IFC/AECF Competition Announces Winners to Support Growth in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Area

Nairobi, Kenya, September 6, 2021 – Businesses engaged in healthcare, renewable energy, and beekeeping were today named among the first batch of winners of a competition by IFC, the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), the Turkana County Government, and UNHCR to fund businesses to support development and job creation in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee hosting area.

The competition, implemented through the IFC/AECF Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), named four winners in its Private Sector Window (PSW) competition and two winners in its Social Enterprise Window competition (SEW).

The PSW winners are:

The SEW winners are:

  • K De Igratium International, which provides personal healthcare services
  • AEC Kenya, which provides financial services

Additional winners in both categories will be announced later in September.

“The successful companies demonstrated that they have the potential to uplift the lives of host communities and refugees in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei areas as well as the greater Turkana County,” said AECF’s CEO, Victoria Sabula. “They also demonstrated the ability to deliver and sustain social impact, particularly for women and youth. This coupled with their commercial viability and sustainability made them suitable winners for the KKCF competitions.”

“The challenge winners identified real market and development opportunities in Kakuma that build on the important research and enabling work carried out by IFC and AECF in the region,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “The winners’ innovative business models should have immediate and long-term positive impacts on people living in the Kakuma refugee hosting area. Congratulations to all the winning businesses.”

The KKCF will help all winners implement commercially viable and sustainable businesses that have the potential to raise incomes, provide goods and services, create jobs, and improve living standards for refugees and the host community in Turkana County. The Kakuma Refugee Hosting Area is home to 300,000 people, including 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Funding will be coupled with technical assistance that will equip the winning businesses with additional skills and knowledge to help them strengthen their operations.

The competition was designed to help realize the immense potential of the Kakuma refugee hosting area and bring opportunity and jobs to its residents, many of whom have proven to be successful entrepreneurs despite facing numerous challenges.

The PSW targets private sector companies already present in Kakuma and Kalobeyei and interested in expanding operations; it also supports those looking to launch operations in the region. The SEW seeks to promote business models that increase access to water and sanitation, engage in recycling, or provide childcare services for low-income families.

Later this month, IFC and AECF will launch the Local Enterprise Development window, the third in the series of Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund competitions, focused on supporting local, established businesses and social enterprises based in Kenya’s Turkana County. 

About KKCF

KKCF is a five-year program designed to support private sector investment and unlock the economic potential of refugees and their hosts in the Kakuma-Kalobeyei refugee-hosting area in northern Kenya. KKCF aims to attract private companies to the area and support local entrepreneurs to create jobs and improve service provision in the Kakuma area. The program targets all private sector players, from small companies and medium-sized family businesses to social enterprises and large firms.

KKCF is supported by five development agencies: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and the European Union. For more information, visit www.kkcfke.org

About AECF

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a non-profit institution that supports early and growth stage businesses in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors to reduce poverty, promote resilient communities and create jobs through private sector investment. AECF invests in businesses that strive to find innovative solutions to tackle development challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim is to transform lives, one business at a time by funding early and growth stage businesses that improve the lives of rural communities and display potential for credible commercial viability and growth. For more information, visit www.aecfafrica.org

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 About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.


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Robert Magori

Tel: +254721525344

E-mail: press@aecfafrica.org



Jason Hopps

Tel +254706581442

E-mail: jhopps@ifc.org

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