Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya

Small Businesses Window

This window is to support women and young women-owned SMEs in the blue economy to address key barriers they face around key access to capital, land through leasing, and access to markets and technologies.

  • Objectives

    The SBW competitive business challenge has the following objectives:

    • Enhance financial inclusivity for the women and young women-owned small enterprises operating in Kenya’s Blue Economy sector increasing access to credit, enabling market linkages, supply of inputs/ products/services along the value chain and creating employment.
    • Provide targeted enterprise development services, and gender capacity and development support to small businesses.
    • Advocate and increase awareness of the business case for investing in women in the Blue Economy in Kenya.
    • Provide incentives for sustainable widespread adoption of climate-smart practices in Kenya’s Blue Economy.
  • Geographical focus

    Women and young-women-owned small enterprises that are commercially active in the respective sectors of Kenya’s blue economy.

    The small enterprises must be located in one of the focus counties in the Lake Victoria basin and Coastal regions. Those with linkages to women and young women-owned micro-enterprises will be preferred.

  • Focus area and sectors

    Focus counties include Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay and Migori.

    The sectors include:

    1. Fisheries
    2. Productive use of renewable energy
    3. Waste management
    4. Biodiversity protection (marine and lake biodiversity)
    5. Tourism-provision of products and services to the tourism sector
    6. Supply of inputs and services(e.g., access to finance, climate-smart technologies – aquatic blue food storage and transportation, market information etc)
    7. Social enterprises that reduce the burden of care for women and young women (e.g., daycare child services)
  • Funding

    Applicants must submit a funding application justifying their funding requirements, including the funding amount and project duration. The funding should be used for a specific project in one or more target counties, such as introducing new services or products, scaling up an existing enterprise, or expanding to a new market. Funding options vary based on development stages:

    Minimum fund award of KSh 1,500,000
    Maximum fund award of KSh 6,000,000

    Funding will be provided as a performance-based grant in local currency. To be eligible for funding, applicants must meet the match funding criteria outlined in the matching contribution section. Businesses should apply for funding based on their development stage and capacity to handle the proposed project’s funding. Funding disbursements will be milestone-based, with payments tied to mutually agreed-upon milestones. The first disbursement will not exceed 30% of the total awarded amount.

  • Selection criteria

    Each applicant will be evaluated and scored against the following criteria:

    •  Fulfilling the eligibility criteria.
    • Demonstrated market demand of the business’ products and/or services amongst rural community populations especially the poor and vulnerable, with a clear vision to achieve sustainability.
    • Present a business proposition that clearly highlight the participation of women and young women as beneficiaries of the business activities.
    • Entrepreneurs’ ability – commitment and dedication of the key person providing leadership and direction on the business.
    • Capacity of the project to deliver and sustain social impact, particularly on communities poor and vulnerable.
    • Demonstrated capacity of the entreprenuer and team to implement the proposed business / project (adequate internal resources/capacity).
  • Matching contribution

    AECF will require matching contribution to the relevant award from the applicant to demonstrate interest and commitment.

    Funding provided must be matched on a grant to matching contribution ratio of 1:0.25 basis as a minimum.

    Matching contributions will all be made in cash and in-kind.

  • Additional support available

    Technical assistance (TA) will be available under this funding window. This is non-financial assistance that will be provided as value-add services to the targeted beneficiaries to maximize the quality of the project implementation outcomes, business sustainability and impact. TA will primarily take on a group coaching approach for the beneficiaries under this window, through organized events and in leveraging local coaches.

    Technical assistance services include, but are not limited to:

    • Pre-contract/preparatory technical assistance support in the form of marketing events to all interested applicants, providing information on the competition including the opportunity for funding and the competition process.
    • Contracting technical assistance will be provided to enhance the understanding of business contracts and set expectations related to compliance of such; and
    • Post-contract technical assistance provided in the AECF Advisory services to those beneficiaries awarded funding, throughout the duration of their engagement with IIW-BEK.
    • Priority training subjects include the following: business planning, basic financial management (including bookkeeping), marketing and distribution, operations (including managing contracts and relationships with players along their value chains), and follow-on financing readiness and engagement support.
  • Contact us

    For clarifications contact:

Small Businesses Window Termsheet

Programme Brief