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.
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.
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.