In our first blog post, we talked about how Esther, a dairy farmer, opened our eyes to the opportunity for financial services in agriculture in Kenya. However, businesses of all sizes and across industries started to reach out to us asking for everything from funding to start up a new business to long-term financing to purchase vehicles and everything in between. Did you know that our first client was actually not in agriculture? The client was providing printing services to large businesses and waiting for late payments. So, how did we go from the media industry to many farmers across value chains from fruits and vegetables to cereals and pulses?
As we mentioned in our first post, our path as a start-up was definitely not direct; we experienced many failures and wrong turns that are all too typical of a start-up including pursuing too many opportunities, exploring different products, and trying to be everything to everyone.
But as we continued to provide supply chain finance (similar to invoice discounting) for Eldoville’s farmers, the data shocked us!
The data from our supply chain finance pilot with Eldoville’s farmers was encouragement enough to continue looking into the broad agricultural sector.
Do you work with smallholder farmers? What is your biggest success story to increase production? Share in the comments!