M-SAWA Learning Series

Learning Series: Kenya

A selection of learning documents focused on strengthening the capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small entrepreneurs (SEs) in the agriculture, constructive, and extractive sectors of Kenya. These documents further outline how MEDA, through the M-SAWA project, contributed to Kenya’s economic growth and created more jobs by providing technical assistance, access to technology, inputs, and finance and by facilitating market access for SEs.

The goal of M-SAWA was 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. M-SAWA targeted 20 counties experiencing poverty along Kenya’s two major economic growth corridors. The project was designed to benefit 250 SMEs and 20,000 SEs including:

  • 25 SMEs selected as Lead Firms receive matching grants to support a total of 20,000 SEs in their supply/distribution chains
  • 225 SMEs receive business development service grants
  • 10 business associations receive matching grants to support their SME members
  • 40 SMEs receive access to investment capital

The 7-year project, implemented from 2015 to 2022, focused on areas with high levels of poverty along Kenya’s two economic transportation corridors: the Northern ‘Mombasa-to-Uganda’ Corridor and the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, the project had an overall budget of CAD $29.2 million funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as well as MEDA supporters and partners.

Key Themes Include

Inclusive job creation

Creating decent work opportunities for women and men farmers and entrepreneurs in the agriculture, construction, and extractive sectors of Kenya. Further strengthening the capacities of Lead Firms to support multiple businesses in their supply and distribution chains.

Increased incomes

Boosting the incomes of entrepreneurs in the agrifood, construction, and extractive sectors by providing them with access to technical assistance, such as matching grants, finance, and training.

Supporting systemic change

Working with business associations and private sector actors to strengthen an enabling environment and build a stronger and more resilient agrifood market system.

Enhanced market access

Ensuring that SEs can gain access to the right markets by connecting them with SMEs resulting in sustainable, mutually beneficial commercial linkages.

More about the M-SAWA project

MEDA worked with 25 Lead Firms, 12 Business Associations, 9 BDS providers and 2 private equity investment (PEI) funds to provide: 

  • New Knowledge: Improved knowledge by SEs of profitable green business models and market opportunities.
  • Innovation: Increased access to environmentally safe inputs and technologies.
  • Business Alliances: Increased access to profitable market opportunities as a result of SE participation in business alliances.
  • Growth Strategy: Increased capacity of SMEs to implement enhanced gender-equitable and environmentally sustainable business growth plans
  • Supply Chain: Increased capacity of SMEs to reduce their environmental footprint and supply high-quality product as a result of participation in supply chain initiatives.
  • Frontier Investment: Increased access to PEI capital by SMEs in target sectors.

M-SAWA project achievements

  • Lead Firm grants awarded to 25 SMEs to support SEs within their supply/distribution chains
  • Over 54,000 SEs (54% women) supported for decent work opportunities
  • Business development services support and technical assistance for 314 SMEs (177 women)12 SME alliance/association grants awarded (7 women-led)
  • 144 SMEs linked to third-party financing (130 women-led)
  • Matching grants for 12 business associations (4 Women) to support their SME members
  • 43 SMEs (13 women) assisted to access investment capital through PEI funds

MEDA M-SAWA Documentary

Resources Available

Inclusive job creation

Creating decent work opportunities for women and men farmers and entrepreneurs in the agriculture, construction, and extractive sectors of Kenya. Further strengthening the capacities of Lead Firms to support multiple businesses in their supply and distribution chains.

Increased incomes

Boosting the incomes of entrepreneurs in the agrifood, construction, and extractive sectors by providing them with access to technical assistance, such as matching grants, finance, and training.

Enhanced market access

Ensuring that SEs can gain access to the right markets by connecting them with SMEs resulting in sustainable, mutually beneficial commercial linkages.

Funder

This program was undertaken with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada.

Partners