Ending Generational Poverty through Rural Women Microbusinesses in Kenya

Business for Better Society is partnering with the Kenyan non-profit Activate Action and together we’re working to increase women’s participation in their local economy as business owners.

This incubator lifts young women in rural Kenya out of poverty through an innovative entrepreneurship training and mentorship program. Entrepreneurship drives economic growth, creates self-sufficiency and solves some large-scale development problems women face. Our project serves the unique needs of women at the base of the economic pyramid. It supports them to start sustainable businesses ventures rooted in the local economy, such that they can have reliable income stream long into the future.

Our incubator project is designed to serve the unique needs of women in the Homa Bay region of Kenya that are at the base of the economic pyramid by:

  1. Igniting their entrepreneurial potential.
  2. Enabling them to be the agent of their own change.
  3. Supporting them to start sustainable businesses ventures rooted in the local economy, such that they can have reliable income stream long into the future.
  4. Providing grants to start their business venture.

All the women that will participate in our business incubator are living with HIV/AIDS or have been impacted by the disease through the loss of family member(s).

Greater Project Objective:  To build capacity of 500 women affected/living with HIV in Homa Bay county to start and sustain businesses.  The first cohort will involve 30 women. Monitoring and evaluation of the first cohort will have an emphasis on proof of project concept to support the larger roll out. Longer term, we believe this incubator is scalable and will be working towards ramping up our incubator for women in Africa and elsewhere.

Capacity Building Using the Street Business School Model (SBS)

Activate Action is trained and certified to deliver the Street Business School program, which is the basis of the skill development for the participants.

SBS empowers women to become thriving entrepreneurs, lifting themselves and their families to a more vibrant future. Their proven curriculum teaches women living in poverty the tools they need to successfully start and grow microbusinesses.

The program is designed for localisation and for those who may not have a significant formal education, plus it includes critical confidence building components. SBS teaches women to start, manage and grow self-sustaining microbusinesses, starting small without requiring loads or significant start-up capital.  The SBS model is about giving confidence and business skills, plus on-going coaching support.

The SBS model is a proven and trusted methodology for creating microbusinesses:

  • 211% Increase in Income Two Years After Graduation (SBS Uganda) from $1.35 to $4.19
  • 80%-89% Own One Business One Year After Completing the SBS Program
  • 46%-56% Own Two or More Business One Year After Completing the SBS Program
  • Program Graduates Measure High on Their Perception of Their Ability to Persevere, Cope with Setbacks and Improve Over Time.

SBS data sources include a 3-year randomized control trial (RCT), evaluations by external firms, and a robust data collection system tracking the progress of their NGO partners (like Activate Action) and their beneficiaries.

FYI, Street Business School official website can be viewed by clicking here. 

Paying It Forward

Graduates from the incubator will play an important future role by acting as mentors to new cohorts.  They’ll provide valuable support based on their experiences and share key learning’s during and after participation on the incubator. 

The broader goal is to build a network of women that can support each other as they build their businesses.

Your donation will go directly to our incubator costs and the start-up grants.

We’re delighted to introduce you to some of the 140 businesses that BBS has helped launched in 2022 and 2023.