Balloon Ventures finds and invests in passionate, innovative micro-entrepreneurs with scalable ideas and offers them two years of intensive support focusing on strategy, marketing, record-keeping, and operations.
In East Africa, the informal sector is the fastest growing economic area and the major creator of jobs and growth, accounting for nearly 70%+ of total employment. However, due to strict loan terms and high interest rates, micro-entrepreneurs receive little support to grow their businesses from micro operations into SMEs with 10 or more employees. From bakeries, to poultry farmers, to mobile advertisers, the potential for growth and success is high, but intensive support and entrepreneurship training is often required to take these businesses to the next level.
Through their work with Amplify, Balloon Ventures plans to build on their previous success investing in micro-enterprises to pilot a program that supports these micro-enterprises to grow into SMEs with small equity-based loans, coaching, and technical support. The Balloon Ventures team hopes to prove that venture capital-style funding can be used to scale up informal economy businesses provided that it is coupled with support to build the capacity of the entrepreneurs along the way