In October 2019, we made a debt investment into Somo, an accelerator supporting entrepreneurs in low-income urban communities in Nairobi, Kenya.
In Nairobi there are about 2.5 million slum residents, representing 60% of the urban population. These slums have limited existing infrastructure and social services, creating space for local entrepreneurs to build impactful and profitable companies. However, these entrepreneurs lack access to the relevant training and capital needed to build sustainable businesses and drive change in these communities.
Founded in 2016, Somo identifies high-potential entrepreneurs to take part in an accelerator program. This accelerator offers business training, coaching, access to markets, and loans, helping the micro-enterprises to grow. The various micro-enterprises supported by Somo include food producers, children day care services, sanitation products, small restaurants, and clothing shops. So far, Somo has supported the launch of 44 businesses across two slum areas in Nairobi, reaching 140,000 customers, and creating 207 jobs. Further, Somo has distributed 18 loans ranging in size between $100 – $4,000 to their entrepreneurs. We look forward to supporting Somo in their impactful journey ahead.