Highlights from Accelerating Sustainable Development Webinar

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E4Impact would like to thank you all for registering and participating in our “Accelerating Sustainable Development” webinar.  There are many lessons to draw from it and we have prepared this article to share the highlights with you.

To access the full recording of the session: Click here


Below are the responses from the questions from the audience and our panelists took time to respond to the questions asked. The questions were grouped in themes

From the Q & A session, we received insightful questions and grouped them into key themes:

1) Business Associations Support and Funding

Q: KNCCI together with Mastercard foundation are facilitating SMEs with no interest loans of sh. 20,000 – 30,000 (payable in a span of 2 months) to help them get back to business. How does one become a member? Is the membership fee an annual or lifetime fee? – Karl Murage and Said Twahir

A: The normal KNCCI  membership depends on the category i.e. indivixual, SME, or corporate.  However as part of the COVID recovery for SMEs / Individuals has been reduced to Ksh 500/- ONLY. If one is within an association, this goes down further to Ksh 250/-

Q: How are you partnering with the arts to embed sustainability? I am passionate in this line and would be willing to partner with you. – Joyce Omondi

A: KNCCI will be working with Home Boyz University for incubating people in the arts sector.

2) SDGS and Inclusivity

Q: Could you please share SDG action manager process and is the tool accessible? – Nderito Rosemary

A: (1) You can access the NDC-SDG tool that has been developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute to support decision makers understand the linkages between climate action (addressed in SDG 13) and the other SDGs online: https://klimalog.die-gdi.de/ndc-sdg/country/KEN  (2) The UN SDG Action Manager is free and accessible to all: http://globalcompactkenya.org/what-we-do/sdgs/sdg-action-manager

Q: Does UN global compact have any recognitions/awards for companies that are leading the pack with regards to SDG contributions. – Peter Byemaro

A: The UN Global Compact through its SDG accelerator programs and initiatives does recognize the contributions of participating companies and their employees. Please see link here for more info: http://www.globalcompactkenya.org/index.php/initiatives/2020-sdg-pioneers-programme

Would you want to learn more about the benefits of joining, you can read more: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/participation/join/benefits

Q: How can we ensure Integration of individuals with Disabilities in the achievement of the SDGs? – Paul Mugambi

A: The UN Global Compact through its SDG accelerator programs and initiatives does recognize the contributions of participating companies and their employees. Please see link here for more info: http://www.globalcompactkenya.org/index.php/initiatives/2020-sdg-pioneers-programme . Would you want to learn more about the benefits of joining, you can read more: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/participation/join/benefits

Q: How can we ensure the achievement of the SDGs in the face of pandemics and climate variability? – Anonymous

A: The SDGs apply to all persons and recognize the importance of inclusion in the sustainable development agenda. Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth & employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.

The Government of Kenya is also actively promoting disability mainstreaming in order to anchor disability into government policies, plans and programmes. Local governments need to consult persons with disabilities and their organizations in the preparations of budgets and related stakeholder processes.

The SDGs and their targets cover a wide range of issues that mirror the human rights framework. Respecting and supporting the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of human rights but also of business success. Among other things, persons with disabilities represent huge potential and power as employees, suppliers, consumers, investors and business partners.

By focusing on skills rather than stereotypes, companies can access the still oftentimes untapped pool of talent of persons with disabilities. Diverse skills, points of views and abilities have several positive effects on business like an improved organizational capacity for problem solving and innovation needed in the achievement of the SDGs.

By fostering the inclusion of persons with disabilities, businesses also improve their reputation both on the national and international level as they show that they live up to their responsibilities and values and are committed to supporting and promoting the rights of this segment of the population.

Therefore, the business community can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by including persons with disabilities by eliminating gender disparities, providing decent work for all women and men and promoting social, economic and political inclusion of all.

Q: How can we ensure the achievement of the SDGs in the face of pandemics and climate variability?

A: The impact of COVID-19 deepens further the concern over whether the SDGs can be achieved by 2030. COVID has slowed economic growth, disrupted supply chains, increased unemployment, and raised poverty and hunger. At the same time, we continue to face a global climate emergency with irreversible impacts for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.

Re-calibrating the SDGs especially in the current climate won’t be easy hence the need for a changed approach is accumulating. Countries need to drastically change the way they think and act. The pandemic is radically altering economic and societal realities and action needs to be taken to tackle poverty and inequality, health, education, biodiversity & climate.

To date, the scale and pace of change has not been big enough or fast enough and this is a call to companies and entrepreneurs to be more ambitious. There are several benchmarks for the coming Decade of Action, including gender balance at all levels of management, a living wage for all employees and science-based emissions reduction targets.

