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USAID grant signed to create 2,000 new jobs for youth in the apparel industry

Signed a new grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative. Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya, provide over 100,000 hours in skills development and train 2,000 Kenyan youth, preparing them for full-time sewing machine operator jobs in the industry.  The grant is a part of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaboration between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association that will ensure U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

Kenyan woman-owned home-décor company enters mainstream U.S. market

Supported a Kenyan home decor producer to ship her largest-to-date U.S. order. Valued at $200,000, the deal is as a result of the Hub-organized Cost Plus World Market Trade Mission. (see success story at the end of this report) The profit from this order will go to the nearly 400 artisans who contributed to each hand-carved piece and will help finance her next big export to the U.S., which shouldn’t be far off given her now proven capacity for high-volume supply.

Read more here

The Hub supports increased investments in the upcoming Kenya Leather Park

On June 30, the Hub’s leather advisor completed his contract, during which he facilitated $9 million in total investment commitments for the upcoming Kenya Leather Park and a trade deal between Bata Shoes Kenya, Kenya Defense Forces and the Kenya Prisons Services to supply a total of $1.9 million in new sales of officer’s boots and shoes. Also in the leather sector, the Hub supported an India-based ‘trainer of trainers’ session that provided new eco-friendly technologies for best practices in leather finishing and production for five Kenyan tanneries and leather companies.

The Hub facilitates $36M new private sector investments

The Hub has facilitated $30,633,968 new private sector investments in the ag and non ag sector in Kenya. The Hub offers transaction support services. Eligible investors include private equity funds, commercial banks, impact funds, and development finance institutions. The Hub’s transaction team acts as a neutral intermediary to provide: opportunity validation market intelligence, fundraising support, due diligence, deal structuring, financial analysis and modelling. 

The Hub has helped financially close $51m of investments over the life of the project, $33.9 million in the agricultural and food chain sector and $17.4 million in the non-ag sector. There are $165 million of deals under review in the Hub’s investment pipeline. Over 

Product development excellence training for SMEs

Facilitated training on product development excellence for selected SMEs in the sector, in collaboration with Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC). The training covered a wide range of topics in product development, including: product development planning, product development process, managing cross-functional teams and how to generate superior value products.

Helped leather enterprises develop innovative products that can compete globally, with a focus on company owners and senior management – those who can implement the concepts on which they were trained.

Trade and export facilitation through “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” strategy

Facilitated Kenya’s leading player in the formal footwear sector and the largest buyer of raw leather, Bata Kenya, to access opportunities for supplying Kenya Defense Forces with military boots and shoes.

Linked Bata Kenya to SMEs who have since started sourcing specialized finished leather for manufacture of leather goods, resulting in approximately $1.9 million in new sales.

Introduced MAS Tannery, a company established in 2004 that specializes in tanning (wet blue), to new markets in Turkey, India and Egypt. This allowed the company to increase exports to new clients  by approximately $500,000 per month.

Investor mobilization for the Kenya Leather Park



Supported Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture to purchase 50,000 MT of maize from Ethiopia for the Kenyan Strategic Grain Reserve, bringing the total maize trade facilitated by the Hub between Ethiopia and the East African region to $100 million in the current season. 

Related Blogs and Resources

Jay Empire Enterprises

Published on January 26, 2017
  Jay Empire Enterprises was founded in 2009. We are dedicated to producing high quality denim bags for all purposes to meet our customers needs. We seek to define style and fashion through bags, affording our clients freedom through style and elegance with our vast range of designs. Website:  
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Big catch for farmers in Nairobi post-harvest loss talks

Published on January 24, 2017
Nairobi is hosting a post-harvest conference in March, an event that is expected to benefit Kenyan farmers keen on lowering losses running into millions of shillings due to mis-handling of crops. The three-day All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition starting March 28, will be hosted by the University of Nairobi in partnership with a consortium of Kenyan universities, research organisations, the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Food Preservation Centre (WFPC). Themed Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa, the meeting targets defining solutions to reverse the trend where an estimated 30 per cent or 1.3 billion metric tonnes of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chain. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Increased investment key to agricultural growth

