2020 was a big year for us. Through our loans and mentorship sessions, we were able to help entrepreneurs improve cash flow and pricing, achieve vertical integrations, and business pivots.
We're now a few months into 2021, and we've already been hearing some positive feedback from the entrepreneurs. Here's a quick overview of some early emerging themes!
1. Mkono loans are helping entrepreneurs get back on their feet as the economy opens up from the pandemic lockdown.
Justine (Rhoi Creations) and Lornah (TungaTunga Hcrafts) were getting orders for their products, but both struggled finding the budget for the purchase of raw materials and the manufacturing process. Mkono's loans provided the financial support the entrepreneurs needed to activate their businesses, helping them sustain further growth.
"Last year was tough. I was launching an e-commerce site. Then COVID hit. I wanted to bring in different designs and start marketing online, but was stuck in terms of financing."
"We were trying to get back on our feet. We had been down for 3 months, so decided to take a loan to purchase the materials for a few orders. Business picked up."
2. Entrepreneurs appreciate the ease of application for Mkono loans
Entrepreneurs liked that, in addition to providing interest-free loans, our operations teams was work efficiently to ensure a personal and speedy application review process. We strive for our team to be attentive and responsive to the client's needs.
"Government and banks offer loans, but the process is more rigorous. Mkono didn’t have as many barriers to access the money."
"I was able to access loans, which are interest free, in a very short time. Everything was done online. Most bank institutions are stringent and take quite a lot of time. Everything was perfect about the process."
3. Mkono mentorship sessions are perceived to be unique and valuable.
Mkono mentorship sessions provide entrepreneurs with an immediate access to a global network of young professionals, our Mkono Allies. Through these meetings, they are able to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to grow their business.
The entrepreneurs highlighted in particular the opportunity to understand tactical steps they can implement.
"One thing raised during the meeting was that clients want to be involved with a brand with a story. And a brand that has an impact. So I’ve been able to achieve those too."
"It was insightful because they’ve had the same experiences and provided me with insights on how we could go about it."
More generally, the entrepreneurs we support expressed gratitude for our offerings. Many have seen a direct impact on their business, and their life.
"I am really grateful for what Mkono has done so far... This has changed my life, my company, and changed the life of my employees. It might look small to some people, but I look at the impact and it’s been great."