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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

USAID Hub AGOA video roundoup

Published on October 11, 2018
The USAID Hub creates videos to showcase East African firm capabilities and development outcomes, with a focus on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) sourcing opportunities. For a roundup of our apparel and coffee sourcing videos, click here.
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Coffee growing counties to conduct bushes count

Published on September 25, 2018
The national government will help counties in coffee growing zones to conduct a physical county of coffeebushes, and carry out soil analysis in the regions, as drive to improve the crop takes shape. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Njeru Ndwiga said the two governments have already rolled out the exercise in Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties, while the same will be launched in Embu this weekend. Speaking in Embu town, Mr Ndwiga said the sampling of soils by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives together with respective counties will determine the right fertilizer, as the government prepares to disburse Sh1.5billion subsidy. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Over 7,000 book Kenya Airways direct flights to New York

Published on September 25, 2018
About 7,000 travellers have already booked Kenya Airways (KQ) direct flights to New York ahead of the October 28 inaugural journey. The flights between Nairobi and New York will play a pivotal role in boosting economic partnership between the two countries. KQ will operate daily flights between Nairobi and New York both ways. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
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Kenyan greenhouse tech company hacks itself to agricultural glory

Published on September 18, 2018
A Kenyan greenhouse farming technology company emerged a clear winner of early stage category during the just concluded Pitch AgriHack 2018 in Kigali Rwanda. Illuminum Greenhouses Kenya, were rewarded grants of between €5000 and €7500.   ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ is a competition organised by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) – a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU) – to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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East Africa’s first online forex trading platform in Kenya using M-Pesa or a mobile payment channel

Published on July 19, 2018
EGM Securities, Kenya’s first and only regulated non-dealing online forex broker, has launched the region’s first online forex trading offering in Kenya that enables trading using multiple payment channels including mobile payment channels such as M-Pesa. This innovative financial offering bolsters Kenya’s positioning as a leader in financial innovation in Africa. For the first time, Kenyans will have the opportunity to participate in global forex markets in a strictly locally regulated environment and at lower transaction costs. Read more. Source | Global Banking and Finance Review
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Kenya's exports to Tanzania up 28.5pc in first five months

Published on July 18, 2018
Exports to Tanzania rose by the highest margin, outpacing other top buyers of Kenya’s goods in the first five months of the year, fresh statistics show, as trade relations begin to improve between the two states. Dar es Salaam ordered goods worth Sh10.54 billion between January and May, 28.58 per cent more than the same period in 2017, data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) last week indicates. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Road to an export-oriented economy

Published on July 18, 2018
Today, Kenya finds itself in an awkward yet promising position in its history. For one thing, our unemployment rate is arguably one of the highest in the East African region. Additionally, Kenya’s youth (between 18-35 years) account for over 30 per cent of the total population, and over half of the country’s population is below 35 years. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
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Fruit drying machine opens markets for over 500 Kenyan farmers

Published on July 18, 2018
Kenyan farmers lose tonnes of food produced due to different reasons which can be avoided with enough inputs in the agricultural sector. Globally, food wastage is estimated to be approximately 1.3 billion tonnes. This is roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year. In monetary value, food losses and waste amount to roughly US$ 310 billion in developing countries-which Kenya is part of- and US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries. Read more. Source | The Exchange
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