August 08, 2013

Catalyzing Investment Opportunities for Sustainable SMEs in Kenya

The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), in coordination with Coffee Development Fund, recently hosted two events in Nairobi Kenya that will play a critical role in generating new investment opportunities for the sustainable coffee industry in the region.

The FAST Executive Breakfast for Financial Institutions, which took place on July 30th in Nairobi Kenya, was an exclusive event that brought together 11 financial institutions including International FIs such as Root Capital, Rabobank, ResponsAbility, Shared Interest, Oikocredit and local institutions such as Coffee Development Fund, KUSCCO, Co-operative Bank, Equity Bank, GrassRoot Business Fund, RegCharles Finance and Capital (Nigeria).

FAST presented financial institutions with an overview of investment opportunities in sustainable small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kenyan coffee industry and other sectors. The presentation gave investors an opportunity to understand the financial needs of producers ahead of the upcoming FAST Financial Fair (FFF), to take place in early September in Nairobi, which will bring investors and SMEs together to discuss potential investments.

"FAST was pleased to bring this quality group of investors together and share insight into how our global strategy supports financial institutions looking to invest in promising sustainable SME niche markets. We are looking forward to the FFF Nairobi and the many opportunities that will flow as a direct result of the event." Noemi Perez, FAST Vice President of Operations.

From July 31st to August 2nd, FAST also hosted a training seminar for SMEs in the region in preparation for the upcoming FFF Nairobi in September. SMEs were trained using the FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox materials, a comprehensive education package aimed at building financial, accounting and business management skills. All of the participating producers will attend the upcoming FFF Kenya.

"SMEs that participated in the FAST SME training have gained valuable business skills that improve their understanding of the requirements of financial institutions and increase their potential success in obtaining financing to support their sustainable business goals."  Alejandro Morales, FAST Financial Specialist.

The upcoming FFF Nairobi will take place from September 5th - 6th. The objective of the 10th edition of the FFF is to increase access to finance for sustainable producers in Kenya. This event will provide a platform and opportunity for financial institutions to meet with local sustainable SMEs including producer groups from various sectors (coffee, dairy, microfinance and more) who will present their financing needs.


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