Best Business Loans in Kenya

The Best Business Loans in Kenya in just one more click

Compare the best options on the market and choose the one which best adapts to your day to day needs.

Further Below: Our Guide To Business Loans in Kenya, Everything you need to know.

Our Rating: 9.1/10
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Equity Bank, Best Overall Business Loan
  • Loan accessible to both account holders and non-customers 
  • Reasonable repayment terms of up to 60 months
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Loan ranges from KSH 1 million to KSH 50 million
  • Offers unsecured loans

Our Rating: 9.5/10
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Kenya Commercial Bank, Best Small Business Loan
  • Flexible loan limits of up to KSH 1 million
  • Reasonable repayment terms of 36 months
  • Loanees enjoy eligible top up loans
  • Offered to at least 6-months old active account holders with the bank
  • Offers secured loans especially on big loan sizes
  • The loanee should show their ability to pay the loan

 

Our Rating: 8.9/10
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Bank of Baroda, Best Alternative
  • Very friendly interest rates, compared to other banks
  • Fast and hassle-free loan processing
  • Reasonable repayment period of up to 10 years (depending on the loan size)
  • Satisfactory loan sizes and limits

Business Loans in Kenya, All You Need to Know:

We marshal up updated information of all it takes to get a business loan in Kenya, from all the documentation required to the types of credits or grants. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be equipped with the right information about the best business loan in Kenya at the moment.

What Economic Steps has the Kenyan Government taken for Companies through Covid-19?

At the onset of the pandemic, Kenya, just like many other countries in the world, started putting in place measures that would cushion businesses from the virus’ harsh ravages. On March 25, 2020, the Kenyan government detailed a number of interventions it was making to stabilize the different aspects of the economy that were already facing the adverse effects of Covid-19.

The Kenyan Government took the following measures to sustain companies through the pandemic:

  1. Lowering the corporate income tax to 25% to help companies marshal additional resources for their sustainability
  2. The National Treasury issued credit guarantees for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) 
  3. Easy access to affordable financial programs by spurring financial deepening and revolving funds through Co-operatives
  4. Introducing a 1-year deferment of interest payments on government securities such as in pension and insurance
  5. Avail affordable resources such as housing to co-operatives
  6. Amendment of Retirement Benefits Regulations which covers mortgage loans
  7. Liquidity enhancement through Securities Lending and Borrowing
  8. Promote e-banking and other technology, hence, investors can use their phones to participate in Collective Investment Schemes (CIS)

Additionally, the government of Kenya reduced the turnover tax from 3% to 1% for the sustainability of all MSMEs.

Distinguishing types of company profiles

  • Companies
  • Entrepreneurs: this is a business idea that’s yet to materialize. The materialization of this idea depends on the funds. Besides, the type of idea also determines the type of funding that the company is going to get
  • Start-ups: this is a company that is in its early stages of existence. The company is yet to create its history and requires some funding to spur its growth right into being a consolidated company. Most times, these companies need some good type of financial supply to achieve their marked-out goals.
  • Consolidated companies: they have a good, long-standing history regardless of their scale of operation. 
  • Large companies: slightly different from consolidated companies, they operate on a wider scale. Operations of such companies as East African Breweries, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), and National Oil Corporation of Kenya, cover several countries, which means they would require a huge loan amount, mostly in millions of shillings.
  • Self-employed
  • Legal entities: refers to persons who work individually and may require some type of funding for their business. Legal entities will fall somewhere between MSMEs and large companies depending on the amount of capital invested.
  • Natural persons: they are not employees and have established their way of getting income. They mostly qualify for personal loans to fund their personal projects.

Characteristics of business loans

Just like in the case of businesses, every business loan has its specific terms of application and operation. While the type of business loan you get depends on your profile business, here are some of the considerations to make before applying for one:

  • Cost: Two things may affect your loan cost: your business profile and the type of credit company.
  • Loan size: According to a 2020 MSME survey published by the Central Bank of Kenya, the average loan size as of December 2020 ranged from KSH 86,000 to KSH 7.7 million. However, the loan size depends on your business’s particular needs, your marked-out business aims, and prospects.
  • Purpose: this cuts across different aspects such as purchasing goods, settling debts with your suppliers, making more investments such as buying new machinery, among others.
  • Linkage: a business loan mostly comes as a package. Hence, you want to pay attention to its related products that may involve additional costs to acquire. 
  • Repayment terms: while your type of credit will determine how long your repayment term will be, most repayment terms in Kenya last 3 months while others may take 60 months.
  • Grace period: this is a period in which you can go without paying the loan without attracting any penalties. 
  • Guarantee: your business profile and loan size will set different guarantee conditions. You may be required to present payment insurance with collateral especially if applying for a large loan size.
  • Speed: how soon you get the money after your loan application is approved is also a great subject of consideration. Averagely, you may have to wait for 3-21 days to have the funds in your hands.
  • Repayment: some entities will require you to make monthly installments while others will have you pay the whole lump sum plus interest at the end of the term. Hence, choose the one that best suits you. 

