Since 2012, Balloon Ventures (BV) has worked with 3000+ micro-entrepreneurs in East Africa, providing 500,000 hours of intensive technical assistance and £200,000 in loans. This work has primarily been delivered through local and international volunteers on projects funded by UK Aid and delivered in collaboration with partners from Bain & Company, Citi, Restless Development and Volunteer Services Overseas.
This pilot, funded by IDEO through the Amplify awards, was specifically designed to capitalise and grow high potential small business that are too large to qualify for support on other BV projects (i.e. they have moved beyond micro). Through a mix of growth capital and intensive technical assistance (all delivered by local permanent staff rather than volunteers), we aim to support these businesses to create good quality jobs where they are needed most. Our goal is to develop a sustainable model that can be adapted and scaled across sub-Saharan Africa.
This short report presents our main insights from the pilot.