Penny Maina

With a loan of EUR 100,000 Umati can provide working captial loans to 400 e-commerce vendors in Kenya.

  • Local partner investment
  • 20 new jobs
  • 400 people reached



6 months



Annual interest



6 months

Repayment period
Fully funded in 5 hours on 24 May 2018.
+ 171 other investors

NB: high risk product. Local partner Umati is now focussing more on providing working capital loans to online sales companies in Kenya. Typical customers look to Umati to provide customised and collateral-free working capital using historical transaction data and a lien on their cashflows. Default risk and currency exchange risk still covered.

Penny is a sole business owner who has been able to use e-commerce to break into the construction business which is a typically male-dominated industry, by operating efficiently, making data-driven decisions in her supply chain and in marketing. Penny is making opportunity where there was none.

Penny like many of our clients uses online sales channels as a supplementary income to her already established brick and mortar stores. She cites the ease of use and the opportunity to raise revenue without going through the hassle of setting up physical stores as the primary motivator to selling online.

95% of the registered vendors are small businesses operating as sole proprietorships and registered small businesses. 

Products sold on the platform are legally tradable goods sold in Kenya with the most popular categories being Mobile Phones and Accessories, Apparel and Home-Living (fixed) goods.

The purpose of this loan is to provide short-term working capital loans valued at USD 300 to 400 vendors on this e-commerce platform.

From the data, the loans will specifically be filling a 3-4 week working capital gap that on average is experienced by the borrowers. From another perspective, the average borrower's order size is valued at USD 30 and so the USD 300 loan, represents an opportunity to fund growth in 10 new orders per month.

Despite being properly legally registered businesses and operating in an accountable way as transactions occur online, this loan is the only line of credit small-scale businesses operating online have at the moment in Kenya. Typically, the borrowers take personal micro-loans that have no analysis on the online business

Company nameUmati
CEOPenny Maina
SectorWholesale / Retail

Impact of this project

  • With this investment 20 jobs are created
  • With this investment 400 people are reached

About the investment

TypeLocal partner investment
Funding target€100,000
Annual interest8.50%
Maturity6 months
Repayment periodSemiannually
Terms and conditionsShow
Note termsDownload
Information document issuerDownload

About the risks

What are the risks of investing money?

The risk level depends on the specific project. Local partners cover the risk of currency exchange rates and defaults on Local Partner investments. They do this by maintaining financial reserves for this purpose. Aside from that, there is an option to claim their equity if needed. While these measures are intended to minimize the risk to investors, our local partners face risks of their own that could affect their ability to secure your investment. These include - bankruptcy - currency exchange rates - fraud - operational risks - political and regulatory changes - natural disasters or epidemics.

With direct investments, risks of default are not covered. As the risks are higher, so are the interest rates.

There is also some operational risk at Lendahand. An example might be that Lendahand is unable to find shareholders to finance their activities. In such a case, Lendahand will handle outstanding investments at the best of its ability. At the same time, our ability to legally address non-payment from local partners becomes understandably difficult.

How does Lendahand minimize the risks?

Every local partner must share our social mission to ensure local entrepreneurs can access affordable financing, allowing them to grow their business. Local partners must also have a 'track record'; they must have proven themselves as a reliable credit provider for SMEs.

For instance, this means a solid credit portfolio and enough buffers and equity to compensate for unexpected downturns. We also check the organizational structure of the portfolio company and how robust their (internal) procedures are. Finally, the investments must be in proportion to the total balance of that portfolio company. A healthy balance between effectuating influence and being independent is crucial. If you would like to receive more information on the financial indicators we employ, please contact us via

When currency exchange risks become too high for a local partner, Lendahand will urge the local partner to cover these risks. In some scenarios, the local partner is contractually obliged to comply with these demands.

Lendahand always conducts due diligence when companies request funding. The results can be downloaded on the project detail page. However, this analysis is not investing advice.

Does Lendahand provide a guarantee?

