Category Archives: UBA

Entrepreneurs get support from UBA Foundation and Kenya’s Youth Fund

The UBA Foundation and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund in Kenya have signed a partnership to support Kenyan entrepreneurs who participate in the fourth cycle of the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship development program.

The UBA Foundation is the CSR arm of the UBA Group, a pan-African bank that is in 19 countries. It focuses on economic empowerment, education, and the environment, while the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program is a flagship of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) . The program is an investment of $100 million that aims to nurture 10,000 African startups to create 1 million jobs and generate $10 billion in revenue growth over ten years. This will be through funding, training, mentorship, counseling and networking for the startups to trade across Africa and beyond.

Entrepreneurs apply to the TEF and Youth Fund.

The CEO of the Youth Fund Josiah Moriasi said the organization had advanced Kshs 12.2 billion to 1.4 million Kenyans through their core products such as LPO financing, talanta loans (for creatives), and startup loans. Ronald Osumba, Chairman of the Youth Fund, said that while the Fund had been in the news for some wrong reasons, it had also supported many young successful people,  not just with finance, but also business support, market linkages, and business spaces.  They were also working to reduce the failure rate of startups through market aggregation models in counties around the country.

This year the TEF program is already seeing a record number of entries from 54 countries since the window for applications opened on January 1.   It runs up to March 1, 2018, for applicants to submit their startups or business ideas and the selected entrepreneurs  will participate in the 2018 cycle that runs from May 1 to December 2018. 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation program has 3,000 alumni now, and over 200 Kenyans have benefited from the program, each having received $5,000 (~Kshs 500,000) as seed capital for their businesses which they have then used to scale and grow into other product and service lines. This year, UBA Kenya officials hope to enroll more Kenyan in the program as the country has run a distant second to Nigeria in past applications and enrollment.

The application process is rigorous but it pays off. TEF entrepreneurs get twelve weeks of training, mentorship, $5,000 of seed capital and access to the alumni network and further funding opportunities.  Kenyan entrepreneurs who complete the application to the TEF site can also apply to the Youth Fund for another $5,000 in matched funding.

Kenya Government DFI merger plan

This week came a report of circular regarding the merger of several government banks and development finance institutions (DFI’s). The institutions targeted to form the mega development bank include the Kenya Industrial Estates, Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Women Enterprise Development Fund, Development Bank of Kenya and Industrial Development Bank of Kenya.

Earlier, a Report of The Presidential Taskforce on Parastatal Reforms that was presented to President Kenyatta in October 2013 had proposed merging Kenya Industrial Estates, IDB Capital, Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, and the Agricultural Finance Corporation. The rationale was that they were all fragmented, sector-specific, ineffective DFI’s with overlapping mandates that should be merged into a Kenya Development Bank (KDB). The committee also proposed the creation of a new Kenya Export-Import Bank (Kenya EXIMBANK) to promote Kenya’s exports through the provision of export and import finance and related supporting activities.

This is not new, but a variation of an older plan to merger government-owned, or controlled, banks. It now excludes two banks that may or not be in talks – KCB has been linked to a move to acquire National Bank. It also leaves out Consolidated Bank, the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, and the Agricultural Financial Corporation, but now includes new government entities that have been created to advance funding to special groups like industrial entrepreneurs, women and youth entrepreneurs.

But speaking at an event launching a partnership between the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the UBA Kenya Foundation, YEDF Chairman, Ronnie Osumba,  said that the pending DFI merger would take into consideration the continuity of all ongoing affirmative action fund programs.

TEF Forum 2016

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) staged its 2nd entrepreneurship forum on October 28-29 in Lagos, Nigeria. Billed as the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, it featured 5,000 young attendees who were recipients  of funding and support from the Foundation through its TEF Entrepreneurship Program.

TEF Forum 2016

TEF Forum 2016

The meetup is one of the support structures under the TEF Entrepreneurship Program‘s 10-year, $100 million commitment, which aims to find, fund and support 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa over ten years. In the first year, they had 26,000 applications, and for these second they got 45,000 from every African country and selected 1,000 who are eligible to receive up to $10,000 to implement their business plans.

The attendees got lessons in entrepreneurship from business, financial and international leaders and other mentors and partners in the program, on things like raising capital and getting started in their ideas, generating revenue and making their companies bankable through efficient financial processes, how to build structures so that companies can survive beyond their founders (“business in your head has to be decrypted so it can last 100 years”  – said the UBA CEO) and on how to live within their means.

They were also startled to see and hear from past recipients including one farmer from Uganda who’s won a  $70,000 NGO order, and a Gambian entrepreneur who’s gone from earning  $20,000 to $2 million in sales through exports of mangoes and groundnuts. Also, some of the suppliers at  the event such as the caterer were past recipients of funding and support from the program.

