On January 27, the Hub signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Umati Capital to increase access to trade finance solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Umati Capital is a non-bank financial institution that leverages technology to provide invoice discounting and other forms of working capital financing to SMEs, and their corporate trading partners, in the Eastern Africa region.
“We may not have the cheapest financing but we opted to invest where it’s needed most that is the agribusiness sector. Our collaboration with the Hub will enable us to scale out our model by increasing the number of SMEs we market to and train, “said Umati Capital Chief Executive Officer Ivan Mbowa.
The focus of the collaboration between the Hub and Umati Capital is to increase access to finance for Agribusiness SMEs in Eastern Africa region.
"This partnership will provide an avenue for domestic private sector mobilization in Eastern Africa for increased regional trade. This partnership is beneficial to the Hub as it contributes to our key objectives namely increased trade and investment, enhanced food security and strengthened regional partnership. Access to finance has always been the limitation to SME's engaged in agricultural trade and through this partnership, SMEs potential will be unlocked to profitably enter the regional market to play their key role in food security," said Hub’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Director Harriet Odembi.
“Umati’s approach of providing customized value chain financing in the region is an excellent complement to the Hub's objective to attract and mobilize capital in high impact sectors. This MoU is the first step in helping achieve real impact in capital-starved sectors in the region and supporting the creation of new jobs, “Hub’s ICT and Investment Director Kanini Mutooni.