Startup funding in Kenya

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Out of unemployment, into self-employment – the start -up fund in Kenya makes it possible. The thought behind it is often: If the job market doesn’t provide me with a position, then I’ll just create my own. However, it is not that easy with the start-up funding in Kenya. This is because: in order to be able to assert yourself successfully on the job market, you need a viable concept. And this is exactly what needs to be worked out beforehand. Without a mature concept, without prior consideration, you will not receive any start-up funding in Kenya. What you should know and how to get it… Here we will provide you with guides on how to get financial help in Kenya.

Applying for start-up funding in Kenya: how do you get it?

Start-up consultants observe that many unemployed people who could benefit from the start-up fund are put off by their agent in advance. To prevent elimination from available business funding options in Kenya, you should read the following points carefully.

The be-all and end-all of the start-up funding is good preparation. Some changes take a long time to become established.

It starts with you considering which form of self-employment is suitable for you:

  1. Do you want to start your own business?
  2. Are you planning to start a company with partners?
  3. Would you like to take over a company as a successor?
  4. Can you imagine franchising?

In order for your application for a start-up funding to be successful in Kenya, you should seek thorough advice beforehand. Advice on setting up a business also costs money.

What you need for a successful application of the startup business funds in Kenya

The following points are important in order to make the intermediary from the employment office positive about the start-up funding:

Business plan: You need to write a business plan – also known as a business plan or start-up concept. Here you objectively list your start-up project and add a financial and capital plan. This means that over a period of 36 months you present what your future income and expenses are likely to look like and what your funds for expenses will be based on. This will go a long way to get you accepted by one of the major startup funds in Kenya.

Qualification: For the start-up funding in Kenya, you have to convince the employment office that you have the necessary qualifications to be able to do this job successfully. Therefore, you may need to enclose your CV with proof of relevant training and further education for self-employment with your business plan.

Preparation and seriousness are a good starting point: Finally, it should be said that you will not get any further with excessive self-confidence alone. Before you apply for the start-up funding in Kenya, you must have worked out exactly how you want to organize your self-employment, because the employment office does not finance castles in the air.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming self-employed for some time, being unemployed can be a good time to make your plans more concrete. You now have enough time to obtain the necessary information and to develop viable business ideas .

Once you have made your preparations and have realistically calculated everything, you should be able to present your concept convincingly . Solid preparation and verifiable calculations are the best prerequisites for a successful application for a business start-up funding in Kenya.

Funding for startups in Kenya

Funding for startups in Kenya is on the rise due to the position that Kenya holds in the region. Startup funding can help you launch or expand your existing business. There are organizations that can help you fund your startup idea by giving your startup capital and also mentorship. So which are the funding companies in Kenya?

The government has also stepped in the shoes of other private entities. Some of the organizations below are examples of government grants in Kenya.

The following are some of the startups in Kenya? They may help you get government loans to start business in Kenya.

1. Youth Enterprise Development Fund

This is a government initiative to fight the high unemployment rates in Kenya. It aims at helping the youth fund businesses. Established in 2006, the fund has afforded many Kenyan youths with the opportunity to venture into business. The fund is available to Kenyan people aged between 18 and 35 years.

2. Women Enterprise Fund (WEF)

Women Enterprise Fund is an initiative by the Ministry of Gender, with a sole aim of providing credit to women as well as marketing their products and services.

3. Uwezo Fund

The Uwezo Fund was started in 2013 by the UhuRuto administration as part of their campaign pledges. It mainly focuses on women, people with disabilities, and the youth. It also offers mentorship programs to entrepreneurs.  The fund offers Kenyans a chance to get a startup loan ranging between Ksh50,000 and Ksh500,000.

4. Venture Capitalists

Venture Capitalists are financiers who help with funding for startups in Kenya. In Kenya, these include Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A), Nairobi Garage, and Seed Capital Investment.

5. Angel Network

Angel Network is a Kenyan startup that needs Kenyans to develop good business ideas. If they like your business idea you will receive funding and training as well as help you in daily management of the firm.

6. Industrial Development Fund

The Industrial Development Fund (IDF) was established in 1973 under the Ministy of Industrialization. Its purpose is to offer secured loans to startups, including medium and large enterprises. It is a good Kenyan startup funding for people looking for asset financing or to acquire industrial plants on hire purchase terms.


The Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) is a Kenyan startup funding for businesses. It provides medium-term and long-term funding for businesses. ICDC provides venture capital, joint ventures, asset financing and commercial loans to businesses. It is one of the tools the government is using in the quest for Vision 2030.

8. Agriculture Finance Corporation

Agriculture Finance Corporation is a Kenyan funding initiative that helps people in the agricultural sector. It was started after independence to help with the transfer of land. Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. The corporation provides credit to Kenyan farmers. As a Kenyan farmer, you can depend on this entity for startup funding in Kenya.

9. Microfinance institutions in Kenya

Micro Finance institutions provide funding to entities in Kenya. They provide deposit facilities and credit to businesses. They include Sumac, Faulu, Musoni MFI and Zawadisha.

10. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is lenders that you can locate in one place. They look at your business idea and evaluate its viability. Once they are satisfied that the business idea is viable, they will provide you with startup capital. Some of the best crowdfunding platforms in Kenya include Kiva, Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Zidisha.

11. Financial Foundations

There are many foundations that provide Kenyan startup funding. They provide grants and prizes and interest-free loans. If you have been looking for a place to find business grants in Kenya currently, then the financial foundations that can do that for you include Chandaria Foundation, Safaricom Foundation and MasterCard Foundation.

12. Incubators and accelerators

As part of the government’s economic policies to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs, incubators and accelerators have been springing up in Kenya. These institutions provide mentorship, training, seed funding, and incubation services for startups in Kenya.

List of Incubators/accelerators:

  • Nailab
  • mLab East Africa
  • iHub
  • Villgro
  • iBiz Africa
  • Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Center
  • Afrilab
  • LakeHub

13. Family and friends

Though not considered by many as a financial institution, family & Friends could be the only dependable source of business funding for your business idea in Kenya.