Kenya

Approximately 10% of Kenya’s population lives in Nairobi, population 4 million–about 4 times the total population of Swaziland. It sprawls over many miles with the characteristics of any major city in the world, consisting of the same contrasts of poverty, traffic, and crime vs. modern buildings, civilized neighborhoods, and cosmopolitan choices in food. Rick and Wendy had visited Nairobi in 1997 during their first safari adventure. When they settled down to live there in 2007, initially Nairobi didn’t look and feel much different from their first, brief visit. However, during their year-long stay, it became clear how much had changed. Of course touring vs. living in a city or country is very different. By 2007 many parts of Nairobi had entered the Internet/Mobile Phone age, and had become entrepreneurial, more Westernized, and generally more sophisticated.

Kenya Successes: Aspen Orchards & Dairies

Kenya

Wendy and Rick met with this participant who was definitely making progress in TechnoServe’s Upscaling program. Starting in 2003 in his home, Joseph Njer’s growth-oriented yoghurt processing business by 2007 was on a US$170,000 run-rate for annual turnover.  The products are two size bottles of thick, creamy yoghurt drinks in vanilla, strawberry and banana.  Joseph […]

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Kenya Successes: Canan Garden “Upscales” Its Honey Products

Kenya

A pharmacist and his wife successfully ran Neema Pharmacy and Chemists in Embu, a large central Kenyan city surrounded by farms.  The wife had grown up in a nearby farming village and saw how difficult some of her neighbors’ lives were, particularly grandparents raising orphaned grandchildren.  So she worked with the local Kenyan agricultural station […]

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Kenya Successes: Hospitality Growth at Mountain Top Institute

Kenya

Establishing this institute in 2002, Patrick Mwangi’s business had grown to several ventures in Hospitality Services, including a beauty institute, guest hotel, restaurant, college hostels and catering. In 2007 this growth-oriented business was on a US$142,000 run-rate for annual turnover.  He generally employed 25 people full-time. Patrick has a business background and a university degree.  […]

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Kenya Successes: Visiting Businesses Started by Young Women in Enterprise

Kenya

During 2007, Wendy accompanied the Young Women in Enterprise (YWE) staff on a visit to Mukuruto some of the businesses which had been started by a few members of this community-based (non- school) YWE clubs.  Mukuru is one of the many “informal settlements” aka slums in and around Nairobi.  The most famous/infamous is Kibera which […]

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Kenya Successes: Springsand Bakery “Puffs Up” its Market

Kenya

Starting in 2002, Anderson Muchangi Misoniki opened one retail bread and cake bakery outlet in Embu, in Central Kenya. This growth-oriented business was on a US$57,000 run-rate for annual turnover.  He generally employed 12 people full-time. Anderson has a banking and accounting background.  Thus he became a good candidate for TechnoServe’s Upscaling program. The most […]

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Kenya Successes: Popular Kikoi Cloth Company

Kenya

Starting in 2008, for its Phase Two program, TechnoServe’s Young Women in Enterprise (YWE) was considering how to identify businesses in which to place the young women in internships so they would learn both the soft and hard skills of employment. Through local connections, YWE discovered Alina Benson Enterprises, which weaves Kenya’s traditional Kikoi cloth […]

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Kenya Successes: TechnoServe’s Young Women in Enterprise Program

Kenya

Starting May 2006, the Nike Foundation funded TechnoServe Kenya in partnership with Project Baobab based in Nairobi to create Young Women in Enterprise (YWE, which now continues through 2013).  Through 2012, together they implemented a program to raise the level of entrepreneurial activity among Kenya’s young women and to catalyze employment-generating, women-owned businesses as well […]

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Kenya Successes: Upscaling Program to Grow Micro-Enterprises

Kenya

As a New York Times (NYT) March 2008 article titled Missing Middle noted, microloans had become an important element in alleviating poverty.  For example, the microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, while celebrities like Natalie Portman and companies like Benetton have become fervent microloan advocates. Even ordinary Americans can individually […]

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Kenya Successes: Cecilia’s Kacece Creations Grew Due to Young Women in Enterprise

Kenya

Wendy first met Cecilia Katungwa in March 2007 at the inter-club Young Women in Enterprise business plan competition.  Wendy was so impressed with Cecilia’s entrepreneurship, that she ordered 30 knitted scarves from Cecilia to be delivered in three weeks.  When Cecilia called to set a date for on-time delivery of Wendy’s scarves,  that began a […]

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Kenya Successes: Rachel from Korogocho Slum Started Embroidery Business with Help from YWE

Kenya

Rachael, 21 years old in 2007, was the last born in a family of seven siblings.  She had only attained a primary school education, due to a predicament that disrupted her entire life.  At age 14, her drug-addict uncle raped her, infected her with HIV and left her pregnant. Her rural family in western Kenya […]

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