February 18, 2020

IIA Introduces More Financing Options For SME's In Agribusiness In Kenya.

On 15th February 2020, 19 SMEs on Biashara.Now were hosted in a breakfast roundtable where they were introduced to the investment module which will provide them with active and post-investment support. This follows a partnership between IIA and Jenga Capital, a Canadian investment firm, to enable SMEs in food and agriculture access finance. The partnership will provide more options for financing and investments for SMEs on Biashara.Now to enable them to optimize their production by acquiring equipment and technologies needed to run their agricultural enterprises effectively. Based on a due diligence process to review the SMEs’ business plans, financial models and operations, Jenga Capital will extend financing to the SMEs who qualify. IIA will support SMEs towards meeting the minimum compliance criteria to make them investor ready.

Food and agriculture is a substantial contributor to the economy of the nation, adding to food security, generating revenue and creating jobs. However, due to inadequate compliance, SMEs in the sector are not able to access financial assistance. As a result, they lack the financial muscles to implement better strategies and take up viable technologies to grow their agricultural enterprises and position them for maximum production.

Through this partnership, SMEs will be shaped to become investor-ready and financed to implement development plans which have been kept back by financial constraints. This is a key driver in empowering SMEs to enhance their economic and social impact as it will create jobs, increase revenue and enhance food security. Agriculture has a great potential to transform our economies and it is one of the key thematic areas of focus for IIA.

Speaking during the round-table held at IIA office at Bush House, Dennis Okore, the Stakeholder Engagement Manager at IIA-Kenya said: “Investor readiness is a process that first starts with awareness of the opportunity and the requirements that are stipulated in the process. Investor readiness opens a wide-spectrum for SMEs to access diverse financing products in the market beyond trade financing. This is a great moment for SMEs on the Biashara.Now network as they can now access financing in the form of debt and equity.”

He added that the partnership with Jenga Capital is a key driver in empowering the grassroots of the food and agriculture sector.

Valerie Fraser, the Director Jenga Capital commented: “ We are impressed that SMEs are now subjecting themselves to a process of due diligence but more so devoting themselves to understanding the process to improve competitiveness in the agribusiness value chain.”

Since commencing the partnership IIA has hosted 2 round-tables leading to 4 businesses on the Biashara.Now platform who are undergoing investor readiness due diligence checks in readiness for financing.