Evaluation: Transformation Business Network’s (TBN) catalytic support to small and growing businesses in Kenya

TBN and Argidius entered into a three-year partnership in 2016. The aim of the partnership is to support TBN to build on its experience and scale its services to formalising or dynamic SGBs, through mentorships, expert placements, technical assistance, development of an angel investment ecosystem, lowering the barriers to entry and engaging impact funds, and providing businesses and impact investors with the tools and best practices needed.

As at the end of 2019, 119 enterprises had been supported, where the median baseline revenue is €80k. These enterprises have generated >€4M in incremental revenue and created >270 full time jobs, with a median cost per enterprise of €13k. An evaluation was commissioned in 2017 to assess the results so far of TBN’s Scale for Success Program as well as targeted investment raising support and conducted between 2017 and 2019.

Key Findings:

  • TBN have contributed to changes in management practices, HR, and organisational structure. However there is more limited evidence at this stage of the effect on revenues. Most enterprises interviewed expected to see growth related changes over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • The coaching and the experiential classroom-based cohort training were components rated highest in terms of entrepreneur satisfaction. The personalised nature of the coaching sessions enabled entrepreneurs to discuss specific challenges pertinent to their individual businesses.
  • The mentorship and alumni network components are yet to be effectively rolled out, and outreach and recruitment efforts struggled to attract sufficient applicants.
  • There is a mismatch between the investment readiness/ facilitation/ investor network, and the actual financial needs of the enterprises. Most investors in the network are looking for ticket sizes between $500k-$2.5M in the form of equity, whereas participating enterprises more commonly required between $110k-$200k in the form mainly of (concessionary) debt, revenue-based, or mezzanine finance.

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