The KCIC Investment Summit 2023, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya from October 4th to 6th, was a gathering of more than 600 participants from various sectors, including climate-smart businesses, investors, government representatives, and individuals from both the public and private domains. The summit, themed “Unlocking Climate Financing Opportunities for MSME Growth,” played a pivotal role in highlighting innovative climate solutions and opportunities for environmentally conscious investments.
The driving force behind this event was the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), which committed to providing a platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across diverse sectors to connect with potential investors, explore partnership prospects, and facilitate deals that promote sustainable development.
The official opening ceremony was graced by several esteemed dignitaries, underscoring the significance of the event. Among them were Mr. Joseph Murabula, CEO of KCIC, and Prof. Izael Da Silva, Board Chair of KCIC, who set the tone for the summit with their presence. Additionally, there were representatives from the Royal Danish Embassy, led by Trine Gronbog, and the European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, both exemplifying the international importance of the summit. The participation extended to high-level government representation from the Treasury and the National Assembly, underlining the comprehensive approach towards climate action.
In his welcoming speech, Mr. Murabula mentioned the critical importance of access to finance for microenterprises. MSMEs are crucial in forming the largest employment sector in the Kenyan business landscape, offering substantial opportunities to the energetic, innovative, and dynamic young population. KCIC has been on the forefront in supporting entrepreneurs focused on green growth, from incubation level to business scaling. “As we stand here today, let us recognize the significance of our collective efforts. It is through forums like this, where ideas are exchanged, partnerships are formed, and commitments are made, that can turn the tide on climate change and climate financing opportunities,” he said.
The summit commenced with influential thought leaders sharing their insights on climate action. Their messages stressed the urgency of the challenges we face and the role of innovation in addressing them. Ambassador Ali Mohamed, Advisor on Climate Change & Green Growth in the Office of the President, appreciated KCIC’s work, supporting the incubation and acceleration of over 3,000 enterprises in the past 11 years. He highlighted the significance of addressing climate change as “the most pressing challenge and existential threat of our time” and emphasized the need for collective action to overcome the shortcomings of the global financial system.
To underscore the European Union’s unwavering commitment to support young entrepreneurs, EU Commissioner Yutta Urpilainen graced the summit on the second day. Her presence was further highlighted by the attendance of Hon. Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Cooperatives & Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
This strategic presence reinforced the vital role of MSMEs in addressing climate change. They are the engines of innovation and growth, and supporting them is key to achieving impactful climate actions.
The three-day summit featured an action-packed agenda, with each day focusing on a critical aspect of Climate Policy, Climate Finance, and Climate Action while emphasizing the practical steps and strategies required to effect real change.
The KCIC Investment Summit 2023 was a milestone event, uniting diverse stakeholders in the climate financing agenda. It demonstrated that, by working together, we can create innovative climate solutions and open new avenues for sustainable investments. The commitment to address climate change remains unwavering, and the summit provided the platform for meaningful conversations and concrete actions. As we reflect on the three days of insightful engagement, it is evident that the summit has set the stage for a future where green innovation thrives, investments in climate solutions flourish, and the impact is felt by all.