Where do I get business loans?

With the advancement of technology, everyone wants to break away from the conventional way of acquiring loans. Hence, the emergence of other loan providers to make loans more accessible.

  1. Banks 

Even in the face of other loan lenders, banks still maintain a strong grip on financing businesses. While many large and consolidated companies still get their financing from banks, even MSMEs can now get their portion. Banks are now financing all types of businesses provided all the requirements are met.

  1. Private capital lenders 

Many Kenyans are turning to these lenders after learning that their services are often more attractive and cost-friendly than bank deals. Their acquisition process is easy and fast as it’s all carried out online. 

  • Crowdfunding platforms

Through these online platforms, a borrower is connected to a lender who provides the working capital, according to their wishes. The process is fast and within a couple of days, you’re able to get the funds and get moving.

One important nugget: start by conducting a serious analysis of your business to determine which type of loan will mean good to you.

Business Loans Requirements

The Kenyan Law has put in place some guidelines that every business loanee needs to adhere to. The guidelines may differ with the type of business. However, below are the guidelines that cut across every business that seeks funding in Kenya:

  1. The company should be registered under the Registrar of Companies, which monitors how Kenyan companies operate.
  2. Depending on your lender, you might be required to have a longer or shorter business operation timeline. Some lenders will require a 6-months operation timeline while it may take you 3 years to qualify for a loan with other lenders.
  3. Some lenders prefer giving loans to customers that developed some good banking or saving history with them. In many cases, lenders require at least a 6-months history.
  4. Some lenders will finance you according to your savings, calculating it at a certain percentage (normally 10% – 30%).
  5. You must not be listed on the credit reference bureau (CRB).

Which documents do I need to get funding?

  • Have a valid form of identification – national ID card
  • Kenya Revenue Authority PIN of the business owner
  • A passport size photograph of the business owner
  • Valid bank statements for the past 6 months

Other forms of financing for companies

  • Business lines of credit

In Kenya, a business line of credit works just like a credit card. With it, you have access to funds and can withdraw whenever you wish. Good thing, you’ll attract interest based on the amount you withdraw and not on the whole amount you’re able to access. A business line of credit is different from a credit card, though. With it, you’re able to offer collateral, which will mean lower interest rates and you’re able to access more funds.

  1. Invoice factoring

This applies when you need immediate financing. It is a type of loan where you may decide to sell your account invoices to third parties as security. This is mostly an option for small-scale businesses which are still trying to grow their capital. 

  • Asset-based lending

Lenders provide the loanees with movable business assets such as machinery, vehicles, among others. You will be required to make a certain amount as a deposit before the asset is shipped to your location. You’ll be required to make monthly installments to complete the total amount (value of the asset plus the interest). 

Products to invest in your company/business

Equity Crowdfunding 

Just as the name suggests, crowdfunding involves getting business funds that have been raised by many persons or entities. Through crowdfunding platforms, you can sell your investment instruments such as business shares, among others. Two main examples of crowdfunding platforms in Kenya: M-changa and M-pesa Paybill. (M-pesa Paybill is mostly used for charity purposes.)

Business Angels

Business Angels platforms connect borrowers to potential investors. Business Angel investors do not work with an individual business proprietor, Instead, the managers select where they will invest. Once they select your company, they’ll always be part of the management. You might miss the opportunity of being funded by Business Angels if you’re only working on a small project.

Venture Capitals

As an entrepreneur, operating a completely new business can be taxing. Venture capitalists come in during your business’s early stages to help it grow. They incorporate their skills to efficiently run your business until it is at a stable level. Once at this stage, the capitalists will sell their equity holdings. 

While this concept is not widely embraced in Kenya, it is governed by the Capital Markets Act (CMA). 

Aid for the financing of companies

Small business grants

Small businesses can now enjoy grants from organizations like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which provides small and medium business owners with the skills as well as funds they require to keep their business going.

Subsidies

Kenya offers a long list of subsidies to different groups of beneficiaries, starting from individuals, businesses, students, as well as non-government organizations (NGOs). 

About this page and our methodology

What this page is for: we use the best available information to prepare easy-to-understand information about the different types of loans that are available in the Kenyan market, and which entities and platforms we can use to get started. We also provide you with guidelines to get the right funding which ensures your business obtains liquidity and on the other hand, a seamless repayment experience. 

Source: the above information has been obtained from a number of reliable sources including the Kenyan Law, the Central Bank of Kenya

Methodology: our team of professionals has obtained the above information through thorough online research. 

About us: FUNDGECKO is an online comparator website that avails upgraded, relevant information needed for personal finance. At zero charges, any user can, like a pro, compare the options available in the market and end up with a product that’s compatible with their needs and financial situation.

Caution: All services at FUNDGECKO require no charges at all. Our website sources its income from advertising and featured products.

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