartres (right) and Ygap Kenya head Carol Kimari during the launch of Ygap Kenya offices. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU 

Australian-based angel investors plan to disburse Sh7.8 million soft loans to small-scale companies that solve problems for low-income earners across Kenya.

Ygap country director Carol Kimari said eight start-ups have been shortlisted for the prize money to help secure reliable supplies as well as boost production to meet demand for products.

“Our intention is to invest much more than AUS$ 25000 (Sh2 million) into ventures from this cohort. We will work closely with them for the next 13 months then assess them for the amount of funding we can offer. At the moment the peer review winner will receive AUS $25000 (Sh2 million) towards his venture,” she said.

Speaking during the official opening of Ygap’s Kenyan office in Nairobi, Australian High commissioner Alison Chartres hailed the start-ups’ innovations saying social problems could best be addressed by Kenyans themselves via establishment of marketable solutions.

“Kenya startups lack seed capital to scale up viable businesses and that is the gap we seek to fill. We will support Kenyans whose innovative solutions create jobs as well as procure services and products that improve lives among the lowly in urban slums and in rural areas. But it should be local context-local leaders’ led enterprises,” she said.

Ms Kimari said the nationwide competition attracted social enterprises owned by young people aged between 25 to 35 years with the key emphasis being running businesses whose products and services have been in the market for over a year.

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