- by Marina Porto (Brazil)
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Inside the Strathmore University you can find the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), the destination of our second day back in Nairobi. During our visit, we talked about KCIC services and challenges, and we also had the time to talk to entrepreneurs that are now being incubated there to learn more about their business models. Founded in 2012, the KCIC provides incubation, capacity building services and financing to SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) which are developing climate mitigation or adaptation solutions. Their areas of investment are renewable energy, agribusiness and water solutions.
The Kenya Climate Innovation Center is considered the “one stop shop to climate innovation”, and over the years they have accomplished 16 IPs registered, 33% growth in client’s revenues, 42 active partnerships, 166 SMEs incubated and 122 scaling up, of which 63% are related to renewable energies. However, they have rigorous requirements for companies seeking their support: the key criteria to participate is to have already a prototype of the desired solution.
KCIC also holds 100% of Kenya Climate Ventures (KCV), and that allows the companies in their portfolio to continue the growth path alongside with them. Nowadays, they are developing several partnerships to create Climate Innovation Centers in different countries around the world, what has become a great necessity in a world of constant innovation and growing climate pressures.
As an entrepreneur and climate leader, I think initiatives like KCIC are extremely important, as they incentivize innovation with a greater purpose. Also, by providing support to entrepreneurs, KCIC provides crucial resources for companies to thrive during its firsts years, which are when most of them fail due to lack of mentorship or funding. With an exponential population growth and increasing pressures on natural resources, we need to find new ways to sustain our development without harming our future generations, and entrepreneurship plays a fundamental role in developing and implementing solutions that can help us to address the complex problem known as climate change.
The job KCIC does alongside young entrepreneurs in Kenya is extremely valuable, and I can’t wait to see many more Climate Innovation Centers around the world, developing new solutions to the main challenges of our time and implementing them in a successful way!