Startup-SME Linkage Program

UK Tech hub small
uk-kenya tech hub

Startup-SME Linkage Program

Providing tech startups direct linkages to SMEs

corporate innovation service

About The Program

Metta in partnership with the UK-Kenya Tech Hub presents the Startup-SME linkage program aimed at providing tech startups direct linkages to SMEs which fall under their target customers for a chance to secure a commercial deal.

The program will require selected startups to present/demo their solutions to
SMEs in a digital live marketplace for a partnership or commercialization deal.


Who Should Apply?


We are looking for post-revenue startups with practical solutions that can help SMEs solve their existing problems. Startups plying their trade in HR, agriculture, health, logistics, clean energy, e-commerce, digital marketing, customer experience both in a B2B and/or B2C vertical are highly encouraged to apply.


We are looking for SMEs that are open for a commercial and/or partnership deal with innovative post-revenue tech startups operating in verticals such as HR, customer experience, digital marketing, agriculture, health, logistics, clean energy, e-commerce among others.

Sample challenges could include: disrupted sales, logistics inefficiencies, poor website engagement and e-commerce conversion rate…etc

Sample opportunities could include: blockchain deployment, a more efficient HR digital system, better KYC, website development & e-commerce setup, digital therapy services for the team to better cope with the pandemic…etc


What qualifies as a Startup and SME?

In this program, we define a startup and SMEs through the following lens:

An SME is a self-sustaining company with a monthly turnover of over Ksh. 500,000, and has existed for over 5 years. The SME could operate in tech or non-tech front but generally has more stability through a proven business model and well-known products to known customers in known local markets.

A startup, on the other hand, would have existed less than 5 years, and characterized by a “move fast, break things” culture and predominantly operate in the tech front with the sole goal of innovating above market standards.


Program timelines

Application Window – 14th September to 11th October.

Selection and Announcements – 12th October to16th October.

Market Place Sessions – 19th October to 23rd October.

Debrief Sessions – 25th October to 30th October


As a participant, what is required?

Generally, all participants are required to:

  • Open to a partnership or commercial deal where feasible.
  • Dedicate at least 3-4 hours between 12th October to 16th October to discuss partnership or commercial opportunities during the virtual Market Place Sessions.
  • Dedicate at least 1 hour between 19th October to 30th October for virtual Debriefing Sessions.
  • Open for further engagement post-programme to track the progress of the commercial/partnership deals.

For a startup, you must have a deck (less than 10 slides) showcasing your products/services, and be willing to customize the value proposition to your prospective matched SME(s) where applicable.

SME representatives must be willing to submit some of their pain points and or new horizon opportunities that they are interested in beforehand to allow for suitable matchmaking. The SME must also avail some of its key decision-makers in the Market Place Sessions to assess synergies, commercial or partnership opportunities, and sign off on deals.

aim of program

Our Goal

What we want to achieve:

Create a platform for the participating companies to discuss partnership and commercial deal opportunities

Help the participating companies to come up with a commercial or partnership deal tracked over a period of 6 to 12 months.

Spark a collaborative culture between SMEs and Startups that yield innovative, and valuable solutions, which also promotes cooperation and the collective movement towards a better future by creating better goods and services.


How does success look like?

We will try to connect the participating startups with as many relevant SMEs that fit under their prospective clients’ catalog and vice versa. We will also provide an enabling environment (guidance and resources) where possible to facilitate more partnership or commercial deals. Our hope is that every participant within the program will be able to at least secure 1 deal through this virtual pop up market place.