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IFC and AECF Launch Competition for Local Businesses in Kakuma and Kalobeyei

Kakuma, Kenya – WEBWIRE

IFC and the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) today launched a competition to allow established local businesses operating in Kenya’s Turkana County to demonstrate  how their businesses can have sustainable development impact by creating opportunities and jobs in the Kakuma refugee hosting area.

Established businesses in any sector already operating in Turkana are invited to apply for the Local Enterprise Development competition by submitting a business proposal and the amount of funding needed to bring the proposal to fruition. More details about the competition and how to enter can be found at

The competition, which runs from September 14 to November 5, 2021 is being conducted by the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), a joint initiative of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and AECF. The competition is supported by the Turkana County Government and UNHCR. Winners of the Local Enterprise Development competition will receive funding and advisory support and are expected to be announced in early 2022.

Turkana West is home to approximately 454,000 people, which includes roughly 200,000 refugees from various parts of Africa. Through this competition and other activities, IFC, AECF, the Turkana County government, and UNHCR are supporting private sector development and job creation in the region, and helping to empower and improve the lives of the host community and refugees.

“I am happy to see this joint initiative come to life and provide opportunities for the businesses of Turkana County,” said Turkana County Governor, H.E. Hon. Josphat Nanok. “My government is keen to strengthen service delivery as well as create a favourable environment to conduct business. This competition affirms our continued commitment to exploring new opportunities and deploying innovative solutions to better address the financing needs of businesses and accelerate economic growth in Turkana.”

“This competition demonstrates IFC’s commitment to local businesses in Kenya and our strategy to help uplift host communities and refugees with private sector solutions,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa. “IFC has identified untapped economic potential in the Kakuma refugee hosting area and the wider Turkana County region. We believe this potential can be realized with increased funding and solid advisory support.”

“The Local Enterprise Development Window exclusively targets local small and medium enterprises owned and operated by the residents of Turkana County, including the host community and refugees,” said AECF’s CEO, Victoria Sabula. “The Window has a special focus on expanding the horizon of opportunities for women and creating opportunities for young people. We envisage that businesses supported by KKCF will generate employment, improve services, and increase consumer choices for the people of Turkana County.”

The KKCF Local Enterprise Development Window is targeting established, local small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Kakuma and Kalobeyei areas, and businesses operating in other parts of Turkana County and looking to expand to Kakuma and Kalobeyei. Winners will receive performance-based grants from between Kes. 1.5 million and Kes. 5 million, and advisory support focused on business development, financial management, marketing, and publicity. Eligible companies must show that their business proposals are sustainable and assure development impact.

This is the third competition launched under KKCF by IFC and AECF to support private sector development in and around Kakuma and Kalobeyei. Previous competitions (the Private Sector Window and the Social Enterprise Window), launched in late 2020, sought private businesses and social enterprises from anywhere in the world to establish or grow operations in the Kakuma and kalobeyei. The first batch of winners of those competitions was announced earlier in September.

KKCF is supported by five development agencies: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the European Union.


About KKCF

KKCF is a five-year program designed to support private sector investment and unlock the economic potential of refugees and their hosts in the Kakuma-Kalobeyei refugee-hosting area in northern Kenya. KKCF aims to attract private companies to the area and support local entrepreneurs to create jobs and improve service provision in the Kakuma area. The program targets all private sector players, from small companies and medium-sized family businesses to social enterprises and large firms. For more information, visit

About AECF

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a non-profit institution that supports early and growth stage businesses in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors to reduce poverty, promote resilient communities and create jobs through private sector investment. AECF invests in businesses that strive to find innovative solutions to tackle development challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim is to transform lives, one business at a time by funding early and growth stage businesses that improve the lives of rural communities and display potential for credible commercial viability and growth. For more information, visit

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit

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