4G Capital, which provides financing to and invests in SMEs in East Africa in order to boost technology-driven financial inclusion, has announced an update on its operations across Kenya and Uganda and shared its approach to safeguarding its clients, employees and services amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
For over six years, 4G Capital’s primary focus has been the removal of barriers that inhibit financial inclusion and unlocking the potential of East Africa’s micro and small businesses through the provision of working capital credit combined with financial literacy and business enterprise training.
As Kenya and Uganda go into a state of curfew and lock-down, the COVID-19 outbreak threatens the most vital yet vulnerable segment of the economy, the informal sector. In Kenya, according to the FSD Kenya and Kenya Revenue Authority, approximately 95 per cent of the country’s businesses and entrepreneurs operate within the informal sector, and only 24 per cent of them own a business bank account.
The majority of 4G Capital’s clients are traders operating within the informal sector, typically located in crowded open-air markets, where isolation and social distancing protocols are incredibly challenging. Restricted access to running water and sanitation will also create enormous difficulties as these businesses do their best to follow safety guidelines.
The survival of SMEs is therefore critical to the welfare of local communities as they provide affordable food and daily provisions. In response to this, 4G Capital and other industry leaders have formed a coalition to enhance able access to sanitizer and handwashing facilities across market places in greatest need.
4G Capital is committed to helping its clients throughout this challenging period while supporting government policies. The company has adjusted processes to ensure business continuity and the safety of clients and employees. 4G Capital has over 100 local branches across Kenya and Uganda, and all will remain open while government policies allow; however, changes have been made to field activities to minimise social interaction. Existing clients can access 4G Capital’s services seamlessly over its mobile technology platform, while new clients are advised to contact the Customer Service Centre by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To safeguard the wellbeing and sustainability of the company, 4G Capital is enforcing strict financial disciplines across the Group while maintaining balanced and controlled operations. All non-priority projects have been postponed until further notice, and all non-essential operating expenses have been deferred in favour of efficiency and strengthened liquidity.
Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, CEO and Founder of 4G Capital, said: “We have a clear mission to not only drive growth across the informal economy but to protect it. Our investors, management and employees are committed to the wellbeing, safety and success of our clients. We stand proudly with those who continue to serve in times of greatest need and pray for those who find they cannot.”
Since 2013, 4G Capital has supported East African micro-enterprises by providing financial literacy and enterprise training combined with right-sized working capital credit to help small businesses grow sustainably. 4G Capital customers receive bespoke business training programs and credit guidance via mobile apps and in-person via our nationwide network of branches.
4G Capital’s unique machine learning technology delivers high fidelity insight into customer risk and affordability. As a result, 4G Capital consistently achieves high collections rates without collateral or refinancing its clients, only lending to viable businesses on terms that are right for them. 4G Capital is on target to positively impact over 1 million people by 2020.
Serving customers in Kenya and Uganda, and having received multiple industry awards, 4G Capital is now scaling across the continent and expanding its suite of products and services.