Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK)-Small Businesses Window

The Investing in Women the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK) is a five-year, CAN $9.7 million programme funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Implemented by the AECF, whose goal is to enhance women’s economic empowerment by promoting women and young women’s participation in the traditional and nontraditional sectors of the blue economy.

The programme objectives are to:

  • Support evidence-based programme interventions that support women’s economic participation in non-traditional sectors of the blue economy.
  • Enhance private sector engagement of women as economic actors across the blue economy value chain.
  • Increase private and public sector investment in women and young women-owned Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Reduce systemic gender inequalities that hinder women’s effective economic participation in the blue economy.

The SBW competitive business challenge has the following objectives

  • Enhance financial inclusivity for the women and young women-owned small enterprises operating in Kenya’s Blue Economy sector increasing access to credit, enabling market linkages, supply of inputs/ products/services along the value chain and creating employment.
  • Provide targeted enterprise development services, and gender capacity and development support to small businesses.
  • Advocate and increase awareness of the business case for investing in women in the Blue Economy in Kenya.
  • Provide incentives for sustainable widespread adoption of climate-smart practices in Kenya’s Blue Economy
  • Fisheries (deep sea /lake fishing, aquaculture, and mariculture),
  • Productive use of renewable energy,
  • Waste management (innovations on the conversion of waste to value),
  • Biodiversity protection (marine and lake biodiversity protected areas),
  • Tourism – provision of products and services for the tourism sector,
  • Supply of inputs and services (e.g., access to finance, climate-smart technologies – aquatic blue food storage and transportation, market information etc.) and
  • Social enterprises that reduce the burden of care for women and young women (e.g., day care child services).
Geography/Target Group

Women and young-women-owned small enterprises that are commercially active in the respective sectors of Kenya’s blue economy. The small enterprises must be located in one of the focus counties in the Lake Victoria basin and Coastal regions. Those with linkages to women and young women-owned micro-enterprises will be preferred.

Funding Information
  • Minimum fund award of KSh 1,500,000
  • Maximum fund award of KSh 6,000,000
Focus Areas

Focus counties include Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay and Migori.

Deadline Date: September 28, 2023

For more information, visit Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.

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