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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’
Q&A with Winifred Karugu, author of KACE case study in Kenya

Winifred Karugu is currently the Managing Director (MD) of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Enterprises (JKUATES), a company that is 100% owned by the University. She is based in the University’s Main Campus at Juja, in Kenya. The Company is the commercial wing of JKUAT and engages in direct linkages with industry through training, consultancy and related activities. She had also served as a director of the JKUATES for three years before her appointment as MD. Prior to this appointment, which took place in February 2008, Winifred was the Director of the School for Human Resources Development, which houses Business and Humanities at the University, a position that she held for four years. Winifred also lectures in economics and marketing courses units at the university. She also engages in research and consultancy. She has published several articles in refereed journals and written several business cases both teaching and analytical. Her research interests include pro-poor business models, SME growth strategies in emerging markets and gender & technology transfer. Winifred is a member of: Academy of Management (AoM), International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), Africa Technology and Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and Kenya Association of Business and Management Professionals (KABMAP). Find below selected publications of her work.

Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE) is the first and only national agricultural commodity exchange in Kenya, and it differentiates itself by dealing with a variety of commodities of which maize and beans are the most heavily traded. KACE acting as an intermediary further empowers rural farmers with market information and provides capacity enhancement, business training and technical assistance.

To download the KACE case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is KACE’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

KACE’s main value proposition is the inclusion of previously hapless small scale farmers into the mainstream economy. Small scale farmers have long been exploited or unable to sell and/or obtain fair prices for their produce. The net result is that they tended to sink deeper into poverty and despair. KACE’s activities be they radio-based, mobile phone-based, internet-based or the warehouse scheme have resulted in farmers receiving better prices and being able to negotiate in the market place. Their standards of living have risen and they are able to plan for the longer term rather than living from day to day. Greater availability has meant greater food security in a region where hunger stress was common.

Access to markets has clearly improved the livelihoods of many farmers; though what are the remaining challenges for the growth of this business model?

The main constraints to growth include missing or incomplete output and input markets, high transaction costs and low levels of technology.

How important is new technology, as used by KACE, in improving the lives of poor in Kenya?

The mobile phone has had tremendous uptake in developing countries for example in Kenya with a population of 40 million people 24 million now own mobile phones. The applications and technology for the mobile has also grown tremendously with internet connectivity, money transfer, banking and hundreds of applications now routinely available. For example current Central bank figures show that Kenyans now move in excess of a billion USD through mobile phones every month. Mobile phones have enabled millions of the unbanked to have bank accounts and to trade. The possibilities of what can be done with this are huge.

What are the success factors that need to be in place for this commodity exchange model to be replicated elsewhere?

The fact that small scale farmers and traders can be more in control of their destiny has led to several African countries studying the KACE model and adopting it. The model is useful in the fight against poverty on the continent.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

The CEO of KACE had wide experience in this field and a passion for trying to uplift vulnerable farmers who were sinking deeper into poverty through exploitation and ignorance. Also several things disturbed him such as the facts that certain areas in Kenya would have overproduction and waste, while other areas would be experiencing drought at the same time. He wanted to level the field so that all poor farmers were included in the wider economy and able to participate on a more equitable level.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

My experience in the GIM training and research of cases has been invaluable to me in that I gained knowledge and deeper insight into models that positively influence the poor.

 
Q&A with Winifred Karugu, author of Ecotact case study in Kenya

Winifred Karugu is currently the Managing Director (MD) of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Enterprises (JKUATES), a company that is 100% owned by the University. She is based in the University’s Main Campus at Juja, in Kenya. The Company is the commercial wing of JKUAT and engages in direct linkages with industry through training, consultancy and related activities. She had also served as a director of the JKUATES for three years before her appointment as MD. Prior to this appointment, which took place in February 2008, Winifred was the Director of the School for Human Resources Development, which houses Business and Humanities at the University, a position that she held for four years. Winifred also lectures in economics and marketing courses units at the university. She also engages in research and consultancy. She has published several articles in refereed journals and written several business cases both teaching and analytical. Her research interests include pro-poor business models, SME growth strategies in emerging markets and gender & technology transfer. Winifred is a member of: Academy of Management (AoM), International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), Africa Technology and Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and Kenya Association of Business and Management Professionals (KABMAP). Find below selected publications of her work.

