Presentation of Start up Grants to Enablis East Africa entrepreneurs in Nairobi County
Enablis sought support for its Chora Bizna Business Plan Competition, a competition aimed at building skills and ultimately providing startup grants to innovative entrepreneurs. Targeted at existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 years it aimed to take entrepreneurs in the developing world to the next level by building on best practice principles from the private sector, supporting the improvement of business skills and facilitating skills transfer. Enablis provides its member entrepreneurs with access to personalised learning, mentoring and coaching programmes, as well as networking opportunities and financing to ensure that each entrepreneur develops to his or her full entrepreneurial potential.
The Safaricom Foundation awarded start up grants to five community based entrepreneurs who developed outstanding proposals in green/ecological business, agri business, sports, tourism and leisure and the arts. The Foundation also supported a series of countrywide skills building sessions aimed at identifying local talent and providing budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to enable them to develop sustainable business ideas and proposals and to apply to the Business Plan Competition
Some of the winners who emerged were EcoPost and Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited. EcoPost is a social enterprise whish uses waste plastic as a key raw material input in the manufacture of aesthetic, durable and environmentally - friendly fencing posts that do not rot, are termite resistant, outlast timber in application, and can be cut, drilled and nailed as easily as wood timber. Through this unique business model, EcoPost cleans the environment by converting plastic waste into useful, commercially viable fencing posts as well as creats direct employment within its manufacturing plant and indirect employment opportunities for many youth and women who collect, sort and clean plastic waste for sale. Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited is a youth-led banana flour processing and marketing business operating from Meru. It has succeeded in reducing the number of bananas lost to wastage and giving farmers good prices while providing employment to young people. The company has been selling the product through direct sales, but has since received approval from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and now intends to supply local supermarkets and, ultimately, to export the product to the gluten-free/organic markets of Europe and the USA.