Sea Ventures, a Kenyan startup based in Bamburi, Mombasa County, is making waves in the blue economy with its innovative approach to addressing post-harvest losses in the fish industry.
Founded by a 27-year-old Marine Biologist, Faith Mwende, the firm focuses on reutilizing discarded fish waste to produce high-quality organic animal feeds and fertilizers under the brand name Zuri Feeds.
Tapping Into Unexplored Resources
Sea Ventures collaborates closely with the fisher folk community, including fishermen, Beach Management Units (BMUs), fish processing companies, fish vendors, and local entrepreneurs known as ‘mama Karangas.’
The startup collects fish waste from these sources, diverting it from the untargeted waste stream in the blue economy and the fish value chain.
Ms Mwende, the Founder, emphasizes the significance of their mission, stating, “Did you know that 60-70% of a fish goes into waste, and only 30-40% is utilized during fish processing or consumption? We aim to address this issue by reutilizing fish waste to produce valuable animal feeds and fertilizers.”
From Concept to Reality
The idea for Sea Ventures took shape in 2022, with the company officially established in January 2023.
Starting without products, the venture has since generated prototypes and is currently in the final stages of refining and formulating its products to meet the standards required by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
Social Impact and Community Engagement
Sea Ventures is not just a business; it’s a venture committed to creating positive social change.
With five permanent employees and five casual workers involved in production and processing, the startup also engages 20 women who play a crucial role in collecting fish waste and other raw materials.
The techpreneur highlights the company’s community social responsibility initiatives, saying, “We provide training in chicken farming and fish farming to ensure that farmers have the knowledge to farm effectively. This addresses a common challenge we face during feed deliveries, where many farmers lack the necessary skills for successful farming.”
Awards, Funding, and Partnerships
The startup has achieved significant milestones since its inception, winning awards from organizations such as the German development agency alias GIZ, Women Social Entrepreneurship Institute (WSEI)-French scooping Sh150, 000, Kenya Red Cross, and recognition from Blue Economy summit.
The project was initially funded from personal savings, attracting additional funding from various organizations for purchasing production machinery.
The startup has also forged partnerships with organizations like Sote Hub, WSEI-French, Kenya Red Cross, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) and WWF-World Wide Fund.
These partnerships have played a crucial role in providing training, market linkage, and support for the project.
Sea Ventures has ambitious plans for the future. The company aims to commercialize its project by maximizing production and expanding its workforce.
With a focus on creating more jobs, especially for the youth and the local community, Sea Ventures envisions collecting waste on a larger scale to further enhance production.
Sea Ventures is not just transforming waste into wealth; it is carving a path for sustainable practices and community development in the heart of Mombasa County.