Three local women-run enterprises providing sexual reproductive health solutions have each won a 1-million-shilling grant to scale up their innovative solutions.
The three; Inteco Kenya ARI, Silmak Agencies, and Mum’s Village emerged victorious at the I AM 2.O final pitch-event held at Nailab beating seven other finalists to the prize.
Organized through a partnership by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Graca Machel Trust (GMT), and Nairobi Incubation Lab (NAILAB), the I AM 2.0 business contest sought to reward and nurture businesses that address sexual reproductive health challenges.
More than 65 businesses enterprises from Kenya applied in the six-week period from which 10 were shortlisted for the final pitch to a panel of judges. The program is funded by the Global Fund for Women and the investment grant provided by UNFPA.
Inteco Kenya ARI is a business that offers sanitary pads distribution services done through the ARI vending machine that is mounted at accessible locations. Silmak Agencies, on the other hand, focuses on manufacturing of adult diapers, sanitary pads, sanitary pads dispensers, and sanitary pad incinerators. This they do through their flagship product Genesis. Mums Village, the other winner, is a social support network that seeks to provide safe space for women undergoing gender-based violence through peer to peer interaction.
The winning businesses were awarded based on their scalability, uniqueness, sustainability and direct impact on the community. The final three winners will go through an accelerator training program which will be run by Nailab for three months after which they will showcase the impact of their project to investors.
“We fund women because when women have power, freedom, a voice, and resources, they are change makers in this world. This is why we seek to empower women through sexual reproductive health and rights which is a personal issue for women. We will endeavor to support such initiatives that focus on empowering the life of the girl child and women in our countries,” said Global Fund for Women President and CEO Musimbi Kanyoro.