Uganda: Tugende funds Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

By : Adoni Conrad Quenum

Date : jeudi, 30 juin 2022 13:08

Thanks to digitalization, it has become easy for African entrepreneurs to create solutions for major challenges. In Uganda and Kenya, a fintech startup is helping address the low credit access problem. 

Tugende is a Ugandan startup that allows informal entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprise owners notably, access to credit. Doing so, the startup founded in 2013 by Michael Wilkerson helps them grow their businesses, build their credit profile and set up income-generating activities. 

“90% of businesses in Africa are MSMEs yet they receive less than 20% of total available credit. Tugende began by filling this credit gap for motorcycle taxis in Uganda, helping these self-employed entrepreneurs own instead of renting their key productive assets in 24 months or less,” the startup explains.  

Its services are accessible through its Android app. To request a loan from Tugende, users must be registered and have an account with the startup. If those conditions are met, they can submit a loan request and let Tugende carry out a background check by interviewing two of their relatives. After that step, they are required to deposit at least USh100 (about US$0.027) in the account opened with Tugende. 

The startup’s decision to grant loans is based on background checks and a big data and artificial intelligence system that predicts how beneficiaries will likely use the credits awarded. 

Currently, Tugende claims 52,000 users financed, over 29,000 active clients, and 800 full-time jobs created. In May 2022, it won the financial inclusion awards during the sixth edition of the African Banker Awards. Since its creation, the startup has completed several funding rounds totaling US$51.1 million. Apart from Uganda, it is also active in Kenya. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum


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