Balloon Ventures

The first Financial Institution dedicated to Good Jobs

We provide loans of $10,000 to $200,000 to SMEs in Kenya and Uganda and support them to grow. 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 lending with highly efficient business support, we challenge conventional investor logic and make previously unviable investments, viable.

Through this journey, we support SMEs 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
employment

The opportunity

Exceptional entrepreneurs running profitable SMEs do exist, but they are un-banked and under-banked by existing financial institutions who perceive them as too risky. In Kenya and Uganda alone there is an opportunity to invest $14 billion and create/improve 5 million jobs.    

$14 billion market opportunity 

+ 5 million Good Jobs

Our approach

$10,000 to $200,000 loan + 6 months of Business Support
= thriving SMEs providing good quality jobs

Lend

We provide loans of $10,000 to $200,000 for 12 to 36 months to SMEs in traditional brick and mortar industries.

Support

We bundle 6 months of business support into our interest rate. We support SMEs to introduce systems, technology and improve job quality. 

Scale

We provide follow-on loans to best performers, and support 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 lending to SMEs since 2019.

$ 0

Loaned to SMEs

0

Entrepreneurs supported

0

Jobs created and improved

0

Hours of 1:1 business support

Examples of our work

Casa Del Tourista - Mbale, Uganda


A guesthouse and tour operator in Eastern Uganda.

Loan: Balloon financing supported the transformation of 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.

Loan: Balloon provided a working capital loan 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.

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