The Kenya Chamber of Commerce & Industry has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the E4Impact foundation an accelerator that will fund, incubate and mentor 20 local businesses annually with the aim of boosting entrepreneurship in Kenya.
The MoU signed by Kenya Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO Angela Ndambuki and E4Impact director Mario Molteni will allow both organizations partner to spur growth of MSME’s in Kenya, foster North-South collaborations through the creation of favorable links between KNCCI and Italian companies, enhance green technological transfer from Europe to Kenya and engage in joint projects for the mutual benefits of MSMEs.
“Today is a great day for MSMEs in Kenya as some 20 start-ups can now be assured of funding as well as training as a result of our partnership with E4Impact. We realize that the lack of capital and capacity to run businesses remains among the greatest challenges that businesses continue to face especially in emerging economies like Kenya,” said Kenya Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO, Angela Ndambuki.
Launching on May 2nd 2018, the Accelerator will host 20 Kenyan every year, so as to: support their growth, increase their revenues, guide them toward profitability and impact.
KNCCI will also offer the businesses a one-year free membership to non-member startups that are taken into the accelerator programme.
The Italian Agency for Development Co-operation has already disbursed €542,000 which will be channeled through the E4Impact accelerator to enable the 20 local businesses get business support, increase their revenues, receive mentoring towards profitability and impact as well as enable them partner with Italian businesses.
Whereas the programme targets all sectors it will have a preference towards the Italian preferences that are relevant for the new Kenyan “Big Four Agenda” which includes manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security. Therefore, the accelerator will for one-year host Kenyan businesses in the following sectors: agri-food, fashion and design, leather, machinery and equipment, construction and affordable housing, healthcare, green business and renewable energy, innovative ICT services and infrastructures.
Among benefits for the accelerated 20 companies include: one-year office space, a customized training itinerary, international and local coaching and mentorship access to professional services such as legal, accounting, communication among others. The businesses will also have access to seed grants based on milestone attainment, better relationship with potential investors and financial institutions and links to interested Italian companies for partnerships.
Businesses from the formal and informal sectors registered or to be registered in Kenya had a chance to apply by April 13th 2018 if they met the requirements which included: an innovative product or service, have an existing customer base, have a team of co-founders with existing complimentary skills and have a clear social or environmental impact.
The Accelerator builds upon the existing partnership between the E4impact Foundation, Tangaza University College and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) of Milan (Italy), who together have already trained 260 impact entrepreneurs.