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

Mettā under Nest Group Africa Limited was commissioned by the UK-Kenya Tech Hub in Nairobi to deliver the Startup-SME Linkage Pilot Program. The program aimed to provide startups direct linkages to SMEs which fall under their target customers for a chance to secure a commercial or partnership deal.

The direct linkages took place in the format of a “marketplace” where the parties would discuss a potential deal that would help an SME solve an existing problem or unlock new opportunities within their business model. The goal was to discuss commercialization or partnership deals then subsequently formalize
the deal.

overview of

The Program

Startups & SMEs

We received over 100 applications from organizations wishing to take part in the program (Over 90 startups, and more than 20 SMEs) and 30 were selected to participate in the pilot program. Mettā connected the participating startups with as many relevant SMEs that fit under their prospective clients’ catalog and vice versa. We also provided an enabling environment (guidance and resources) where possible to facilitate more partnership or commercial deals.


The virtual marketplace offered a platform through which the participating companies could meet with their respective pairs. In the first meeting, the goal was to allow the paired parties to familiarize themselves and explore potential synergies. Each party was then required to make a decision on whether they would like to further explore details of collaboration or commercialization.

From the market place session, we got 7 deals and 4 pending deals.



This was an opportunity for startups to meet other business men and women who could make use of their solutions to each other’s benefit. It is our view that more of these kinds of marketplaces are needed because unlike fundraising where they get access to capital, this is an opportunity to implement their solutions in the real world and at scale.

We hope to run similar programs in the future, so be on the lookout for the next one.