Startup-SME Linkage Program

Providing tech startups direct linkages to SMEs

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?


  • Startups with practical solutions looking to secure commercial deals with
  • SMEs and operating in the industries below:
    • Agri-Tech
    • Fin-Tech
    • Health-Tech
    • Logi-Tech
    • Clean-Tech:

Only post-revenue startups will be considered (Those that have demonstrated sales traction in their products and services).


We are encouraging SMEs that are:

Currently experiencing a challenge or looking for a business opportunity that can be solved through a partnership or commercial deal with a startup.

Top challenges for SMEs: Cash Flow, Disrupted Sales, Loan Defaults, Revenue Losses.

Only post-revenue startups will be considered (Those that have demonstrated sales traction in their products and services).

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.


Application Window – 14th September to 4th October.

Selection and Announcements – 5th October to 9th October.

Market Place Sessions – 12th October to 16th October.

Debrief Sessions – 19th 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-program 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.


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.


October 4, 2020
Organizer Metta Nairobi
Website Visit website
Targets Kenya
Sectors Agritech, Clean technology, EdTech, Fintech, Healthcare, HealthTech, ICT, Logistics