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funding gap emerging markets

Tugende 10

  • Tugende
  • Invest in a business
  • + 673 other investors
  • With EUR 300,000 Tugende can provide up to 300 new clients with a lease-to-own package (including insurance, safety gear, permit). Instead of a loan, clients receive the product directly: a boda boda (motortaxi), agricultural equipment or assets for their retail shop.

    24 months
    6 months
    Maturity24 months
    Repayments6 months
      Fully funded in 9 days on 22 June 2022.

      The project

      Loan (not notes)

      In this case, you will not acquire notes in an issuing entity, but you will provide a loan. While loans and notes both constitute financial instruments there are a few legal differences between the two instruments namely:

      • Loans are signed both parties (ie the Borrower and the Lender/Investor);
      • The contractual terms of a loan are more comprehensive than that of a note;
      • Loans impose obligations on Lenders/Investors and
      • Loans cannot be traded amongst Lenders/Investors.


      We recently visited Tugende in Uganda. Read more about our visit and their activities here.



      Tugende is a for-profit social enterprise formally established in 2010 in Uganda. They use asset finance, technology, and a customer-centric model to help informal sector entrepreneurs dramatically increase their economic trajectory.

      Tugende is tackling the credit gap for small business in Africa by enabling informal entrepreneurs to: 

      1) own income generating assets

      2) build a verifiable digital credit profile with Tugende based on real world earnings, and

      3) earn future growth opportunities through the Tugende digital platform including discounts, smartphones, e-commerce opportunities, and on-demand credit lines.

      Starting with motorcycle taxis in Uganda and Kenya, Tugende has served over 52,000 clients on their path to ownership and increased earnings while maintaining industry leading portfolio quality. In addition to continuing to grow its core products, Tugende is growing into new geographies and asset product lines including boat engines for fishermen and fridges for retail shops.


      Use of Proceeds / Loan purpose

      With EUR 300,000 new partner Tugende can provide up to 300 new clients with a so called lease-to-own package (including life and medical insurance, high quality safety gear, government permits). Instead of a loan, clients receive the product directly: a boda boda, agricultural equipment or assets for retail shops. Each EUR 1,000 helps put a self-employed entrepreneur on the path to job stability, higher take home income, and a verifiable credit history they can use to keep growing.

      Tugende’s standard asset finance term is 24 months. Customers pay about 10% as an initial installment and then make payments daily to weekly through 100% digital channels. Tugende’s hands on branch teams and digitally enhanced support ensure clients progress and assist with bumps in the road. Further support is provided by the included medical, asset and life insurance as well as safety equipment. Each client also has 2 guarantors who are a strong part of the Tugende ecosystem, helping ensure timely success. With increased job stability, higher income and the value of a fully owned asset, successful Tugende clients grow their businesses further and create an average of 2.5 new jobs in their community.



      Tugende’s mission is to help people help themselves. The company began by helping motorcycle taxi “boda boda” drivers in Uganda own their own motorcycle instead of renting indefinitely from an informal landlord. Ownership increases job stability and raises daily take home income for the average driver from $5/day to $10/day. 


      Highlights or Awards

      ●        2012      Unreasonable Fellow

      ●        2014      Echoing Green Global Fellow

      ●        2015      MIT Zambezi Prize for top 3 Inclusive Finance Companies in Africa

      ●        2016      GSBI Fellow

      ●        Numerous media - Guardian, BBC, Economist, Reuters, How We Made it in Africa,

      ●        USD 19M+ assets transferred to new owners


      Company nameTugende
      CEOMichael Wilkerson
      SectorWholesale / Retail


      In their journey towards economic growth, small entrepreneurs in emerging markets tend to get stuck in a vicious circle tied to the lack of financing. Owning an income-generating product for their economic activity can be hard to achieve, as bank loans are often not an option due to the need for collateral and formal business records. As a result, entrepreneurs rent from landlords and spend a large portion of their daily income on keeping their economic activities running.

      Tugende's lease-to-own model offers a simple solution for motorcycle taxi drivers and entrepreneurs in other sectors in Uganda. Their lease package allows entrepreneurs to own an income-generating asset in 24 months or less.

      Tugende's main products are small motorcycles for taxi drivers, better known as boda-bodas. Besides the lease, they help clients get a driver's license, provide them with life and medical insurance, require them to participate in a first-aid course, and require them to wear a helmet. The boda-boda transport industry gained fame in recent years and has become the second-largest employer of youths all over Uganda, after only agriculture. Gasoline vehicles such as these boda-boda motorcycles are still the only means of transportation in Uganda.

      The company's model incentivizes repayment as the ownership of the asset ultimately transfers to the entrepreneur. To start, Tugende requires clients to deposit 10% of the total amount of their lease. Lease-to-own allows motor-taxi drivers to double their daily income and ultimately improve their economic circumstances.

      They also offer other income-generating products to the entrepreneurs they serve. For example, boat engines for fishermen, fridges for small shop owners, and water tanks. They have now served over 30,000 clients and keep innovating to help more people take control of their future.

      Key impact metrics to date:

      ●        20,000+ Leases completed/Owners enabled

      ●        26,000+ Active clients

      ●        245,000+ Lives improved

      According to client surveys, Tugende’s successful clients create an average of 2.5 new jobs per asset owned and the average household size is 5 people. This means the overall household beneficiaries of Tugende’s financing and support are now above 250,000 people.

      Tugende has been recognized for its social impact by numerous awards and leading impact investors including Partech, Mobility 54, Global Partnerships, Blue Earth Capital, Yunus Social Business, Oikocredit, Symbioitics, Echoing Green and more.  


      SDGs impacted

      With this project you are contributing to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

      SDG 1 - No Poverty

      SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth

      Read more about the impact you can make through our platform and the SDGs on our impact page.


      Related blog posts

      • Read the introduction of Tugende as a new investment opportunity here.
      • Learn more about transportation in Uganda here.
      • Learn what it means to work in the informal sector here.
      • With this investment 25 jobs are created
      • With this investment 1500 lives are improved

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      We have already contributed to Tugende 10

      Carola Bieniek
      Dirk Rentmeester
      Jan de Wit
      Jan Okken
      Piet van der Kooi
      + and another