Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Explain your project in details:
We are offering short term working capital to micro and small enterprises in the urban agricultural value chain. SokoHela empowers small grocery kiosks, cereals shops and other food vendors by offering timely, convenient and tailor made working capital bundled with financial literacy training and aggregation with rural farmers. We offer our solution through a mobile application that is designed with the immediate needs of the micro and small enterprises.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Small and micro enterprises will be able to upscale their businesses in terms of growth because they can easily restock meaning that they will have improved incomes thereby reducing poverty. Financial literacy training is meant to empower them to make good business decisions and be able to save which will easily finance growth and improve their household incomes. Aggregation with the farmer is to improve incomes of rural food producers through good prices and reliable incomes reducing poverty. Urban vendors will be able to get their food supplies on time in a cost effective manner which will be passed on to the urban dweller/consumers in form of low food prices increasing disposable incomes which improves quality of life.
Sustainability and future plans
The business will be making money from interest that is charged on loans. We will also be able to make money through aggregation of the urban vendor with the rural farmer. We plan to serve 7,000 micro enterprises in Nairobi as much as the market has 30,000 vendors in the agricultural value chain. The business has potential for growth by tapping into this under-served market. Currently, we are financing from internal sources and generated profits but we will be looking at grants to fully develop our product before fundraising from funds and angel investors.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am 32 years old. I believe that the agricultural food supply chain should be simple and that is why i am motivated to unchain the rural farmer by empowering the urban agribusiness/vendors since they are their main supply outlets. This will be to the benefit of the urban consumer who has to bear with high food prices that are not of good quality due to time wastage impacting on their disposable incomes. 50% of households budget in urban areas goes towards food and we can only have sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty levels if we can reduce food prices in urban areas. I hold a Bachelors of Arts degree in economics and a Masters of Science in Finance and Investments armed with 7 years experience as an agricultural credit analyst. I am passionate about African solutions to our problems because we are in a better position to understand our pain paints and should be at the forefront in improving on our agricultural ecosystem.