Start-ups in East Africa could benefit from a $10-million initiative from Accion, a global non-profit microfinance organisation.
Under its recently launched Venture Lab, enterprises in the region, and in South Asia will receive seed capital and management support.
The programme that has a global mandate but has so far concentrated its preliminary research in the two regions, is seeking about 20 investments over the next three years.
The investments, which will be made in firms that have finalised research and development and are on the first revenue stage, would be in the form of convertible debt or equity to the tune of between $100,000 and $300,000.
Venture Lab will focus on mobile financial services, credit underwriting or delivery, Internet and social media platforms, embedded financial services, and new technology for financing underserved customers.
Founded in 1961, Accion is an impact investor in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the US. As at 2010, the organisation loaned up to $76.18-million in Afrcia out of a total of $7.94-billion.
Source: East African