Home Business Visa Announces Finalists for She’s Next Kenya Program, Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Visa Announces Finalists for She’s Next Kenya Program, Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

by Femme Staff

As part of celebrating International MSME Day 2024 which was marked on 27th June, Visa, a world leader in digital payments announced the top five finalists for the inaugural She’s Next Kenya program. After a rigorous selection process from over 2,300 applicants, the finalists who will compete for the grand prize of up to KES 2.5 million are Busu Naturals, Cladfy, Code with Kids, Crafts with Meaning, and Timao Group.

She’s Next is part of Visa’s efforts to support the creation of an inclusive, equitable world where women business owners can flourish. It aims to support women-owned small businesses through funding, training, and mentorship. 

“We received an overwhelming number of applications from amazing women-led businesses from across the country and have reviewed all of them quite keenly. These finalists have demonstrated exceptional business acumen, innovation, and resilience, standing out from a highly competitive field. They represent a diverse range of industries and are set to significantly contribute to the Kenyan economy and beyond. We are also excited about the additional SMEs that we are integrating into our She’s Next community to help them further develop their business skills and strategies, propelling their enterprises to new heights”, said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager.

In addition to the top five, an additional 15 SMEs will enter a capacity building and mentorship program being carried out in partnership with Kayana Create, a community of female entrepreneurs that seeks to support and empower talented women entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level.  

“She’s Next Kenya continues to champion the empowerment of women entrepreneurs, fostering innovation and creating economic opportunities. We congratulate the finalists and look forward to their presentations. The determination and drive they have demonstrated are truly inspiring and we are excited to see who will emerge as the winner in this fierce competition”, said Patricia Okelo, Co-founder, Kayana Create.

The selected SMEs are drawn from various industries including sustainability, financial services and STEM education. They include:

  • Busu Naturals – Addresses the need for locally manufactured emollients that cater to sensitive African skin by incorporating local botanicals and traditional beauty practices from different Kenyan ethnicities to provide high-quality, safe, and consistent skincare products.
  • Cladfy – Addresses the credit gap in sub-Saharan Africa’s informal sector by enabling micro-lenders to provide working capital loans to micro-businesses such as smallholder farmers, fish vendors, and motorcycle riders.
  • Code with Kids – Empowers children from low-income backgrounds with affordable and accessible STEM education, ensuring socio-economic barriers do not hinder their ability to learn, innovate, and succeed.
  • Crafts with Meaning – An award-winning social enterprise that collaborates with artisans in Kenya and Uganda to create home decor goods, lifestyle accessories, bags, and corporate merchandise inspired by African heritage.
  • Timao Group – Addresses plastic pollution and affordable housing in Kenya by transforming plastic waste into durable, cost-effective building materials for modular homes.

The winner of the KES 2.5 million grant will be announced on Wednesday 10th July 2024.

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