Stanbic Kenya Foundation culminated the successful completion of its 2023 Blue Economy Program in the coastal region through a graduation and computer handover ceremony held in Serena Hotel, Mombasa.
The program, which was rolled out in 6 counties on the coast namely Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, and Mombasa County, was implemented in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
The training sessions, which were facilitated through workshops and experiential learning, saw 246 entrepreneurs equipped with financial, operational, and digital marketing skills enabling them to access new markets. Some of the MSMEs also received financing which enabled them to improve their business capacity.
As part of the program, which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union (EU), Stanbic donated 28 computers to 3 Vocational Training Centres, namely Mamba, Mwanjila, and Kisauni, to support the adoption and utilization of technology in business operations.
To ensure learning continuity, 59 instructors from various vocational training centers in the six coastal counties took part in a Training of Trainers learning under the program.
Commenting on the Blue Economy Program, Pauline Mbayah, Head, of Stanbic Kenya Foundation said, ‘’The coastal region boasts of vast resources and knowledge which, if effectively utilized, can translate into increased income and job opportunities among SMEs. By financing and training SMEs in the blue economy space, Stanbic Kenya Foundation is boosting the local economy by positioning local entrepreneurs for continuous growth.
As these enterprises grow, they can employ more people and build their market share, which subsequently leads to socioeconomic growth, locally and nationally. The Blue Economy holds immense potential for sustainable development across various sectors including maritime, aquaculture, logistics, and culture, and we are committed to building the coastal region’s business resilience and competitiveness.’’
246 entrepreneurs graduated from the Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship Promotion Program at the coast. To date, a total of Kshs 7M has been disbursed to the SMEs.
|No of Entrepreneurs Trained
In the last three years, Stanbic Bank has worked with SMEs across Kenya and supported them through capacity development and financing solutions. During this time, The Stanbic Kenya Foundation in partnership with GIZ has disbursed over KES 29M for economic empowerment to MSEs in Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi counties.
Dr. Henrik Schmidtke Go Blue Project Component leader, commented, on the project saying, “The Go Blue Project has been a great opportunity to integrate youth, women, and enterprises in the blue economy value chains, specifically the partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation has placed them onto the digital pathway opening them up to new opportunities.”
Under the social and economic pillar, Stanbic has driven financial inclusion by disbursing over KES 128M in grants and catalytic funding to over 400 MSMEs and trained 952 MSMEs through the GIZ/SKF MSE resilience program.
Stanbic Kenya, Stanbic Kenya Foundation the German government, and the EU have partnered to sustainably enhance the development of the blue economy sector in Kenya through training and funding. Stanbic’s blue economy agenda is aimed at facilitating the reduction of adverse impacts on marine habitats.
In 2022, KES 25M was allocated through a partnership with the GIZ for access to finance by MSMEs through the Go-Blue project which is aimed at improving competitiveness and enhancing the business capacities of Blue Economy.