Ecotact is a company that provides low-income people with the most basic of necessities: affordable sanitation in pleasant surroundings within urban areas, with particular emphasis on the most disadvantaged areas such as urban slums.

To download the Ecotact case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Ecotact’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Ecotact’s main value proposition is the provision of affordable and pleasant sanitation options to the masses that previously had few and often unpleasant options available when they were out and about. Ecotact facilities now routinely provide comfort and dignity to middle and lower income customers but for the lowest end of the market, Ecotact provides even greater value in that they now have access to facilities that were not available to them before. Slum dwellers often lack privacy in matters of sanitation and hygiene and the options available are often substandard and seriously overcrowded. In addition to this security is often an issue. Slum dwellers therefore greatly appreciate access to warm showers and clean toilets in secure and pleasant surroundings. The franchise model creates value for would be entrepreneurs.

What are the main benefits of using a franchise model for the Ikotoilets?

The franchise model is of benefit to society in that there is rapid expansion of the facilities. Entrepreneurs benefit in that their capital input is lower, the standardization inherent in such models gains the trust of the public, ensuring a reliable market.

What are the main challenges facing Ecotact’s scale up and replication?

The main challenges faced by Ecotact in their efforts to scale-up include the fact that land in urban centres is not readily available and is very expensive as well. Municipal land is more available but subject to politicization. So far the real problem currently facing Ecotact is that the demand for their services far outstrips their ability to provide.

What makes this public-private partnership model successful and what more can government do to ensure access to sanitation to improve the lives of people living in informal settlements?

This private-public partnership has been successful due to the fact that it is a win-win situation all round. The municipals gain by cleaner, more environmentally friendly towns, the facilities will end up in their hands eventually and the public is more dignified. Ecotact gains financially and the public is much more comfortable. Government can help this process by encouraging similar entrepreneurial activity especially where the most vulnerable people reside.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

My opinion is that the success of this process was largely driven by the success and sheer determination of the CEO of Ecotact. He is driven more by a desire to do something about squalor than by profits.

 
"Private-Public Partnership: Sharing and applying best practices for roll out of successful irrigation solutions for sustainable food security, economic empowerment and growth"

UNDP Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) Initiative has co-hosted this event with the Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger (BAACH), which took take place at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi on 3 December, 2009. This workshop brought together representatives from government, international organizations, private sector, academia, and civil society organizations to share experiences in irrigation  practices that will help advance both learning at the global level and action on the ground.

Speakers include:
Henry Jackelen, Director, Private Sector Division, UNDP
Cornelia Roettger, Director, Business Alliance  Against Chronic Hunger
Milo Gilad, Head of Development & PR, Amiran
John Kihia, Country Director, Kick Start
Lars Larsen, General Manager, Grundfos Lifelink
Mark Jeunnette, Water Technology Developer, International Development Enterprises Ethiopia
Amon Anderson, Acumen Fund Kenya
Sahba Sobhani, Programme Manager, UNDP Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative

Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger (BAACH), formed by World Economic Forum partners and constituents in 2006, and which includes UNDP/Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) Initiative on its Advisory Board, works to develop and implement business-led solutions to hunger in Kenya. Through the Alliance, over 30 companies and partners are working to develop commercially viable, pro-poor business models that improve food production and incomes in the pilot site in Siaya, one of the Kenya’s poorest districts.  The intent is to use the best practices for a national and regional roll out.

UNDP Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) Initiative is also currently conducting an impact assessment of the BAACH business model.

The workshop will highlight:

  • Available irrigation technologies and business strategies for their financing and distribution, and allow partners to brainstorm on opportunities for implementation, resource mobilization, and capacity building.
  • Sharing insights on how to create and implement successful private-public partnerships and synergies for:

-    Increasing impact of water harvesting/irrigation solutions on food security and sustainable agribusiness and economic growth
-    Accelerating speed of implementation
-    Driving economic empowerment, engaging youth into transformation from subsistence agriculture to commercial agribusiness