Report: 2019 Project Insights – Balloon Ventures

Project update - 2019 insights

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Summary of key findings:

  • In total, across Kenya and Uganda we are currently supporting 39 small and growing businesses.
  • We are seeing good demand and impact for business consulting in 5 core areas (planning and management, financial management and accounting, human resources, sales and marketing, and production).
  • Creating good jobs is currently going well. Businesses are treating staff as assets rather than costs which is leading to greater legal protections and salary increases (in some cases 2x baseline numbers).
  • We understand much better the value proposition for entrepreneurs who are now paying directly for consultancy support.
  • We see impact occurring through regular and consistent engagement. Weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings with clear goals and accountability create a rhythm that drives behavior change.
  • A consistency of challenges across businesses is positive as it allows us to standardize our work. We need to continue our focus on delivering support more efficiently.
  • Getting accurate financial data is still a challenge. Solving this problem will create huge efficiencies across the whole journey (e.g. recruitment, due diligence, post investment).
  • There has been a significant improvement in loan repayments due to various learnings and changes we implemented in early 2019. We received 98% of all monies owed in Q4/19.
  • Project sustainability continues to improve with profits for Q4/19 covering 25% of all branch costs (37% in Uganda). We project that sustainability will be achieved with £580,000 of live investments per branch.
  • Pipeline is challenging, however we are still hitting our numbers and portfolio quality is improving every quarter.
  • We have started offering more diverse financial products (e.g. short term and long term investment). This is because we’ve found that one product does not respond to the diverse needs, capabilities and aspirations of SGBs in our target market.