Student Finance Africa launches in Kenya with FSD support

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Alternative-lending startup Student Finance Africa (SFA) has launched in Kenya with the financial support of FSD Kenya, providing educational loans to Moringa School and other technical programmes in Nairobi.

Disrupt Africa first reported on SFA, which is the first private student loan company in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa and leverages the power of alternative data analytics to make student loans more affordable and financially inclusive, last year.

Launched in July 2015 by chief executive officer (CEO) Jennifer White, the startup provides tuition loans for higher education to qualified students and their parents or guardians, who act as co-borrowers. It employs alternative data analytics and partners directly with higher learning institutions to offer more affordable loans.

FSD Kenya, which supports and invests in innovative financial services, has provided an undisclosed amount of funding to help SFA test its model, with the startup having a secured a partnership with software developer accelerator Moringa School to support several students and their parents with loans.

“I am thrilled to be supported by one of Africa’s thought leaders in creating value for the poor through financial inclusion. Together, we can begin to solve one of the region’s most pressing challenges,” White said of the FSD backing. Over the next five years, SFA plans to reach 50,000 young people across the continent.

“FSD Kenya decided to make a returnable grant to SFA to demonstrate both the viability of new student financing models and the potential value that can be created for students, especially low-income youth, by unlocking better employment opportunities,” said Tamara Cook, FSD Kenya’s head of digital innovations.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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