SOMO is the root of a Swahili word meaning "lesson". We are called SOMO because we all have lessons to learn from each other. Visionary entrepreneurs exist in informal settlements around the world.
SOMO identifies, trains, funds, and mentors entrepreneurs looking to drive social change by building enterprises in their own low-income urban communities. We invest in social entrepreneurs and provide the training and tools to help them build enterprises that change their communities from within. By investing in the right people, we help break the cycle of poverty and help bring long-term stability to urban slum areas.
What We Do
Our Entrepreneurship Bootcamp teaches business skills, storytelling, and financial literacy. The training is tailored to the needs of each entrepreneur and driven by the market research they conduct with our assistance. Training starts with problem solving and ideation, and is supported by market research and business planning. This is followed by financial modeling, digital literacy and capitalizing a business training.
Grow your Markets
Entrepreneurs are able to sell their products through SOMO. We have both a physical store and online retail presence. Featuring the wares of our talented entrepreneurs, the shop gives them access to a larger customer base and an opportunity to expand their businesses.
As part of our Acceleration program entrepreneurs receive 1:1 coaching from both the SOMO team and our volunteer advisors. SOMO's advisors provide mentorship and help grow Somo businesses. Entrepreneurs have access to monthly startup series events where Somo advisors teach lessons on areas of expertise. Somo advisors provide 1:1 support to businesses either through office hours or by working directly with one enterprise.
As part of our Acceleration program, SOMO provides non- repayable financing to entrepreneurs for initial capital expenditures to get their ventures started. Later stage funding is provided as debt capital. Continued funding is contingent on success metrics developed by the entrepreneurs and SOMO team