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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

Reducing the risks of investing in agri-preneurs: How this Kenyan is doing it

Published on May 05, 2015
“We discovered that small-scale agriculture in Kenya has an annual funding gap of about U$1bn.” “There are many young entrepreneurs who are well educated, very savvy and enlightened, and who opt for a career in agri-preneurship. But the one thing they don’t have access to is the financing needed. And it’s always a shock for them when, with all these credentials and plans, they are told by banks: ‘Sorry, we can’t provide finance because you don’t have collateral’.” However, Farm Capital Africa’s model offers funding without the need for collateral and monthly premium payments by developing a risk-sharing arrangement between Farm Capital Africa, investors and the farmer. So how does it work? According to Muriu, it all comes down to lowering the risks for investors associated with funding farmers. For example, the company only invests in projects with a source of irrigation, such as access to a river or borehole, and which does not rely on unpredictable rainfall. All projects are also insured against ‘acts of God’ and field officers are appointed to assist farmers. Farm Capital Africa also develops contractual relationships with the buyers of the farm produce. “We promise buyers that if they work with us, we have a number of farmers who can deliver produce consistently and at a very good price. So contracts are signed between the buyers and Farm Capital Africa.” When produce is sold to the buyer, the money goes into a company account, and there is no room for misappropriation of funds by the farmer. Farm Capital Africa then works out how much of the pool goes to the farmer, the investor and Farm Capital Africa. Read more. Source | How we made it in Africa
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Security beefed up in Nairobi as US Secretary of State John Kerry jets in

Published on May 04, 2015
Security checks were intensified at all airport entries and exits since Saturday, with more GSU personnel deployed. More checks were mounted across the Nairobi City County. Kerry’s jet touched down at the JKIA shortly after 3pm, and he is expected to hold talks with Government, opposition leaders and the civil society until Tuesday. Kerry is visiting the country ahead of US President Barack Obama’s July tour, the first in the country since he (Obama) became president. Kerry will focus on trade and US investment as well as regional security and the threat from Somalia’s Al Shaabab militants. His meetings will focus mainly on how to deal with the funding of Al Shabaab and how to deal with those providing other resources to the terror group. Emphasis will be on the radicalization of Kenyan youth into joining the terror organisation. Read more . Source | Standard Digital 
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Kenya’s growing appetite for imports widen trade deficit

Published on May 04, 2015
Kenya's trade deficit continues to widen owing to a large import bill dampening the prospect of East Africa's largest economy sustaining its current growth streak. This comes even as economists warn that the country's reliance on exports is exposing the economy to shocks and should be addressed. According to 2015 Economic Survey released this week by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, imports of aircrafts and associated equipment like road motor vehicles, industrial machinery and petroleum products pushed up the country's import bill. "The balance of trade deteriorated from a deficit of Sh911 billion in 2013 to a deficit of Sh1.08 billion in 2014 translating to an increase of 18 per cent," it said. "During the period under review, the import bill increased by 14.5 per cent while the earnings from exports registered a smaller increase of 7 per cent." Read more. Source | Standard Digital
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Future of Kenya's economy hangs on exports expansion

Published on April 30, 2015
Kenya has never really been a serious exporting country. Our complacency with vulnerable sectors such as agriculture and tourism has severally been laid bare by nature through acts of weather and more recently by terrorists. The over dependence on agricultural exports – over 50 per cent of total goods exported, when we know all too well that the sector is prone to weather and international prices is very telling. Yet the country has huge potential to expand her export base. For starters, we could go for low lying fruits by penetrating ready markets in the region. There are striking similarities in the consumption habits of East Africans, why then do we export so little to the region when most of what is produced locally has appeal in the region? While about 46 per cent of our exports go to Africa a cursory look at our major markets in Africa reveal that what they buy from us is a negligible fraction of their imports of the same products from the rest of the world. In other words with the right strategies more could be sold to the same markets. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Work on Bill to cut Internet, business costs in Kenya begins

Published on April 30, 2015
Kenya's private sector and the government last week started working on a Bill that if enacted would help reduce the cost of doing business by driving the Internet charges down further. The Infrastructure Protection Bill, which is being developed by the ministries of Information, Energy and Transport intends to harmonise the existing pieces of legislation from the various ministries and bring others on board. The 12-member task force is chaired by the Airtel Africa group regulatory director Alice Kariuki. Other members of the team include MTN Business Kenya managing director Tom Omariba, Silas Kinoti and Patrick Mwinzi. Read more. Source | Business Daily
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Kenya and Microsoft sign pupils and teachers’ equipment pact

Published on April 30, 2015
Microsoft and the ICT Authority of Kenya have signed an agreement to provide equipment for over two million primary school children and 300,000 teachers in public schools after a successful launch of digital Kenya Library across 60 counties. Microsoft will support the government on ICT policy training to the teachers in integrating technology into education programme. Proposed areas of training will include proficiency in Microsoft Technologies, Microsoft Teach with Technology courseware and accreditation as Microsoft Certified Educators. The company is expected to provide a cloud-based platform to facilitate its education delivery with an already digitalised primary syllabus system. Read more. Source | Business Daily 
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Kenya's 2015 Economic Survey Report indicates increased growth in exports to the USA under AGOA

Published on April 30, 2015
The value of export of articles of apparel to USA, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), increased by 24.4 per cent to KSh 30.1 billion in 2014 from KSh 24.2 billion in 2013. Read more. Source | Standard Digital.
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Agriculture still Kenya's top growth engine

Published on April 30, 2015
Agriculture and manufacturing remained the key growth drivers as the country's economy grew by 5.3 per cent last year. According to the Economic Survey 2015 released yesterday, Agriculture accounted for 27.3 per cent of the GDP last year, more than two times what the manufacturing sector injected into the economy. The report, however, notes that the agricultural sector grew at a decelerated rate of 3.5 per cent from a revised Sh795 billion in 2013 to Sh822 billion in 2014. Read more. Source | Standard Digital
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