Buy Now Pay Later firm Aspira Kenya has announced a strategic partnership with Hotpoint Appliances and Avana Laundromat to finance up to Ksh 3 million to SMEs in the laundromat business.
Launched as part of the Aspira SME Bizna financing programme, the deal will see Hotpoint Appliances provide laundry equipment, Avana providing technical and management support while Aspira will avail credit to help business owners in the acquisition of the machines.
Every laundromat directly and indirectly generates a minimum of 8 jobs, hence the benefit of this sector to the economy. Laundromats are also more power- and water-efficient.
“This facility is important in eliminating barriers faced by SMEs, who are the drivers of the Kenyan economy, and lead to more jobs, wealth creation and financial inclusion. Equally critical is not ending the support at financing, but walking the journey of transformation with them through advisory and connecting them to the right business networks that advance their growth,” Aspira COO Irshad Muttur said.
With vast experience in the business, Hotpoint says laundromats have proved a viable and profitable business in Kenya, in a country with a fast-growing middle-class segment that has seen demand rise in recent years.
“Consumers no longer wish to wait in long queues. At times, they may also not be able to come in and physically do their own laundry, hence, the laundromat business has also evolved to offer services that keep pace with customer needs. We will also play a key role in advising these entrepreneurs on consumer trends and market demands with a view of setting up at the best locations to achieve intended sales targets,” Hotpoint Director Ravi Kanani said.
Aspira and Hotpoint have teamed up with Avana Laundromats. Avana is also offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to operate via their franchise, in a bid to empower SMEs in the space with the right business plans that optimize their efficiency and revenues by tapping into an established network.
“For entrepreneurs wondering how to start a laundromat business, the first step is to have a business plan in place by understanding the demands of your market, which will help mitigate diverse challenges and financial planning is very important in this respect. The laundry business is one of the most stable industries out there. People will always need to clean their clothes, and a laundromat provides an affordable and convenient way to do so,” Avana Managing Director Natasha Njee said.
Together, Aspira, Hotpoint and Avana are demonstrating that the key to SME development lies in creating ecosystems that enable all needs to be met in a sustainable way, with a long-term approach.