The Italian Agency for Development Co-operation has disbursed Sh65.5 million (€542,000) to fund 20 local start-ups, following a partnership between Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and an Italian organisation.
The funds will be channelled through the E4Impact Foundation, an accelerator that will fund, to incubate and mentor 20 local businesses annually, with an aim of boosting entrepreneurship.
On Monday, KNCCI and E4Impact Foundation signed a five-year deal for joint projects expected to benefit medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs).
KNCCI chief executive Angela Ndambuki said 20 start-ups are now assured of funding.
“We realise that the lack of capital and capacity to run businesses remains among the greatest challenges that businesses continue to face especially in emerging economies like Kenya,” said Ms Ndambuki.
The selected businesses will receive mentorship on how to increase their profitability and impact, as well as enable them partner with Italian businesses.
The programme targets the manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security sectors.
“Therefore, the accelerator will for one year host Kenyan businesses in the following sectors: agri-food, fashion and design, leather, machinery and equipment, construction and affordable housing, healthcare, green business and renewable energy, innovative ICT services and infrastructures,” said KNCCI.