Inkomoko launches strategy to invest in 500,000 MSMEs

Business consultancy and investment firm Inkomoko has announced a strategy to invest and provide financial support to half a million medium and small micro-enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya by 2030.

As part of the new strategy, the company also plans to invest Ksh 4.8 billion (US$40 million) by 2030 to support MSMEs in 8 countries in the region.

This is part of a series of events celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary and rebranding to a new corporate identity, Inkomoko.

Inkomoko has been working in Kenya since 2019 under the name African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) Kenya.

Julienne Oyler, the company’s chief executive officer, said in an address to the media in a Mombasa district that this was part of the 10-year anniversary celebrations that began in Rwanda last week.

She said the company’s senior management will visit all Inkomoko sites across Kenya to thank partners and customers for their support over the years and to pledge to continue working together even more in the future.

“We are very proud that so many entrepreneurs have allowed us to accompany them on their way.”

“With this new and ambitious strategy, not only will we unify all of our markets under one brand, but we will do even more to help micro and small businesses grow and create jobs for others in their communities,” said Oyler.

She said the firm has served more than 41,000 entrepreneurs in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia over the past 10 years.

Oyler said that Inkomoko is currently working in 5 cities in Kenya, including Mombasa, Garissa, Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei integrated settlement, and Dadaab refugee complex.

Nairobi, she said, houses the firm’s Kenya headquarters and supports its field offices, which she says will be working with nearly 7,000 entrepreneurs by 2022.

She added that they have plans to open more offices by the end of the year.

“By engaging in secondary cities and refugee environments, Inkomoko will deploy more investments, more digital services and market-connection strategies that connect entrepreneurs nationally and across all regions of the region,” she said.

The company was founded in 2012 by social entrepreneurs Julienne Oyler and Sara Leedom and was originally called the African Entrepreneur Collective.

Today the company has 18 branches in Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The word Inkomoko is a Kinyarwanda word meaning ‘origin’ which acknowledges Rwanda as the place where the company was founded.

Oyler said the importance of the name change is to unify the organization across its various markets as they have operated under different names in Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

“Entrepreneurs in East Africa see themselves operating in a large market, so uniting the organization under one brand helps show them that they are partners and connect from one market to another.”

“The reference to ‘origin’ in our name is also a recognition that for many, our services are the beginning of sustained business growth for our clients,” she said.

“We support micro and small businesses across East Africa so they can thrive to create jobs, improve livelihoods and create thriving communities,” she said.

“We would have made 110,000 additional investments and the goal is to improve the lives and livelihoods of 7.6 million people.”

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