IFC Announces Final Winners of Business Competition to Empower Refugees and Host Community in Kenya

Kakuma, Kenya, December 7, 2023 — A group of 81 businesses, almost all led by local Kenyan entrepreneurs and refugees, were today named among the winners of a business competition managed by IFC and the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) to support development, job creation, and opportunity in Kenya’s Kakuma-Kalobeyei refugee-hosting area. 

The winning companies of the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF) Competitive Business Challenge will receive grants and technical support to launch or grow operations and drive sustainable development in Turkana County, which hosts more than 276,000 refugees and asylum seekers from across Africa. 

The winners include a refugee-owned internet service provider and WI-FI distribution company operating from Kakuma, a waste management company that collects, sorts, composts, and recycles waste materials, and a Turkana-owned medical clinic that provides healthcare to the refugee and host community in the area.

The business competition, which is now closed, is part of IFC’s strategy to support private sector development and opportunity among refugees and host communities in and around Kakuma, Kenya’s second largest refugee camp. 

“I am impressed by the range, variety, and ingenuity of the winning businesses announced today. With the right support, they will bring jobs, goods, and services to the Kakuma and Kalobeyei area, uplifting the lives of refugees and those in the host community,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Chief Investment Officer & Head of Fragility for Africa.

“Congratulations to these businesses,” said Victoria Sabula, AECF’s CEO. “At the AECF, we are committed to supporting enterprises whose innovative business models demonstrate immediate and long-term positive impacts for their communities through job creation, improved incomes, and access to services. We look forward to supporting these companies to grow and thrive.” 

The final set of KKCF Challenge winners announced today join 41 previous winners supported by the KKCF competition, which was launched in 2019 to showcase the benefits of private sector development among refugee and host communities. Of the 122 businesses KKCF is supporting, 102 are led by refugees or members of the host community in Kakuma, underscoring the competition’s commitment to local small businesses and entrepreneurs.

KKCF-supported businesses have already created more than 300 jobs, including 199 held by women and 82 by refugees. These businesses have provided vital services to over 70,000 refugees and members of the host community, including renewable energy, education, and healthcare services. Over $1.5 million in microloans has also been disbursed from microlenders supported by KKCF to more than 1,800 people, including women and refugees.

More information about the companies can be found at  https://kkcfke.org/competition-winners/.   

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 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 2023, IFC committed a record $43.7 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 global compounding crises. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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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.



Devon Maylie

Phone: +254 11 282 5197

E-mail: dmaylie@ifc.org



Jeannette Akinyi           

Tel: +254 11 059 9769  

E-mail: press@aecfafrica.org

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