After implementing a successful Acceleration program with the first Cohort in 2018-2019, Kenyan entrepreneurs were eagerly waiting to apply for the E4Impact Accelerator Program 2.0 and take advantage of the attractive package. The Accelerator program offers entrepreneurs access to professional services, customized training, coaching and mentorship, investor and market linkages and a chance to win a grant up to €15,000 per enterprise. All of this will be cost-free thanks to the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation and ENI who have funded this program.
Some results from Cohort 1 were: 1.3 million euros in external fundraising; 5 enterprises adopted satellite technology; 90% of entrepreneurs received media publicity. E4Impact received over 230 applications from entrepreneurs spread across the country who operate in diverse sectors. Since it’s a very competitive process, only the best 20 enterprises were selected (here the list) to help them grow their business, scale their impact and enhance linkages with investors and the and market.
“In this regard the E4Impact reality is unique. It takes and incorporates the best of the Italian entrepreneurship, know-how and best practices aiming at promoting small and medium enterprises with high and positive social impact. On this occasion, I would like to commend the fundamental role played by the Catholic University of Milan and E4Impact Foundation.” stated H.E. Alberto Pieri, Italian Ambassador to Kenya, during the launch of Cohort 2.
It has been an exciting journey and we would like to share with you quick updates:
1.Hosting of International Delegates
The linkages created by E4Impact between the European Union and Italy put the E4Impact Accelerator on the itinerary of international delegates when they visited Nairobi, Kenya. On November 13th 2019, we were honoured to host Ms Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Minister of Italian Foreign Affairs, who was eager to meet Kenyan enterprises and learn about their socio-economic impact in the communities they support, and willing to identify further synergies between Italy and Kenya by sharing future business investment and partnership opportunities which entrepreneurs can benefit from.
“I’m actually very impressed. This is the first thing that comes to my mind while talking to you. Since I visited the Stalls, I had the opportunity to touch with my own hands your products and see what you are doing, and I think it is incredibly impressive.” stated Ms Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Minister of Italian Foreign Affairs.
By collaborating with partners in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, E4Impact is implementing an European Union funded project called Switch Africa Green – Green to Grow, a program that promotes the use of sustainable production and consumption practices across the Mango, Dairy and Coffee value chains. E4Impact key role is to provide and enhance the managerial and entrepreneurial capabilities of the entrepreneurs across the three value chains to help them mitigate climate change, reduce post-harvest losses and increase the access to markets.
On March 3rd 2020, H.E. Ambassador Simon Mordue, European Union in Kenya, visited the E4Impact Accelerator to learn more about the enterprises being supported and share the upcoming European Union programs and funding opportunities that Kenyan enterprises can tap into to accelerate their growth and scale their impact. The participating companies came from different programs: Switch Africa Green (funded by the European Union), E4Impact Accelerator Program and the Biogas Acceleration Program.
“It’s fantastic to see what Kenyan entrepreneurs are doing and the impact they are having on the ground! It aligns with the upcoming EU flagship projects and Kenya’s big 4 Agenda. The primary destination for most Kenyan products is the EU. We embrace that and want much more.” stated H.E. Ambassador Simon Mordue.
2.A hub of Innovation
On March 10th 2020, E4Impact was honoured to host the Vice Chancellor and faculty from Kyambogo University, 2nd largest public university in Uganda, to discuss our portfolio of products: MBA and certifications in Impact Entrepreneurship, Accelerator & Incubation programs, and furthermore market and investor linkages as they roll out their incubation program to support Ugandan entrepreneurs.
One key challenge that stunts the growth of most enterprises is access to capital. To help our entrepreneurs close this gap, our interventions have included: conducting investment readiness sessions, developing company pitch decks and hosting investor demo days. So far, we have been able to raise €733,000 through various forms of investments.
This isn’t an easy task to complete, but to support our enterprises achieve the potential we see in them, our aim is to raise over 1 million euros by the end of the program.
The 2nd Cohort is made up of entrepreneurs from different sectors and at different growth stages. By leveraging on the action-oriented training methodology used by E4Impact, entrepreneurs benefit from a customized program and are encouraged to peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. To make it practical and relevant, the program entails the use of global and localized case studies, practical assignments tied to business milestones, monthly one-to-one coaching and mentorship and continuous monitoring and evaluation to ensure entrepreneurs will get the full value from the Acceleration program. We engage trained professionals who have experience in working with global and local successful companies and who encourage entrepreneurs strengthen their business models, fix the leaking revenues and innovate before competitors wake up!
5. Market and brand visibility opportunities
A fantastic product without a market wouldn’t help any company survive… That’s why we continuously promote our entrepreneurs on offline and online marketing platforms. Some examples:
- For online exposure we link them to E-commerce platforms such as Mzizzi.com where they can set up their online shop and reach a wider audience.
- Offline marketing campaign means we sponsor entrepreneurs for events that have a return on investment for their business, such as trade fairs, exhibitions and forums, where they can network and build relationships with investors, international NGOs, players of specific value chains, market facilitators or Member Based Organizations.
At E4Impact, for the past 11 years, we have invested in our entrepreneurs to ensure their business survival and growth, but we can’t do it alone! We would like to invite you to be part of our journey as we strive to build a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, not just in Kenya but all across Africa!
Contact us today and let’s walk together in future!