SMEs in Turkana County now have a chance to showcase how they can make a sustainable impact by creating growth opportunities as well as jobs in Kakuma refugee camp.
Through a contest backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), enterprises from any sector with a presence in the county are invited to the Local Enterprise Development competition by submitting a business proposal and their funding needs necessary to spur growth.
The competition, which is being conducted by the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), a joint initiative of IFC and AECF is supported by Turkana County Government and UNHCR and runs between September 14 and November 5.
Turkana West has a population of roughly 454,000 people, out of which roughly 200,000 are refugees from across Africa.
Through this competition and other activities, IFC, AECF, the Turkana County government, and UNHCR are supporting private sector development and job creation in the region, and helping to empower and improve the lives of the host community and refugees.
“I am happy to see this joint initiative come to life and provide opportunities for the businesses of Turkana County,” said Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok.
This competition affirms our continued commitment to exploring new opportunities and deploying innovative solutions to better address the financing needs of businesses and accelerate economic growth in Turkana, Mr Nanok added.
In a statement, AECF’s CEO, Victoria Sabula said “The Local Enterprise Development Window exclusively targets local small and medium enterprises owned and operated by the residents of Turkana County, including the host community and refugees,” adding that “The Window has a special focus on expanding the horizon of opportunities for women and creating opportunities for young people. We envisage that businesses supported by KKCF will generate employment, improve services, and increase consumer choices for the people of Turkana County.”
The KKCF Local Enterprise Development Window is targeting established, local small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Kakuma and Kalobeyei areas, and businesses operating in other parts of Turkana County seeking to expand to Kakuma and Kalobeyei.
The winners, which will be announced early next year and will receive performance-based grants from between Kes1.5 million and Kes5 million, and advisory support focused on business development, financial management, marketing, and publicity.
Meanwhile, the eligible companies must show that their business proposals are sustainable and assure development impact.
This is the third competition launched under KKCF by IFC and AECF to support private sector development in and around Kakuma and Kalobeyei.
Previous competitions; the Private Sector Window and the Social Enterprise Window, launched in late 2020, sought private businesses and social enterprises from anywhere in the world to establish or grow operations in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei.
KKCF is supported by five development agencies: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the European Union.