Lord David Currie, former chairman of the UK Competition and Markets Authority and current chair of the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, has been appointed as Non-Executive Director for 4G Capital, an MSME-focused lender in East Africa, with effect from 31 March.
At 4G Capital, Lord Currie is expected to help increase its footprint across Africa and development of further financial products and services that support inclusion and help catalyse enterprise growth in Africa.
According to 4G Capital Chairman, Wayne Hennessy-Barrett in a statement, “We are immensely privileged to have Lord Currie on our team as we move to our next phase of development. It is now vital for us to expand into more areas of need where we can help micro-enterprises transition from an informal to a formal footing. We are clear on the need to work with partners in government, central banks and other service providers to deliver the right working capital solutions across Africa.”
Launched in 2013, 4G Capital has supported the sustainable growth of micro-enterprises in Africa by providing financial literacy training blended with working capital credit.
The MSME finance gap in Africa critically stands at $331bn even though MSMEs across Africa contribute to over 50% of combined GDP and more than 80% of employment. 4G Capital is addressing this by expanding its product portfolio as well as geographically.
In 2018, 4G Capital expanded to Uganda and Ghana and now has 72 branches across Kenya and Uganda. In Kenya over $21m was disbursed over the course of the year. By using its proprietorial artificial intelligence and mobile money technology, 4G Capital delivers loans, primarily for rapid-cycling retailers. 4G Capital is estimated to continue its 100% year on year growth record in 2019 while moving into other financial services for its target markets.
Last year, 4G Capital, launched its NxtGen, a new credit solution developed specifically for the banking industry that will help provide working capital credit to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Africa with Ghana’s The Seed Funds (TSF), being the company’s first banking customer to use NxtGen.
NxtGen is based on 4G Capital’s Kuza product, which has been successful in Kenya since its launch in 2017. To date, Kuza has provided more than US$ 500,000 in credit to 1,400 businesses.
On his appointment, Lord Currie said, “I am delighted to join this remarkable company which is poised to build on very solid foundations to do great things. Poverty alleviation is a global issue, and one best addressed by empowering small businesses to provide opportunities for the communities they serve.”