Kenyan women-led businesses in the blue economy get $10Mn grant

0
  • The Canadian government through Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is offering close to  $10 million in grant funding to support Kenyan women led businesses in the blue economy sector . 
  • The businesses have until the 20th of January to apply for the grant that is aimed at supporting  women’s economic participation in the non-traditional sectors of the blue economy.
  • Counties of focus include Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay and Migori. 

The Canadian government through Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is offering close to  $10 million in grant funding to support Kenyan women led businesses in the blue economy sector. 

Kenyan women-led businesses have until the 20th of January 2023 to apply for the grant that is aimed at  supporting women’s economic participation in the non-traditional sectors of the blue economy.

The sectors targeted include fisheries, waste management, biodiversity protection, agriculture, forestry, as well as renewable energy among others. 

Counties of focus include Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay and Migori. 

Eligible applicants must be legally registered and established in Kenya as a for-profit enterprise with activities aligned to the focus sectors and with direct linkages to small and micro enterprises in the geographical scope as well as be compliant with the fundamental laws and regulations of Kenya, including tax, regulatory, health and safety, and human resource compliance laws.

In the case of social enterprise, the firm must demonstrate the ability to commercialise products and services intended to improve the well-being of the target community. The businesses must be physically established in Kenya at the time of award and investment by AECF.

Enterprises with a minimum of 51% female ownership with a dominant representation of women employees, suppliers of raw materials, and distributors of goods will have a distinct advantage.

The eligible companues should also produce audited accounts for at least two years (these could be from the parent company, if recently established as a branch or subsidiary in Kenya).

The window targets enterprises which have an annual turnover of US$500,000 to US$2.5 million. Promising enterprises that do not meet the minimum turnover threshold will be considered on a case by case basis. 

The Rise of Africa’s Blue Economy: Investments set to grow in 2023

Grant Criteria

Enterprises proposing project ideas to be implemented must demonstrate upstream or downstream supply chain linkages to 11 counties in the Lake Victoria basin and Indian Ocean Regions.

Business models must demonstrate how they deliver and sustain social impact in their target markets and articulate their strategy to include women and young women in the management of the organization, demonstrable benefits to women in terms of increased time available for other activities, improved health, reduced drudgery, and increased household spending power. 

Applicants should also demonstrate a clear end-user financing mechanism or strategy that enables target communities with low and irregular incomes to access improved climate-smart technology, practices, and services. 

Total grant funds requested from AECF should be between US$ 50,000 and US$ 400,000 with the funding released based on performance and milestones. Businesses should apply for funding depending on their development stage and capacity to absorb funding for the proposed project. 

Duration of the funding agreement is four years. Shortlisted applicants and grantee investees will be able to access AECF’s support package which includes market linkages, pre-investment technical assistance on business development services, investment facilitation services among other benefits.

More information and application details can be found here.  

Since launching in 2008 at the World Economic Forum, AECF has built the resilience of rural and marginalised communities by catalysing innovative private sector business models with patient capital and growth support services across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The firm has raised US$ 392 million to date providing catalytic funding to enterprises in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa by investing in businesses that struggle to meet traditional risk-return standards for commercial investors.

In 2021, the firm launched a new strategy with the objective to build resilience and sustainable incomes for rural and marginalised communities in Africa.

A communication expert with over 10 years’ in journalism and public relations. My ability to organize, coordinate and follow through assignments has enabled me to excel in media. I have a passion for business in Africa and of course business in Kenya!

Leave A Reply