The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & industry and the E4Impact foundation have announced that they will fund, incubate and mentor 20 local businesses with the aim of boosting entrepreneurship in Kenya.

Already the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation has 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.

“The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry being the largest business membership organization in the country is delighted to be part of this programme that will lead to a positive impact on local businesses as well as open opportunities for partnerships with Italian businesses with similar interest. The chamber has been on the front line in facilitating business linkages between local and international investors and hopes that the lucky 20 businesses will make a meaningful impact in their sectors of operation,” said Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO, Angela Ndambuki.

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.

E4Impact has also expressed its desire to bring onboard the private sector to boost the funding to €800,000.

Post revenue startups or scale ups in the formal and informal sectors registered or to be registered in Kenya can apply if they meet the requirements which include: 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. Interested businesses have until 30th March 2018 to apply.