The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) in partnership with the European Union (EU), Denmark (Danida), and the County Government of Kiambu officially launched the Kiambu Business Incubation Hub, Friday June 9, 2023.
The hub is set to unlock the enormous potential of agricultural technology across the region and enable local farmers to explore the latest innovations and opportunities in the agribusiness space. The Kiambu Business Incubation Hub (BIH) is among a series of eight hubs established under the AgriBiz Programme, one of KCIC’s flagship programmes, to provide expert advice, guidance, and support to youth and women-led agribusiness ventures. The hub will serve other counties including Nairobi, Nakuru, Nyandarua, and Muranga.
The launch event was graced by the EU representative Programme Manager, Finance and Private Sector Development, Adolfo Cires, the Danida representative, First Secretary, Sandra Sichlau and Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Joseph Murabula. In his remarks at the launch, Mr. Murabula spoke to the profound significance of the hub as a place designed to support the agricultural sector in the region and overcome the barriers faced by the youth and women in agriculture. “The Hub is the most strategic, and most promising among a series of eight hubs established across the country, this is in terms of both the market opportunity and potential to commercialize,” he noted.
Among the supported entrepreneurs present was Dorah Momanyi, the Founder at Nutritious Agriculture Network/ iPoP Africa Limited. She narrated how being in the program enabled her to acquire a machine that automated her production process. “I have also been able to explore marketing opportunities through exhibitions and workshops organized by KCIC, where I get to showcase our products and network with other businesses,” she said.
Mary Muchai, the Founder of Aqua Hub Kenya, commended the program for the technical support and capacity building she has received from KCIC. “KCIC has given us access to consistent guidance and resources needed to propel our businesses. With this guidance I have been able to navigate business challenges and foster long term relations with clients and suppliers,” she said.
At its core, the AgriBiz program, funded by the EU and Danida, symbolizes the international community’s dedication in supporting Kenya’s agricultural sector. Adolfo Cires applauded the project launch and expressed his commitment to continue working with KCIC towards pushing for more funding that go into such initiatives. On her end, Sandra Sichlau, elaborated the importance of strengthening the link between the local governments and the private sector to drive change. She noted, “It’s been quite a journey, and I’m happy we’re here today. Launching this Hub means that the programme will impact more people at the grass-root level. Denmark has supported the KCIC Hub in Nairobi for many years, but now we have taken the next step to ensure that the programme is brought closer to people outside Nairobi through this Hub which will enhance interaction and easy delivery of services.”
Speaking on behalf of the KCIC board at the launch, Mr. Job Kihumba expressed appreciation for the work and support granted by the EU and Danida in respect to funding, and KCIC Management for meeting various project objectives. His appeal to the stakeholders was a greater focus on sustainability efforts for the various programmes and initiatives in place.
The launch of the Kiambu Business Incubation Hub (BIH) is a milestone achievement, a testament to the power of collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to the growth and prosperity of the agricultural sector. As the hub opens its doors, it beckons aspiring agripreneurs, empowering them with knowledge, resources, and networking opportunities.
The journey towards this initiative was earmarked with the signing of an MOU between the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) and the County Government of Kiambu on October 2020 as the rollout the Agribiz program in the county commenced. To date, 284 Agri-enterprises have been supported under the Kiambu hub, which until recently was operating from KCIC headquarters in Nairobi. The beneficiaries have received support in form of business advisory, technical assistance, and access to finance.
Some of the notable enterprises supported under the hub include Irri-Hub Kenya, Kimplanter seedlings, Grace Rock Farms, Mama Spices, Utopian, Deeva-Bits Limited, Comrade Dairy, among others.