Overview of financial instruments for the agribusinesses in Kenya

The Kenyan agriculture market is dynamic with many agribusiness opportunities. Most entrepreneurs, however, still face challenges such as limited access to business advice, talent, markets, and capital. These constraints are even higher for those who are young, female, or live outside of the metropolitan regions. One of the key challenges we have heard many times from companies, is access to finance.

There are many different financing options out there. To assist agribusinesses in finding financial instruments that suit their needs, we have created this page.  

Further information and useful links

This page aims at helping agribusinesses to navigate the variety of financing options. These include diverse mechanisms such as grants, seed funds, angel investment, impact oriented venture capital, debt, etc. The page outlines several specific Dutch financial mechanisms as well as EU and other financial instruments.

For tips about investor expectations as well as investor types, as well as practical support to entrepreneurs in asking the right questions when approaching an investor, we recommend the Entrepreneurs’ Guides to Investment by Make-IT.

Beeld: ©FMO / FMO

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has different subsidies and programs available throughout the year. On the website, you can get a customized overview of the schemes available by filling in the search criteria such as country.  When new calls open for application, we will share them on our twitter @NLinKenya and in our newsletter (register by email).

EU Factsheet on available funding opportunities

The EU delegation in Kenya has published a factsheet [May 2020] on available funding opportunities to leverage investments by the private sector in Kenya. You can find the factsheet here.

Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF)

DGGF is set up by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help Dutch entrepreneurs realize their international ambitions in emerging markets and developing countries (DGGF countries). The fund supports investment, import, and export and investment funds. Use their subsidy tool to find out in just 3 minutes whether you are eligible for DGGF.

FMO (Dutch Development Bank)

FMO invests across the agriculture value chain - enhancing food security, supporting sustainability and promoting inclusive development. FMO offers various forms of financing, including long-term loans, equity, mezzanine and working capital finance. For more information and the contact of the Kenya office go here.

Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund

The Sustainable Trade Fund offers trade finance and capital expenditure loans to agricultural exporters in Africa, Latin America or Asia that are dedicated to organic production and/or fair trade principles. Typical and preferred investment size is in the range from EUR 1-5 mln - Link.

Hivos-Triodos Fund

The fund offers financial inclusion and direct investments in SMEs as well as indirect investments through financial intermediaries. It focuses on SMEs in sustainable food and agriculture and (off-grid) renewable energy solutions for low-income households. From 2016-2020, HTF invested 70 percent of its funds in SMEs and 30 percent in MFIs and financial inclusion. In addition, the fund provides equity and (subordinated) debt to these enterprises with a long-term horizon and a range from EUR 250,000 to EUR 3 million – Link.

DOB equity

DOB equity is a private equity Dutch family office. DOB Equity invests in businesses that positively contribute to a more social and sustainable society and deliver long-term profitability. They work with entrepreneurs to mitigate potential risks related to environmental, social and governance matters, whilst creating value and social impact for the company and its communities - Link


Grofin is a fund manager and provides Kenyan Small and Medium enterprises with finance/business loans. They combine medium term loan capital with value-added business support (5 years span). Repayments are structured according to the cash flows of the enterprises. Grofin focusses on enterprises that do not qualify for a loan and are thus being seen by banks as too risky – one can think about businesses that lack a solid track record or audit systems. They deploy risk capital to serve this sector - Link.

Novastar Ventures

Novastar is a venture capital fund. Backed by existing investors from its first fund. Novastar backs early and growth stage businesses led by entrepreneurs with the capability and ambition to transform markets and sectors. The enterprises need to address proven demand for basic goods and services with innovative business models that widen access, improve quality, and lower cost for the mass market in emerging economies. The fund can invest between $100,000 – 6 mln and can provide additional multiple, capital rounds - Link.

Beeld: ©Make-IT / Make-IT

Make-IT Entrepreneurs’ Guides to Investment

In cooperation with various financing partners, Make-IT publishes guides to investment in amongst others Kenya that explain funding instruments, investor types and the different stages of raising capital. In addition, they give a brief overview of the specific investment scene. Each guide also contains a detailed investor directory giving detailed information on more than 60 investors and financing partners – Link.

Report scaling access to finance for early-stage Enterprises in Emerging Markets

Many SMEs in developing countries have difficulty securing the financial backing they need to grow – and are often referred as the ‘missing middle’: they have outgrown microfinance but do not yet have access to regular financial services. While challenges are abundant for all missing middle segments, early-stage enterprises face even bigger hurdles, and the lack of financing is a major constraint to their growth. To explore how the scalability and viability of early-stage finance provision can be improved to support to early-stage enterprises. The Dutch Good Growth Fund published the report: “Scaling access to finance for early-stage Enterprises in Emerging Markets: Lessons from the Field” (2019) – Link.

Important note

As can be seen from the above there is a wide variety of financial options. Moreover, these financial instruments are continuously evolving. We try to update this page regularly to make sure that it is up to date. However, if you have any suggestions for new instruments or documents that you feel should be included, please feel free to share them with us directly by emailing to nai-lnv@minbuza.nl.

Questions for the agriculture department can be addressed directly to nai-lnv@minbuza.nl. Questions on general trade can be direct to nai-ea@minbuza.nl. For the latest updates, follow us on twitter on @NLAgiKenya and the Netherlands Embassy on @NLinKenya and Facebook.