Sanitary products’ dispenser start-up wins kshs 1m seed capital

Written By: Claire Wanja
2364

Sinapis has trained 1,000 entrepreneurs in 4 years, with an annual cohort of 250 entrepreneurs who undergo a 4 months training program, culminating in a business pitching competition with a 1 million shillings grand prize.
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Sinapis Organisation has hit the 1,000 SMEs trained mark, and organised the 5th business pitching session where Lynda Njeru, the Cofounder of YZ-ME International, a sanitary products vending start up won a 1 million shillings capital injection for her business.

The business pitching competition took place on Saturday in Nairobi.

Now in its 7th year, Sinapis organises four month advanced entrepreneurial training programs, specifically designed for entrepreneurs in Kenya in partnership with the Acton School of Business USA. The critical role of SMEs in the economy was highlighted by the National Economic Survey where SMEs constitute majority of all new business in Kenya, creating 30% of all jobs annually.

Speaking during the business pitching competition, Ronald Osumba, Chairman Youth Enterprise Development Fund, said,” An enabling business and policy environment is critical for SMEs and entrepreneurs to start and scale, and provide jobs for thousands of Kenyan youth. We need to include a social agenda in every business, to ensure entrepreneurs are creating solutions for our day-to-day problems “.

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Further he said that the Small Businesses Bill will soon be introduced to parliament to protect local start-ups and SMEs from being overburdened with regulatory requirements of established companies. To enable young entrepreneurs’ access opportunities in Big 4 Agenda, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is working with the State Department of Housing to set aside designated components to be locally manufactured and supplied by youth and women. These form at least 10% of project cost of building 500,000 houses as envisioned in the big 4Agenda.

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United Bank for Africa CEO, East & Southern Africa Emeke E. Iweriebor underscored the importance of entrepreneurs in the economy saying, “Entrepreneurs convert local business ideas into globally scalable business models. Through the Tony Elumelu foundation, a commitment of USD100 100million was made to train and upscale African entrepreneurs. To date, 350 Kenyan entrepreneurs have won grants from the foundation.”

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On his part, the secretary, Youth Affairs in the Deputy President Office, Anthony Kibagendi challenged entrepreneurs to innovate products and services for government, confirming that the 30% preferential procurement is an untapped opportunity for SMEs. ”This is a right given by the government, not a privilege by procuring bodies and soon noncompliance by procuring government entities will be culpable, “he said, confirming the government commitment to creating a supportive business environment for businesses to thrive.

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“The government is further investing in technical training to ensure a stable flow of skilled labour in the market that will drive the contribution of SMEs to the economy. The Big 4 Agenda provides varied opportunities that SMEs can profitably utilise.”

Matthew Rohrs, the CEO Sinapis Organisation outlined the growth of the Sinapis training programs to other regional towns in 2019 including Thika, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu. “The entrepreneur academy that was first launched in Nairobi has further grown globally to Ghana, Brazil, Uganda and Liberia, “he added.

With Kenya being ranked 61 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings, the Sinapis Entrepreneur Academy will enable local entrepreneurs to build scalable businesses that can expand to the rest of the world.

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