Payments corporation Mastercard has announced that its microcredit lending platform Jaza Duka will be supplemented by Kasha, a digital retail and distribution platform.
The development was revealed this week and has been launched in partnership with KCB and Uniliver. The news also means that the program now has an additional 5K micro, small and medium enterprises via Kasha.
Again, the goal here is to support businesses while alleviating their financial constraints, which limit their ability to buy and sell products and services.
Mastercard has since revealed that it plans to bring 1 billion people and 50 million small businesses into the digital economy. This, Mastercard hopes, will be done by 2025.
Mastercard is also focusing on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with products and solutions for their trade.
One key insight also came to light at the time the news was delivered: that more than half of merchants in the Jaza Duka ecosystem are women.
Jaza Duka also has an overdraft facility, which is linked to a Mastercard debit card. The topmeup overdraft is enabled through collaboration with Correlaction, the fintech integrating the physical and financial value chains in Jaza Duka.
Mastercard and Kasha have been on since Kasha joined Mastercard’s start-up engagement program, Startpath, in 2019. Mastercard has since invested in the eCommerce platform and the partners continue to join forces to empower women and micro-entrepreneurs across Africa.
“Mastercard understands that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and we are long-standing supporters of MSMEs. We tailor our innovative solutions toward building a better and more equal world where everyone can reach their potential. We also believe in the power of partnerships, and this expansion of Jaza Duka with Kasha is one more way we continue to enable sustainable, inclusive growth that will not only benefit the new merchants but grow their communities,” said Shehryar Ali, Country Manager, East Africa.
Commenting on joining Jaza Duka, Joanna Bichsel, Kasha’s Founder and CEO said “Kasha and Mastercard have a shared commitment to empowering women to reach their full potential. Through Jaza Duka we are providing female entrepreneurs in emerging markets with the tools they need to grow their businesses and support their livelihoods, while also enabling people in lower-income communities to gain access to quality affordable health products and household goods. Kasha’s digital platform unlocks access to products, information, and services; and now with our partnership with Mastercard, we can remove the lack of finance for MSMEs as a blocker as well. We are thrilled to be partnering with a purpose driven corporation such as Mastercard.”
Luck Ochieng, Managing Director, Unilever Kenya said, “Jaza Duka continues to go from strength to strength, having now passed Ksh 1.2 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 average monthly sales uplift of up to 20% for members. The Program continues to build on the strength of our relationships with our distribution network, freeing the retailers from the constraints of cash-based business and expanding their economic resilience.”