4G CAPITAL AND CITI COLLABORATE TO STRENGTHEN FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN KENYA

[PHOTO - COURTESY]
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4G Capital, a market leader in technology-driven financial inclusion, Citi, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Ford Foundation have collaborated to expand financial inclusion through the provision of working capital to support the growth of micro-enterprises in Kenya.

4G Capital will receive a Kshs.  285million term loan from Citi that will reach more than twenty five thousand micro-enterprises. As part of the collaboration, 4G Capital and Citi will work to address the inventory finance needs of last-mile distributors of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The loan is part of the scaling enterprise guarantee facility, a Citi partnership with DFC and the Ford Foundation that enables earlier stage, innovative and inclusive businesses in emerging markets to access local currency commercial bank financing.

Citi is a primary banker to FMCGs across Africa and seeks to assist its clients in expanding their businesses sustainably through the responsible provision of working capital credit to their micro, small and medium enterprises customers. 4G Capital will support Citi’s FMCG customers with its Kuza product that uses the company’s proprietary fintech to ‘plug and play’ with partner systems allowing businesses to buy on credit, rather than paying cash on delivery. This allows small shop owners to maintain minimum stock levels for continuous operation and increase order sizes, boosting their annual revenue by eight two per cent  on average, according to Technoserve, one of 4GCapital’s partners. Distributors and vendors report increased sales of thirty per cent  and higher using 4G Capital’s services. The key to 4G Capital’s success is a combination of client-centric product design supported by an in-house machine learning algorithm that optimises loan terms for the borrower resulting in high touch and high tech business model. In addition to the revenue growth, clients report ninety six per cent increased financial literacy and deliver a net promoter score (which measures customer satisfaction) of eighty two  out of one hundred.  Eighty one per cent of 4G Capital’s clients are women entrepreneurs.

Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, CEO and Founder of 4G Capital, said: “We are delighted to be working with Citi as our strategic finance partner as we expand the reach and breadth of our services to Kenya’s MSME sector. 2020 has been a challenging year, but the backbone of our community and economy, the informal traders, have shown an inspiring degree of resilience. Together Citi, 4G Capital and our distribution partners can bring much-needed growth capital and strengthen financial inclusion, thus supporting the Kenyan Government and our UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is just the start of an incredible journey together.”

In the same vein, Martin Mugambi, Citi country officer and  chief executive officer, Citibank NA Kenya & East Africa said: “By collaborating with 4G Capital and DFC through a partnership to co-create and scale financial innovation, we will achieve positive social impact and inclusion that benefits underserved communities. This pioneering transaction represents many firsts for Citi in Kenya, but more importantly, it unlocks sustainable solutions for last-mile financing and distribution that will enable economic growth and progress across the country.”

Since its inception in 2013, 4G Capital, has grown exponentially, lending over nine hundred thousand and fifty loans valued at over $100million. The impact of Covid-19 lockdown measures have been challenging.  However, 4G Capital has maintained its vital services without interruption, providing continuous lending and support to uphold the survival of small businesses, while also reducing prices and increasing its range of offerings.

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