Meet CEC Business Advisors: E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centre
The “Meet CEC Business Advisors” series features CEC partner organisations who play a crucial role in our support for the entrepreneurship ecosystem and especially circular businesses.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centre started as an initiative of E4Impact Foundation. The Foundation, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS – Nairobi), launched the E4Impact Accelerator in 2018 to help Kenyan businesses grow their enterprises and scale their impact. It also acts as a bridge for local, regional and international markets and investment opportunities.
How does your organisation support circular enterprises?
We have previously supported 2 cohorts of 10 circular SMEs each in a programme called O-Farms. O-Farms is an African SME accelerator completely focused on circular agribusiness with the goal of making circularity a mainstream approach for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability. It is an initiative funded by the IKEA Foundation to help scale circular agribusiness innovations in East Africa. We offer a customised training program, technical assistance, coaching and mentorship, links to financial and investment opportunities as well as networking and peer learning.
In your opinion, what is the positive impact of providing support to circular SMEs?
We believe that circular SMEs play an important role in restoring our planet and creating jobs at the same time. By tackling social, environmental and economic issues, circular SMEs can be the key to reducing many of the grave challenges we have in our world today concerning pollution, unemployment and environmental degradation.
What do you like the most about the collaboration with adelphi’s Circular Economy Catalyst? Is there a topic you especially enjoy from the workshops?
We hope that we are contributing to making the world a better place through training circular SMEs to create a positive impact as they run their business operations. Our favourite topic for the workshops is Theory of Change as it clearly takes the entrepreneur through how problems can be solved through business activities which create results that bring about lasting impact.
What is your vision for the future of circular SMEs and the support ecosystem in your country?
We envision our country playing a big role in the creation of circular SMEs through relevant legislation and policies. Kenya recently held a summit on climate change dubbed African Climate Summit, and key issues relevant to the circular economy were discussed. Also, Kenya is already taking great strides to create a circular economy, for example, through banning of plastic shopping bags and encouraging electric vehicle purchase.
What more can we do together? Future outlook
We can train more circular SMEs as they create more jobs and restore the environment. Innovation can be strengthened through collaboration, and this is the way forward to accomplishing ways to mitigate our planet’s challenges.
Learn more about E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centre