Businesses engaged in healthcare, renewable energy, and beekeeping were today named among the first batch of winners of a competition by IFC, the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), the Turkana County Government, and UNHCR to fund businesses to support development and job creation in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee hosting area.

The competition, implemented through the IFC/AECF Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), named four winners in its Private Sector Window (PSW) competition and two winners in its Social Enterprise Window competition (SEW).

The PSW winners are:

The SEW winners are:

  • K De Igratium International, which provides personal healthcare services
  • AEC Kenya, which provides financial services.

Additional winners in both categories will be announced later in September.

“The successful companies demonstrated that they have the potential to uplift the lives of host communities and refugees in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei areas as well as the greater Turkana County,” said AECF’s CEO, Victoria Sabula. “They also demonstrated the ability to deliver and sustain social impact, particularly for women and youth. This coupled with their commercial viability and sustainability made them suitable winners for the KKCF competitions.”

“The challenge winners identified real market and development opportunities in Kakuma that build on the important research and enabling work carried out by IFC and AECF in the region,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “The winners’ innovative business models should have immediate and long-term positive impacts on people living in the Kakuma refugee hosting area. Congratulations to all the winning businesses.”

The KKCF will help all winners implement commercially viable and sustainable businesses that have the potential to raise incomes, provide goods and services, create jobs, and improve living standards for refugees and the host community in Turkana County. The Kakuma Refugee Hosting Area is home to 300,000 people, including 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Funding will be coupled with technical assistance that will equip the winning businesses with additional skills and knowledge to help them strengthen their operations.

The competition was designed to help realize the immense potential of the Kakuma refugee hosting area and bring opportunity and jobs to its residents, many of whom have proven to be successful entrepreneurs despite facing numerous challenges.

The PSW targets private sector companies already present in Kakuma and Kalobeyei and interested in expanding operations; it also supports those looking to launch operations in the region. The SEW seeks to promote business models that increase access to water and sanitation, engage in recycling, or provide childcare services for low-income families.

Later this month, IFC and AECF will launch the Local Enterprise Development window, the third in the series of Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund competitions, focused on supporting local, established businesses and social enterprises based in Kenya’s Turkana County.

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