Balloon Ventures

Investing in Good Jobs

We grow high potential small businesses in Kenya and Uganda. This creates safe, secure and fairly paid work where it’s needed most.

A sustainable and scalable model to create millions of good jobs in emerging markets

By combining investment with highly efficient business support, we challenge conventional investor logic and make previously unviable investments, viable.

Through this journey, we deploy our Good Jobs Framework to create safe, secure and fairly paid work that moves entire families out of poverty.

The problem

Globally, 2 billion people work in the informal sector. In East Africa, it’s around 75% of the population. Women and youth are disproportionately represented. Informal work is typically low paid, insecure and unsafe. The benefits of economic development are only unlocked through access to Good Jobs.

75% in informal

The opportunity

Exceptional informal sector entrepreneurs do exist. We believe there are over 2 million in sub-Saharan Africa with the potential to create 40 million Good Jobs. Currently, they are excluded from investment and support to grow. As a result, they start small and stay small – a huge missed opportunity.

40 million
Good Jobs

Our approach

$10,000 to $100,000 of investment + 6 months of Business Support
= thriving SMEs providing good quality jobs


We invest $10,000 to $100,000 in small and growing businesses from poverty reducing sectors that have the potential to create lots of good jobs.


We partner with investees to introduce systems, technology and behaviours that build good management practices and good jobs. 


We scale investees, reinvesting in the best performers, and supporting them through every stage of growth. We learn what works and replicate.

Entrepreneurs Will
End Poverty

Against all the odds, entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda are creating jobs, changing lives, and moving communities out of poverty. Our job is to help them do it faster!

Our Impact

Balloon has been investing in small and growing businesses since 2018.

$ 0

invested in local businesses


entrepreneurs supported


jobs created and improved


hours of 1:1 business support

Examples of our work

Casa Del Tourista - Mbale, Uganda

A guesthouse and tour operator in Eastern Uganda.

Investment: Balloon invested to support further expansion and transform a previously unused roof space into a thriving restaurant and coffee shop.

Growth: We delivered training to improve customer experience. New financial processes were introduced. A marketing strategy is in place and all employees now have formal contracts with legal protections, job security and a commitment to training and development.

Good Jobs: 20 Good Jobs created.

Follow-On Investments: Casa has big ambitions and is already exploring new horizons, including developing a stunning lodge overlooking Sipi Falls. We’re excited to join them on this journey.

Naks Home Decorators - Nakuru, Kenya

An interior decorating business skilled in outfitting spaces with aesthetically appealing items such as curtain fabrics, wallpaper and coverings, accessories, carpets and more.

Investment: Balloon invested in working capital to allow the business to import raw materials competitively and also take on larger orders from new corporate clients.

Growth: The business has expanded resulting in the opening of their fourth branch in Narok. New jobs have been created and existing ones improved through contracting, clear job descriptions, increased salaries and staff promotions in addition to finance digitisation.

Good Jobs: 2 jobs created and over 10 jobs improved.

Follow-On Investments: With their unique products designed to provide high interior décor to households and corporations, Naks Home is looking to expand into new locations.

Featured Stories

Open sourcing our Playbook
Annual Report: Balloon 2021-2022
What is a Good Job? Research with 60 Decibels

Working with