Usually we don't. Local partners take care of the repayment, even if (some) entrepreneurs are unable to do so themselves. If the local partner is for some reason unable to repay then there is a chance of partial or full loss of your money. For this reason, Lendahand only selects financially solid partners based on strict criteria.

For most direct investments, there is no guarantee. However, currency risks are covered.

Sometimes, and only for some direct investments in Africa, our partner Sida, part of the Swedish government, will guarantee a maximum of 50%. Read here more about guarantees with Sida. Projects with Sida guarantees are indicated explicitly on the project page.

Does Lendahand have a license or exemption?

Yes. The Dutch Authority Financial Markets (AFM) has provided Hands-on B.V. (with trade name 'Lendahand') in September 2016 with an investment firm license in accordance with article 2:96 of the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wft). Placing orders on Lendahand's website is therefore an AFM regulated activity. Lendahand also meets its minimum capital requirements following its license as required by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

Lendahand uses an exemption from an approved prospectus that is available up to EUR 5 Million per year. 

How safe are my personal details?

We adhere to strict safety requirements concerning private and payment details. All sensitive data is sent through an encrypted connection (https). Also, information is stored (encrypted) in a secured facility provided by AWS: the world’s largest hosting service. A secured connection and multi-factor authentication can only retrieve customer documents.

What happens if the local currency devaluates?

Our local partners and companies bear the exchange rate risks. We settle the investments, redemptions, and interest payments in euro.

Does Lendahand use a third foundation fund?

Lendahand works with Intersolve EGI: a Dutch financial institution specializing in payment settlement and electronic money. To be able to offer these financial services, Intersolve EGI must comply with the applicable financial legislation. Intersolve EGI is therefore supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and owns a license to act as an Electronic Money Institution (and therefore also has a license as a Payment Institution). Your money will be deposited on a protected and secure bank account until the project you have invested in has been fully funded. Intersolve has no access to these funds. Once the project is fully funded, the money is transferred to the local partner or company in question.

What happens with my money if Lendahand goes bankrupt?

If Hands-On BV (containing the brand name Lendahand) went bankrupt, trades between Lendahand and payment service provider Intersolve EGI would cease immediately. Intersolve will then transfer the funds in your wallet to your bank account (Note: if at this time the project you have invested in has been fully funded and the money has thus been transferred to the local partner, these funds will not be transferred back to your bank account). Intersolve will then, in consultation with a trustee, handle all repayments between the investors and entrepreneurs until the final repayment of the last project has taken place.

Additionally, Lendahand is part of the investor compensation scheme (ICS). This scheme aims to compensate individuals and small businesses with trusted money and or financial instruments (such as notes or options) to a licensed bank, an investment firm, or a financial institution. In case the financial firm is unable to meet its obligations arising from claims related to the investment service (in other words, if Hands-On BV is not keeping track of the acquired notes by investors in the Wge depot correctly). The ICS guarantees an amount of up to €20.000 per individual. For more information, go to

Why is Intersolve EGI handling my money?

As part of the AFM license for investment firms, it is required that operational activities carried out by Lendahand (maintaining the website, contracting of local partners, legal issues, etc.) are strictly separated from financial transactions (payments made through the website). Intersolve takes care of the costs. This collaboration offers you more security since your money is placed on a protected bank account immediately after making your payment.

What happens when a local partner goes bankrupt?

When a local partner goes bankrupt, there’s a chance you’ll lose (part of) your money. Lendahand will try to recover outstanding payments, but the success rate is limited in such situations. For you, as an investor, there’s no possibility of taking action against the financial institution. Therefore, it is recommendable to choose several different projects.

About Umati

Portfolio Overview€329,495
Leverage ratio41.28%
Write-off ratio last 12 months14.99%
% investment amount in arrears (>90 days)7.18%

We have already contributed for Penny Maina

Menne Glas
Bastiaan Kommers
Jaap Boersema
Roderik Emmerink
Percy Tienhooven
+ and another