Salaam Somali Bank has earmarked US$4 million for Somali entrepreneurs to be allocated over two years from next year as it bids to kickstart economic growth.
Salaam Somali Bank is the first privately-owned bank in Somalia, launched in 2009, and has more than 20 branches across the country.
The Salaam Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF) aims to cultivate young Somali business people and support existing MSMEs in the wake of COVID-19 through specialist, zero-interest micro-loans, with over US$1 million having already been loaned.
“Somalis are some of the most inventive, entrepreneurial individuals in the world. With proper access to capital, and the financial ecosystem to support them, there’s really no limit to the country’s potential,” Said Moalim of Salaam Somali Bank told the Mogadishu Tech Summit.
“Young people make up 70 per cent of Somalia’s population. They are the lifeblood of our economy and have been steadily rebuilding it from the ground up. Somalia’s future is brightened by these tech-savvy problem solvers.”
Three types of investment products are available – free microfinancing (up to US$3,000), startup financing (up to US$50,000), and SME investment (above US$50,000) – with the bank focused on sectors such as technology, renewable energy and farming.