World Bank launches initiative to crowdfund green startups in Kenya


The Kenya Climate Innovation Centre‘s (KCIC) ribbons have officially been cut this week, with a vision of mentoring and crowdfunding small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa. Specifically, those focusing on eco-friendly or green technologies.

This comes at the back of a study, done by the World Bank’s infoDev arm, which reckons that the crowdfunding potential in the developing world could reach up to US$90-and US$96-billion per year by 2025. Considering the popular US crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, saw a total of US$1.5-billion pass through its platform, that’s a lot of money.

The report further found that from an income perspective the number of households in developing economies with a potential of participating in crowdfunding range from 240 million to 344 million.

Read more: Green Pioneer Accelerator reveals 23 entrepreneurs selected from Kenya, SA

“By helping entrepreneurs connect with a global pool of investors, crowdfunding may represent a new tool that can address a funding problem faced by many local green ventures,” says World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Diarietou Gaye.

“Despite the growing number of SMEs interested in crowdfunding in emerging markets, information and data on the topic is scarce and difficult to find. The ultimate goal of this project is to assist local ventures in making the most of this innovative form of financing,” notes CEO of the KCIC, Edward Mungai.

So far the programme have incubated six green startups from the region over the past four months. These include Wanda Organic, Global Supply Solutions, iCoal Concepts, Skynotch Energy Africa, Develatech, and the Human Needs Project.

Some of these startups have already launched their crowdfunding projects on the popular online platform, Indiegogo. These include Wanda Organic, Global Supply Solutions and Skynotch Energy Africa.

The other startups from the programme will start their projects later this year. Whether they will reach their funding goals or not remains to be seen.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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