Coordinated partnerships involving every stakeholder group working to advance sustainable development is essential. As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact calls on business leaders everywhere to unite to support workers, communities and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides guidance and support to companies everywhere.

3) Agri-food & Renewable Challenges and Opportunities

Q:On the Food waste, isn’t an irony that we have so much food wasted, in the midst of so many hungry people ? How is it that it easy to move donated from across the ocean such as the Netherlands and a challenge to move from Kitale to Kainug_Turkana Lodwa just 100km distance – Jebby Bischof

A: It is estimated that about 50% of food produced in Africa is lost at the post harvest level. Several factors can explain the irony that you have identified. A key factor is market imperfections which means that food producers are not able to access the markets for their produce. In Kenya for example, the constraints include; (1) the short shelf life of food; (2) lack of infrastructure (e.g. food storage and cooling facilities, roads, lack of automation in processing etc); (3) Constraints that come with policy such as inability to meet food standards for safety e.g. our maize has high levels of aflatoxin; and (4) price distortions due to for instance input subsidies for farmers in countries that export food to Kenya. In many cases, smallholder producers do not aggregate or build their produce to be able to negotiate better prices.

Q: As a Dairy value chain Actor (SME) engaged in Dairy Milk value addition, owing to incidences of Covid-19, and successful harvest season because of prevalent rainfall throughout the year, challenges associated with post-harvest losses, I would like to know what support intervention do you have on reducing post-harvest losses on infrastructure? – Joel Rutoh

A: Milk has a very short shelf-life and can go bad very quickly if not stored in hygienic conditions and right temperature. It is therefore critical for milk producers to invest in cooling plants where milk can be kept as it is being pasteurized for packaging or transformed to other value added products such as cheese, and yoghurt.

Investment in infrastructure such as cooling plants require high capital costs which is often beyond the reach of individual farmers and SMEs. I therefore encourage you to reach out to existing cooperatives or form groups that can enable you to access capital for purchasing cooling plant. You can also reach out to large dairy processors such as Brookside, New KCC and others that may be in a position to provide technical and logistical support. 

Q: When using sawdust to manufacture briquettes, how do you ensure the trees felled for timber/ sawdust are replaced?- Pauline Kariuki

A: Lejan Energy is currently sourcing uses sawdust from trees that have been been felled many years ago. When we buy fresh sawdust, we only buy from private commercial saw millers who fell trees from their private forestry. In their private forestry, they have comprehensive felling and planting programs which we individually visit and vet their programs.

4) E4Impact Programs

Q: How can I join the E 4Impact MBA program- Rose Osok

A: Hi Rose, please reach out to bernadette.mutinda@e4impact.org who will support you in the process to join the MBA in Tangaza University

Q: How does E4Impact support MSMEs in manufacturing in the leather industry? – Samuel Wachira

A: E4Impact Foundation through its Accelerator has identified the Leather sector as a crucial sector in creating employment while contributing to the economy. More support is offered in terms of market linkages, technology and skills transfer.

Q: Is it possible to have links to mentors with other organisations in our particular line of business to learn from them how to grow and scale our individual business for impact and economic growth. – Fiona Luswata

A: E4Impact has a network of over 1,000 alumni in our network operating in diverse sectors. If you would like to learn more about our programmes, click here: www.e4iaccelerator.org . Also, please send us an email with your business brief on accelerator.kenya@e4impact.org and we are happy to guide you further.

How does E4Impact support waste management company which are not in Kenya for example companies that are in South Sudan? What opportunities might such companies take advantage of? – Peter Bichok

A: We are currently do not have a presence in South Sudan but we are expanding our programs and we hope to be in South Sudan soon. Please keep checking on our social media – https://www.facebook.com/E4Impact to follow the progress into Juba.

Q: How are accelerators preparing startups for a successful fundraise and scaling their business?

A: Fundraising for startups in an accelerated program is dependent on the level of readiness of a startup. For some startups, achieving better product-market fit or developing more competitive offerings can help attract more customers (and subsequently) more revenue. This is often referred to as self financing.

In other cases, working capital may be required due to the long operating cycles of the industry. Debt is also an option depending on the potential of a startup to generate cash. Equity is also an option for startups depending on the objectives of investor and the potential for the startup to build value over time. Hybrid instruments also exist – which blend features of both debt and equity. The accelerator can directly invest in a startup, identify a suitable investor, or where a startup has independently identified an investor, the accelerator may facilitate the transaction by offering technical support e.g negotiations, term sheets etc.


We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below or get in touch with us at: accelerator.kenya@e4impact.org or check us out on social media.

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