Salaam Somali Bank has announced that $4 million has been earmarked for Somali entrepreneurs between 2022 and 2024 to ‘kick-start’ economic growth in the Somalia economy at this year’s Mogadishu Tech Summit
- The Salaam Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF) aims to cultivate young Somali business people and support existing Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the wake of Covid-19
- Over $1million has already been loaned from the SEF since 2019 to 1,035 entrepreneurs, 43% of whom are female
Mogadishu – Today, Salaam Somali Bank announced plans to inject $4million into the Somalia economy between 2022 and 2024 through specialist, zero-interest micro-loans to Somalia’s best and brightest entrepreneurs.
The announcement, delivered at the annual Mogadishu Tech Summit – sponsored by Hormuud Telecom – was made in front of the country’s leading policymakers, ministers and private professionals, alongside an audience of the greatest minds in the country has to offer.
Said Moalim of Salaam Somali Bank said: “Somali’s are some of the most inventive, entrepreneurial individuals in the world. With proper access to capital, and the financial ecosystem to support them, there’s really no limit to the country’s potential.”
The $4million will be distributed through the Salaam Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF), which was launched in 2019 with the aim of providing MSMEs Covid-19 support as well as kickstarting business growth.
Since launching, SEF has loaned $1,054,217 to date in partnership with the Central Bank of Somalia and USAID. Supporting over 1035 entrepreneurs, 43% of whom are female, during COVID-19.
The SEF will now look to take advantage of a young, digitally savvy, population – 70% of which are currently under 30 years old. It supports entrepreneurs by providing early-stage growth financing, with a specific focus on women and entrepreneurs under 30.
Said Moalim continued: “Young people make up 70% Somalia’s population. They are the lifeblood of our economy and have been steadily rebuilding it from the ground up. Somalia’s future is brightened by these tech-savvy problem solvers.”
Three types of investment product; free microfinancing (up to $3,000), start-up financing (up to$50,000) and SME investment (above $50,000) are available for entrepreneurs across five key sectors: (1) technology, (2) renewable energy, (3) farming, (4) fishing, (5) livestock.
The Somali economy has been through a steady and progressive transformation over the past 10 years, experiencing positive year on year growth in GDP in the 10 years preceding the pandemic.
Now, the focus is on empowering entrepreneurs operating inside of Somalia who have an inspiring vision to solve social problems and create commercial solutions.
The news follows a series of major announcements coming out of Somalia in 2021 aimed at strengthening the Somali economy. Including the awarding of the country’s first mobile money license to Hormuud Telecom by the Central Bank of Somalia, and the bank setting up the country’s first national payments system.