Tugende is a Ugandan asset finance company that bridges the credit gap for entrepreneurs and small businesses by empowering informal entrepreneurs to own income-generating assets, build a verifiable digital credit profile, and access future growth opportunities through their digital platform. This platform includes discounts, smartphones, e-commerce opportunities, and on-demand credit lines. Starting with motorcycle taxis in Uganda and Kenya, Tugende has financed over 52,000 clients with industry-leading portfolio quality. Tugende is growing into new geographies and asset product lines including boat engines for fishermen and refrigerators for retail shops.

Investment Thesis

Tugende is a profitable company with an overall portfolio of USD 30,000,000 and an average annual portfolio growth of 116% and less than 1% write-offs (2018 to 2020). With their proven model and large pool of existing clients, guarantors, and alumni clients, Tugende looks to expand their portfolio to USD 60,000,000 by introducing a new line of products focused on the agricultural sector and expanding their reach, including into additional refugee hosting communities in northern Uganda.

Refugee Impact

Access to capital, market access, and operational efficiencies are key challenges for businesses in refugee hosting communities as they expand. In our recent research, many refugees pointed to a lack of capital as a barrier to starting their own business. As more refugees get access to mobile money in Uganda, many now have a digital and financial history that can be used to determine their creditworthiness. Tugende uses this history as a way for entrepreneurs to overcome financing barriers such as collateral and credit history and access asset financing directly.

As credit and equipment become more readily available, refugees, host communities, and related economies will be able to obtain affordable asset financing for income-generating equipment such as tractors, agri-inputs, and so on. Tugende has the potential to serve more female clients by extending bottom-up financial inclusion to the agricultural sector.


Tugende is managed by a world class team, each member possesses over ten years of experience in both management and their respective fields of practice.

  • Michael Wilkerson – Founder & CEO.
  • Marisa Fee – COO, Operations, and management expert.
  • Shaun Wilson – Founder, experienced CTO and engineer
  • Paul Chaggar – CCO, experienced commercial expert
  • Daniel Ekpe – Head of Corporate and Strategic Finance
  • Solomon Zacharia – Chief of Staff, experienced liquidity, and collateral manager.
  • Moses Kargbo – Financial Controller, CPA, accounting, and financial management expert.

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