Kasha, a purpose driven digital retail and distribution platform has joined Jaza Duka, MasterCard’s micro credit digital lending platform in Africa to help micro entrepreneurs overcome cash constraints.
Jaza Duka, Mastercard’s track microcredit program was launched in 2018 to enable MSMEs to access credit and now through a programme in partnership with Unilever and KCB Bank Kenya, it has expanded to include an additional 5000 MSMEs that will benefit and have the ability to buy and sell more products and ultimately grow businesses.
In a statement by Mastercard, the announcement builds on Mastercard’s pledge to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with the solutions they need to grow their business.
With over half its merchant members being women, Jaza Duka directly supports Kasha’s mission to ensure women in emerging markets get the products, information, and services they need for their health, self-care, and well-being.
Shehryar Ali, Mastercard’s Country Manager, East Africa said the expansion of Jaza Duka with Kasha is one more way to continue to enable sustainable, inclusive growth that will not only benefit the new merchants, but also grow their communities.
“Mastercard understands that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and we are long standing supporters of MSMEs. We tailor our innovative solutions towards building a better and more equal world where everyone can reach their potential,” he said.
Commenting on joining Jaza Duka, Joanna Bichsel, Kasha’s Founder and CEO said their digital platform unlocks access to products, information and services and now with partnership with Mastercard they can remove lack of finance for MSMEs as a blocker as well.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with a purpose driven corporation such as Mastercard. We have a shared commitment to empower women to reach their full potential,” she said.
Through Jaza Duka, Bichsel said they will be providing female entrepreneurs in emerging markets with the tools they need to grow their business and support their livelihoods, while also enabling people in lower income communities to gain access to quality affordable health products and household goods.
Luck Ochieng, Managing Director, Unilever Kenya said that Jaza Duka continues to go from strength to strength, having now passed Sh1.2 billion transactions to support micro merchants across Kenya run and grow their business.
“Over half of those merchants are women, 54 percent, and we see an average monthly sales uplift of up to 20 percent for members showing that the programme continues to build and also freeing the retailers from the constraints of cash-based business and expanding their economic resilience,” the MD said.
The announcement by MasterCard comes a day after the world marked MSME Day that is observed annually on June 27 as a reminder that small enterprises provide sustainable development goals, encourage innovation and provide a livelihood to millions.