Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) is calling upon youth and women in Isiolo, Uasin Gishu, Machakos and Kisii to engage in agribusiness with ready and available financial and technical support from the AgriBiz program funded by the European Union and Danida.
KCIC CEO, Dr. Edward Mungai made the call in Machakos County Government offices where he accompanied the EU Ambassador to Kenya H.E Simon Mordue and Danida Deputy Head of Cooperation in Kenya Mr. Henrik Larsen for a courtesy visit in the area hosted by Machakos County Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua. Different stakeholders in the agricultural sector were also present.
The main focus of the visit was to discuss possible areas of empowering youth and women in different levels of the agriculture value chain. In addition, they also toured the Machakos ATC where AgriBiz will set up a Business Incubation Hub and a demonstration farm.
KCIC explained that beneficiaries of the program will be provided with technical expertise and mentorship to help them scale up their ideas into viable businesses. In addition, they will be provided with a range of competitive financing ranging from Proof of Concept grants, seed capital investments and syndicates of larger financing.
Speaking during the visit, EU Ambassador, applauded the programme for its potential to create sustainable jobs for youth and women in the agribusiness value chain.
“The program will offer successful applicants with sustainable jobs and an opportunity for economic growth in the counties,” he said.
In addition to financing the youth and women in the four counties will be provided with facilities such as office space and warehouses for training and knowledge exchange. This will be made possible through the establishment of the Business Incubation Hubs in the respective counties that will help entrepreneurs in the agricultural value chain to grow their businesses to scalability.
“Launching this program in these three counties is an opportunity to create wealth among women and youth,” Henrik Larsen, Deputy Ambassador of the Danish Embassy said. “There are numerous opportunities within the program that if taken advantage of, will shift the economic status of the counties.”
To provide an enabling environment to do business, KCIC has collaborated with the county governments of Isiolo, Machakos and Kisii of whom are in support of the AgriBiz program.
On his part, Machakos County Governor said that his administration is ready to support and ensure the achievement of the program. He called upon all youth and women in his county to take advantage of this time to explore innovative ways to practice agribusiness.
Dr. Edward Mungai echoed that, “There are hundreds of youth and women agripreneurs in this country who I am hoping will immensely benefit from this programme. The benefit will not be just to these people, but you will note the thousands of men and women in this region who will be reached by the ripple effect.”
The AgriBiz program is open to all micro or small business enterprises who are planning to startup or expand their business ventures in agriculture.
Applicants can now access the application portal via agribiz.kenyacic.org or they can drop printed and filled forms at the Business Incubation Hubs in their respective counties. The call for applications for Machakos, Kisii, Uasin Gishu and Isiolo will run until 12th March, 2021 after which successful applicants will be contacted. Youth and women from the neighbouring counties are also eligible to apply. A similar call is expected to be opened for Kilifi county in the coming weeks.