MICROFINANCE

4G Capital secures Sh400 million for SME lending

Monies raised will go towards growing its customer base comprising of micro, small and medium enterprises across Kenya and Uganda

In Summary

•By the close of December, 4G Capital expects to have lent $43.6 million (Sh) to over 60,000 small businesses

Traders at Kakamega High School during a sports day
Traders at Kakamega High School during a sports day
Image: FILE

Kenya-based microfinance firm 4G Capital has secured $2 million (Sh200 million) credit in its second round of fundraising from Ceniarth LLC, bringing the total amount raised to $4 million (Sh400 million).

Monies raised will go towards growing its customer base comprising of micro, small and medium enterprises across Kenya and Uganda.

“The rapid expansion of mobile and technology-based financial services in emerging markets has the potential to provide critical capital to individuals previously excluded from the financial system,” Ceniarth founder Diane Isenberg said.

By the close of December, 4G Capital expects to have lent $43.6 million (Sh) to over 60,000 small businesses.

According to the firm, since inception in 2013, it has grown signifantly, lending over 750,000 loans valued at $90 million.

This means, the firms loan disbursement grew nearly 50 per cent this year alone, compared to the last six years.

By end of its first full year – 2014 – 4G Capital says it had lent about Sh455.8 million.

“4G Capital has surpassed all key performance targets for 2019, and Ceniarth’s investment will help us meet the demands of our growing customer base and continue our positive impact into the future. A fantastic way to end a great year,” 4G Capital CEO Wayne Hennesy-Barrett said.

The firm has more than 89 branches across Kenya with more than 80,000 customers, 75 per cent of whom are women, and 77 per cent from rural areas. The average size of loan is $115 (Sh11,935)

According to the firm, which mixes customer oversight and training with unsecured SME loans, repayment rates remain above national averages, at over 94 per cent- without refinancing.

”With this expansion comes great responsibility to ensure that customers understand and benefit from these services and are not exploited by providers focused more on growth than client impact,” Isenberg said.