Uchumi: This Is It

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing about Uchumi Supermarkets for as long, as I’ve had this blog – about ten years. The company seems to go through a cycle every few years of capital injection, expansion & new store openings, shareholder reassurance, a few years of smooth sailing, followed by diminishing stocks of products, management change (Suresh Shah, Titus Mugo, Kennedy Thairu, Masterten-Smith, Jonathan Ciano), restatement of accounts, change of auditors, restructuring of debts etc.

At the 2010 special meeting of shareholders (during a receivership period), Kenya’s solicitor general (speaking for the government, which had bailed out the company) said nothing was fundamentally wrong with Uchumi when it collapsed, just bad governance.

But this time, it hopes to have put the past behind, and things are now looking up again for Uchumi. Its CEO, Julius Kipngetich, was on a TV blitz last week where he recapped the position that the supermarket is in and the way forward. Uchumi is now lean after laying off 2,300 staff, closing its unprofitable Uganda and Tanzania subsidiaries as well as 7 branches in Kenya, one of which was in a mall (Taj) that was going to be demolished for expansion of a highway. They are in the process of selling non-core assets (3 land properties), re-negotiating with suppliers to settle debts and (in exchange for some equity) resume supplies, and seeking a new strategic investor.

Some of these have now advanced recent announcements that most suppliers have agreed to convert some debt in exchange for  about Kshs 1.8 billion of equity in the company. Also the Ngong Road Hyper branch has been sold (but Uchumi plans to continue occupying it as a tenant) and just this week the Visa Oshwal Business Community, who comprise key suppliers,   agreed to resume supplying stocks, with one of them ending a lawsuit to wind up Uchumi.

Uchumi’s latest restructuring is happening is at a time when supermarkets are ‘apparently’ booming in Kenya. Nakumatt just opened its 61st stores, Naivas and Tuskys are growing, despite the family battles they have, Choppies (of Botswana) has taken over Ukwala and Carrefour has just opened at The Hub in Karen, in upmarket Nairobi.

Uchumi basket

Banks like UBA are ready to support. KCB has been a long terms banker, and Jamii Bora banks is the largest shareholder (15%) of Uchumi, closely follow by the government (14%).

Uchumi stores now have almost all products back on the shelves, but with some familiar brands still missing, for now.  As the CEO, said in one interview, Uchumi aim to serve middle class consumers, who want to buy Kenyan products .

In the next three months, they hope to narrow down a strategic investor to be the anchor shareholder of Uchumi, from a pool of bidders that were invited privately.

2009 Kenya Bank Rankings Part III – Other Intermediaries

In Part 1 was a list of all banks and Part 2 had the top 10 banks in Kenya this year. There are other financial intermediaries of note including:
UBA: launched in Kenya With a capital base of about 1.1 billion and now have 3 branches in Nairobi. UBA is reaching out to customers, embracing new media like blogs and twitter, – (@ubagroup and has gotten new funding – would rank in the low 20-soemthign of Kenyan banks after just a ½ year of operations
Faulu: Faulu Kenya Was licensed in July 2009 as the first deposit taking micro finance institution by the central bank of Kenya. Its balance sheet today would be about 6.5 billion, with over 2 billion in loans (last accounts seen are 2007)
KWFT: even larger than Faulu, is the Kenya Women Finance Trust. Its assets would be in the region of Kshs 15 billion, with about 12 billion in loans (extrapolating from 2008 accounts).
KWFT which is in government plans to convert to a women only commercial bank already has a national footprint or branch network that rivals any of the larger commercial bank and would rank somewhere in the teens of bank rankings

other intermediaries

SACCO’s: The Central Bank of Kenya estimates assets of the entire banking sector at Kshs. 1.18 trillion ($17 billion – CBK Governor speech in September 2009) while the Ministry of Cooperative Development estimates assets of the cooperative sector (SACCOS), with 12,000 societies and 8 million members at about 200 billion ($2.7 billion) – whose members save funds and borrow against these along with guarantees from other members in lieu of traditional bank collateral.

Some of the notable large SACCO’s (comparable in size to small & mid-size banks, but with larger customer bases) in the country are:
1. Harambee SACCO: (mainly civil servants) –with assets of 12 billion ($160 million), and loans of 7.5 billion and said to be the laregst SACCO in Kenya
2. Mwalimu SACCO: (mainly school teachers) with assets of 10.2 billion and loans of 9.2 billion
3. Afya SACCO: (mainly health industry workers) – assets of 4.75 billion, and loans of 3.79 billion
4. Kenya Bankers SACCO: bank industry workers with 3.3 billion in assets 2.8 billion in loans