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Equitable Prosperity Through Private Sector Development (EPTPSD) / Maendaleo Sawa (M-SAWA)

2015 - 2022

MEDA in partnership with Global Affairs Canada is increasing business profitability and supporting economic growth in 20 marginalized counties across Kenya.



M-SAWA is an acronym derived from the Swahili words Maendeleo Sawa which means Equitable Prosperity, aimed at supporting the equitable growth of Kenyan businesses.


The goal of M-SAWA is to contribute to Kenya’s economic growth and increase job creation by improving the business, environmental and gender performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small entrepreneurs (SEs) in the agriculture, construction, and extractives sectors, targeting 20 marginalized counties along Kenya’s two major economic growth corridors.


The M-SAWA project will benefit 250 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 20,000 small entrepreneurs. This includes 25 SMEs selected as lead firms to receive matching grants to support a total of 20,000 SEs in their supply/distribution chains, 225 SMEs to receive business development services grants, 10 businesses associations will receive matching grants to support the SME members and 40 SMEs will receive access to investment capital.


While Kenya is generally one of the more developed countries on the African continent, high levels of inequality and poverty persist, especially in rural areas. The government of Kenya has set ambitious economic growth goals; however, to achieve them it will be essential to support the growth of local businesses, particularly in the agriculture sector which currently employs 60% of the population and the growing construction and extractives sectors.


In Kenya, small entrepreneurs (SEs) in rural communities are mainly smallholder farmers. These farmers lack access to sustainable market opportunities and receive poor prices for their produce and products because of their inconsistent relationships with buyers; this limits their income.

Farmers also find it challenging to access agricultural inputs, and the technology and financing they need to adapt to the impacts of climate change and maintain consistent production.

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to growing markets but lack the quality supply from SEs to meet this demand. They are also often unable to take advantage of market opportunities as they lack access to business support services, investment capital and other forms of financing. Women-led SMEs and SEs face increased challenges in these areas due to existing gender inequalities and barriers.

Production Facility


To effectively strengthen Kenyan SMEs and SEs and achieve its goal of improved incomes, M-SAWA works in collaboration with key actors in the Kenyan business eco-system including: lead firms (LFs), business associations, business development service (BDS) providers, private equity investment (PEI) funds, and the government of Kenya.

LFs are SMEs who are willing to invest in their own business growth, as well as activities that improve the capacity of their suppliers and distributors. MEDA leverages these existing relationships and market incentives, working through LFs to support grant initiatives benefiting the LFs and the SEs and SMEs within their supply/distribution chains. This may include out-grower schemes, price discounts on green technology, formation of alliances for collective marketing, and improved environmental and gender practices. Similar grants are offered to business associations to address shared supply chain constraints.

In addition, MEDA aims to improve performance of SMEs by co-funding the provision of business consulting services with Kenyan BDS providers and investment firms including Lundin Foundation. M-SAWA increases access to finance through partnering with Business Partners International (BPI) to offer investment capital as well as providing referrals for SMEs interested in accessing debt or equity financing to investment partners and financial service providers.


M-SAWA Rapid Assessment

Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender Equality and Business Operations of Small Entrepreneurs in Kenya

Download the Report


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Program undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.


logo-lundin MEDA - Kenya | Equitable Prosperity Through Private Sector Development (EPTPSD) / Maendeleo Sawa (M-Sawa) logo-businesspartners MEDA - Kenya | Equitable Prosperity Through Private Sector Development (EPTPSD) / Maendeleo Sawa (M-Sawa)