Published on January 24, 2017
Our future fortunes are in the hands of our farmers and the food industry. Three out of every four Kenyans work in some aspect of agriculture and food production and economic growth in agriculture is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in any other sector. The importance of agriculture for Kenya and for all of Africa is now widely acknowledged and a new wave of support is rising in both the public and private sector, and among development partners and donors. For example, at last year’s AGRF, the African Development Bank pledged $24 billion over the next 10 years for agribusiness projects in Africa. Read more. Source | Business Daily  
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House of Eleleck Limited

Published on January 20, 2017
Eleleck was founded in 2015 and produces luxury-handcrafted goods in Kenya through supporting local artisans.  The main products in our range are leather and recycled brass jewellery. The leather is locally sourced from the leading tanneries in Kenya. We believe in ethical and sustainable production and this means we pay our artisans’ competitive wages and use up-cycled brass to lessen our environmental footprint. Eleleck is all about contemporary, elegant and functional designs that best showcase the beautiful world of Africa. Find out more about Eleleck in this video :  Website: Facebook: Eleleck Instagram: @eleleck
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Clay Ventures Limited

Published on January 20, 2017
Clay Ventures or CL, as it is now fondly known, opened its doors in 2014. Conceived by a couple of interior décor designers and furniture makers, CL sought to fill a rise in demand for African contemporary handcrafted products among the middle class populations in developed and developing economies. CL began by looking at few traditional Kenyan pottery, weaving and curved art ranging from baskets, pots, flower vases, utensils, abstract carvings from wood and soapstone from across Kenya sourcing from different cultures. CL has been keen in developing an export market for its craftspeople by travelling to different parts of the world showcasing the beauty of African pottery and carving among other arts Africa has to offer to the modern world. CL has now expanded in many other products that one would need for their homes and offices made from clay, soapstone, wood, glass, leather and fabric. One of our goals at CL today is to encourage and educate young people to support Kenyan arts and crafts.   
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Published on January 19, 2017
Mohazo is a trendy African lifestyle collection with a focus on home decor gift packages and personal accessories. Mohazo ex-impo Ltd started operations over 29 years ago by sourcing high quality range of handicrafts from across East Africa and supplying predominantly to re-known chain stores in USA and other parts of the world. Following the change in world market trends, Mohazo has diversified and re-established itself as a trendy African lifestyle designer label that aims to deliver a refreshing and vibrant African spirit. Mohazo now designs and produces a diverse range of products that include lifestyle and home ware items under different categories; Kitchen & Dining, Living, Bath, Garden, Sleep, Office & Personal Accessories. Items have been styled and fashioned to suit modern world trends. The label creatively captures innovation and style that is unique and practical, not just decoration. Website: Facebook : Mohazo Kenya
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Seizing AGOA Opportunities in East Africa: African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA)

Published on January 18, 2017
Seizing AGOA Opportunities in East Africa is a production of the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub). It highlights the work of the Hub’s Component 3 – Trade Promotion and AGOA, and briefly describes the legislation AGOA.  The trifold also outlines the general steps to follow when exporting to the U.S. under AGOA, and provide information on how to engage with the Hub on issues of trade promotion and AGOA.
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US widens its lead over UK as top importer of Kenyan goods

Published on January 12, 2017
The United States has strengthened its position as Kenya’s third-largest export destination — making it Nairobi’s most valuable economic partner outside East Africa. Kenya’s exports to the US grew seven per cent to Sh35.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2016 as exports to Britain tumbled by a similar margin to Sh30.9 billion, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data. The growth saw American consumers open a Sh4.4 billion gap over their counterparts in the UK, wider than the Sh2 billion in 2014 when the US first outpaced Britain to become the third largest importer of Kenyan goods after Uganda and the Netherlands. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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