Kenyan women and youth in agriculture to access up to Sh10.8 million in investment

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By Nicholas Maina, 13 August 2020

Youth & Women in agribusinesses will benefit from Ksh10.84 million in investment. The project targets high potential agribusinesses, through FoodTech Africa, a programme funded by GIZ Make IT in Africa implemented by @iBizAfrica and Pangea.

The project seeks to identify and support innovations in agribusiness from a pool of diaspora and international investors aimed at addressing challenges curtailing food security in the country.

The project dubbed Foodtech Africa Accelerator is a venture commissioned by GIZ Make-IT in Africa, a project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

Other collaborators of the project include iBizAfrica, Strathmore University’s business incubator and Pangea Accelerator, a Norwegian based accelerator and an investment platform operating in East Africa that matches African startups with investors, foundations and development agencies to reach a global scale.

Tracy Weru, Program Coordinator for GIZ Make-IT in Africa yesterday during a webinar, explained that the fund targets agribusiness companies solving food challenges in the country. The value chains have up to August 21, 2020, midnight to apply to join the program.

 “The program is designed to support women and youth owned growth stage agri-based companies -startups that are in post-revenue to sustain business growth through facilitating access to financing, business support and technology adoption. We are positive that this program will provide access to skills, market and finance to the selected Agtech start-ups,” stated Weru. 

Further, Weru confirmed that successful companies will undergo a 10-week intensive training on business coaching and mentorship, B2B sales opportunities as well as the opportunity to interact with investors. 

The project comes after a recent revelation by the Kenya Food Security 2019 Steering Group that, approximately 1.3 million people in Kenya are currently facing worse crisis levels of acute food insecurity following the effects of Covid-19.

Linda Kwamboka, Entrepreneur in Residence and Manager @iBizAfrica explained that the accelerator is inviting post revenue level agribusinesses in Kenya to apply for the program in order to meet the growing demand and challenge of food security in the country. 

We are grateful to GIZ Make-IT in Africa for appointing this project to Pangea and Strathmore University to drive food security in Africa through the FoodTech Africa program. We believe Kenya and East Africa are at a critical time and that innovation and young entrepreneurs have a big role in creating resilient and local food systems.” Jonas Tesfu, CEO and Co-Founder of Pangea Accelerator, said while speaking during the project launch. Tesfu noted that deliberations during the webinar made it apparent that there is significant interest and support in the sector particularly for agri-based enterprises looking to expand. 

The webinar event also presented a unique opportunity for agri based enterprises to interrogate and find out investor due diligence processes in the country as well as financing options for their businesses.

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