The triple helix of the development lights up: ready to go the first 20 ideas selected by the E4Impact incubator

Nairobi - Twenty business ideas will benefit from the services of the E4Impact business incubator, a project proposed by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, co-funded by the Agency and implemented by the Nairobi headquarters of the E4Impact Foundation. E4Impact is a business incubator (start-up) and accelerator (scaling-up) aimed at promoting entrepreneurship - particularly focused on women involvment and  high social/environmental impact activities - thus creating opportunities for youth employment and stimulating the internationalization of new businesses.

This business incubator represents an implementation of the so-called "triple helix" approach that links the three main actors involved in innovative processes - universities/research institutions, entreprises and institutions - to the new concept of development defined by the 2030 Agenda that gives a fundamental role to the private sector and to the growth of a local entrepreneurial class. In this perspective, two public entities are partners of the initiative - the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Micro Enterprise Support Program Trust (MESPT) belonging to the Ministry of Industry - and two private actors - the Tangaza University College (TUC) and the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

The presentation ceremony, on June 13th, was attended by  the Italian Ambassador in Kenya Mauro Massoni, the Head of office of AICS Nairobi Teresa Savanella, the Principal Secretary for the Vocational and Technical Training Kevit Desai, the CEO of the E4Impact Foundation Mario Molteni, and the E4Impact manager for East Africa David Cheboryot.

The business ideas, mainly operating in sectors of excellence of Italian companies such as agro-food, leather goods, and fashion, were selected among 250 applications through a competitive process that took into account elements such as the business model, the human capital, the potential impact of the accelerator's contribution, and potential opportunities for future investments. As a demonstration of the high participation by the local and the Italian civil society, several of the selected companies focus on local communities, through a participatory approach aimed at involving people and encouraging the development within the same community group.

Ambassador Massoni recalled that the reason why the incubator focuses on the areas of Italy's excellences is given by the willingness to share, with Kenyan companies, those mistakes and those successes that put the Italian companies at the level are known for today globally

Teresa Savanella stressed how, in line with the laws directing the Italian Cooperation, is envisaged the search for opportunities for collaboration with various development actors such as civil society, universities and the private sector - particularly social entreprises. Furthermore, she wished that the project could produce a favorable learning environment also thanks to the possibility for the Italian private sector to provide its know-how in support of the creation of decent jobs.

During the implementation phase, local start-ups will be connected with Italian companies operating in similar sectors in order to ensure the learning of business models, and to share the best practices that can be applied in Kenya. In addition, the entreprises will have access to funds to develop their business ideas, and will access to professional consulting services in marketing, legal assistance, and accounting. Throughout the incubation process, the entreprises will be able to take advantage of the incubator facilities, as well as to receive international and local coaching and tutoring.

Among the ideas in is worth to mention the social incubator Jikaze Utafulu - committ yourself and you will be successful, presented by the Italian NGO SVI through the project No one out!. The project focuses on fighting against crime, prostitution and drug use through microfinance programs that allow the strengthening of existing companies and the provision of scholarships for those in need.


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The Italian Ambassador and UN Women Acting Country Director sign the agreement for the Italian contribution to “Let it not happen again” project

NAIROBI, KENYA – On 27 June 2019, the Ambassador of Italy to Kenya H.E. Alberto Pieri and the UN Women Acting Country Director Mrs. Cecile Mukarubuga signed the agreement for the Italian contribution to the Let It Not Happen Again - Addressing prevention and accountability on Violence Against Women in Elections (VAWiE) project. The signing ceremony was hosted at the Italian Ambassador’s Residence and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, UN Women and OHCHR, Civil Society Organizations and representatives of the Survivors of sexual Violence organizations.

The initiative is part of the ongoing Joint Program on Gender Based Violence between the Government of Kenya and the United Nations. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation contributes with 300.000 Euros to support specific activities aimed at strengthening the response and accountability mechanisms against Gender Based Violence to be better prepared for future elections. Activities will be implemented by UN Women and OHCHR in close collaboration with associations of rights holders and with duty bearers (police, judiciary, and health services) in four Counties (Nairobi, Kisumu, Bungoma and Migori), and will promote peer-learning process and good practices in Kenya.

At the occasion of the signing ceremony, Ambassador Pieri, commending the fruitful and longstanding partnerships with the United Nations system, emphasized Italy’s strong commitment towards gender equity championing against Gender Based Violence at global level and particularly in Africa. A commitment to equality that requires transformative action, to improve social norms as result of actions taken at local, national and international level. To this end Civil Society organizations play a crucial role in raising awareness and providing protection.

In thanking the Italian Embassy to Kenya and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation for the commitment to ending violence against women and girls in Kenya, Mrs. Mukarubuga noted that “Let it Not Happen again” is a reminder to each and every one of us of our individual and collective responsibility to protect women and girls against violence before, during and after elections. This through a multi sectoral approach that will contribute to addressing the present situation and allow women and girls to exercise their rights as equal citizens.

> Press release ENG (*pdf)


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Kenya – Signed the funding commitment with UNDP Kenya in support of the “Consolidating gains and deepening devolution in Kenya programme”

NAIROBI, KENYA – The Ambassador of Italy to Kenya H.E. Alberto Pieri and the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi on 04 December 2019 signed the agreement hosted at the Italian Ambassador’s Residence in Nairobi ratifying the Italian contribution to the Consolidating Gains and Deepening Devolution in Kenya Programme. The programme will be implemented from January 2020 to December 2022 and is co-funded with Sweden and Finland.

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) is contributing 400.000 Euros in support of specific activities aimed at strengthening local finance management systems and enhanced transparent and participatory financial planning. By leveraging the comparative advantage and the close linkages with county and national government, UNDP, UNICEF and UN WOMEN, will through the Programme strengthen county governance capacity in areas related to Public Financial Management (PFM), performance monitoring and reporting, resilience to environmental risks, citizen engagement and inclusiveness (especially policy concerns of women, youth and persons with disability).

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Pieri praised both the strong commitment of the UN Agencies that will implement this Programme to “deliver as one” under the leadership of UNDP, and the longstanding partnership between Italy and the United Nations in Kenya. “A partnership that spans in sectors of utmost importance for the development of Kenya and which, with the contribution to this Programme, will now support central and local governments towards a sounder devolution system attentive to end harmful practices and policies against women, with stronger ownership, improved governance, and wider socio-economic development.”

Thanking the Italian Embassy to Kenya and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, UNDP’s Resident Representative, Walid Badawi, noted that, “Italy’s support is very much appreciated, it is timely and targets a critical issue for Kenya; improved public financial management is a prerequisite to improving service delivery in Kenya’s counties and improving the lives of Kenyan citizens. This support will leverage Kenya’s own public expenditures and help Kenya achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

> Press release ENG (*pdf)


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