Agripreneurs in Kisii county and its environs have all the reasons to smile after the Kisii business incubation hub launch. The business hub which is under Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) Agribiz program will act as the missing link for agripreneurs and opportunities in the region. The event took place at Kisii ATC on March 28. European Union (EU) Programme Manager for Agriculture, Resilience and Job Creation Stephen Wathome, Danish Embassy (DANIDA) First secretary Sandra Sichlau, KCIC group Ag. CEO Ruth Ndegwa and Kisii County Government officials crowned the event.
The Hub’s mission is to provide an atmosphere that encourages women and youth to innovate and incubate agricultural concepts.The incubation hub will also serve the broader Nyamira, Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Migori, Kisumu, and Homabay counties.
Danish Embassy (DANIDA) First secretary Sandra Sichlau noted how the youth have job creation and employment issues. “What we often see is not only in Kenya but also in Denmark where I come from. Youth just want to be in the city where they believe jobs are. Jobs are not enough and agriculture is a sector not many want to venture into which is a wrong move,” she said. She urged more youth and women to venture into agriculture since it provides many opportunities. She also thanked the KCIC team for being the implementing partner of the Agribiz programme.
The programme has already enrolled a cohort that is receiving business advisory, access to information, capital, mentorship, technical assistance, and access to facilities. The hub will provide enough space to enroll more entrepreneurs in the region.
Speaking during the event, European Union (EU) Programme Manager for Agriculture, Resilience and Job Creation Stephen Wathome underscored the need to look at the two of the most overlooked categories of agripreneurs, youth and women. “The program’s success will mostly depend on you (youth and women). We can provide the training, the funds, facilitate access to land and help you to access markets but your business will not thrive if you will not put in the ideas, passion and commitment required to succeed,” he said.
The main EU Policy on international development targets the 5 Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership. This program will allow inclusion in Kenya’s overall development of youth and women. The EU recognizes the private sector as a driving force in achieving sustainable development goals. To accomplish this the public sector has to be in play and thus have strong partnerships with the county governments.
Kisii BIH will bring together a variety of public and private sector service providers in one area where they will have easy access to the majority of the tools and information needed to build their businesses.
KCIC Ag. CEO Ruth Ndegwa brought to light how the new hub will benefit the region. “We have onboard 82 clients who will be supported throughout the year. We have also identified 5 schools in this region that will be trained in agriculture to train the rest and revive the 4K clubs,” she said. Ruth also highlighted the importance of the hub to agripreneurs and urged them to make use of the facility. The hub will also cater for agripreneurs from the broader Kisumu,Migori, Bomet, Kericho, Homabay Nyamira and Narok counties.