At Mkono, our mission is to empower young entrepreneurs in Kenya through affordable loans and resourceful mentorship sessions. You may wonder, however, how do we find high potential entrepreneurs to support? Do we run ads across the country?
Actually, we have a unique model that involves partnering with local organizations in Kenya to deliver our services. Find out more about how it all works with this breakdown of the process.
Mkono partners with local communities of entrepreneurs in Kenya. These are entrepreneur support organizations - primarily incubators, accelerators and mentorship programs - that select promising entrepreneurs for their programs and generally offer them business training and access to a local network of resources. Each program is usually a few months to a year, and most of our partners remain active with their Alumni base. The entrepreneurs selected run small and medium businesses, and most importantly, have a strong desire to see their businesses grow.
Mkono only works with entrepreneurs who are affiliated - as current or former participants - with our partner communities. Why? Read on!
Why We Do It
We do it because these partners allow us to effectively and efficiently deliver our services, keeping our costs low and our impact high.
First, our partnerships allow us to reach high-potential pre-screened entrepreneurs who could be interested in our services. Through their involvement in our partners’ program, the entrepreneurs have shown strong willingness and ability to grow their businesses: two qualities we look for at Mkono. We believe these are the business owners who have the potential to create well-paid jobs for underserved populations.
Second, partnerships allow us to maximize repayment rate, building on the concept of community success. Simply put, as long as the on-time repayment rate of a certain organization remains satisfactory, other entrepreneurs affiliated to the same organization will continue to benefit from Mkono’s financial support. As such, our partners are extremely valuable in providing additional on-the-ground support for loan repayment.
Finally, our partners help us better deliver our mission. They actively promote our services, they provide us with valuable insights and feedback, they share our values and continuously look for ways to collectively support entrepreneurs, and more.
Needless to say, our partnership with local communities of entrepreneurs is what allows us to maximize our impact.
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