Balloon Ventures is a rapidly growing and award winning UK based social enterprise that works with passionate, innovative micro-entrepreneurs with scalable ideas across Uganda and Kenya.
In East Africa, the informal sector is the fastest growing economic area and the major creator of jobs and growth, accounting for nearly 70%+ of total employment. Since 2011 Balloon has worked with over 1,500 entrepreneurs supporting them to grow through technical support and funding. Typically however, due to strict loan terms and high interest rates, micro-entrepreneurs receive little support to grow their businesses from micro operations into SMEs with ten or more employees (this problem is typically referred to as the “missing middle”). The team at Balloon knows that growth is hard but they also see massive potential in small businesses to create jobs and improve lives. Their aim is to unlock the potential of the organisations they support, so they don’t just employ five people, but 500.
In 2018, a new investment arm of Balloon - Balloon Capital was set up with the aim to solve this problem and to invest, support and grow the most exceptional Kenyan & Ugandan micro-entrepreneurs. Balloon Capital has made seven investments to date (with a number of others in the pipeline) typically investing between $5,000 - $20,000 and providing extensive amounts of technical support. They aim to grow these companies significantly, and support a new generation of local entrepreneurs, building the SMEs of tomorrow and changing lives through enterprise, not aid.