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Enterprise

Kenyan firms clinch top positions in global competition

Two Kenyan enterprises beat applicants from 93 countries to clinch top positions in the 2014 Nestle Prize in Creating Shared Value Prize global competition.

Honey Care Africa won Sh18.6 million for its project in South Sudan which helps farmers earn income through bee-keeping.

“The money will help us reach 35,000 farmers and help them to become commercial bee-keepers by 2017,” said Ryan Marincowitz, the country manager in South Sudan.

Sanergy, a social enterprise that promotes access to clean toilets for about eight million slum dwellers in Kenya, took home Sh13 million.

Sanergy was founded by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, David Auerbach, Ani Vallabhaneni and Lindsay Stradley. On a trip to Kenya, they saw some Kenyans paying Sh5 to use a pit latrine.

When they went back home, the three co-founders wrote a business plan for Fresh Life toilets.

They submitted it to the MIT Entrepreneurship Competition and won the Sh8.9 million Diamond Prize at the 2011 MassChallenge Start-up Competition and Accelerator. They have opened 470 toilets in slums in Nairobi.

Sanergy collects and treats more than seven tonnes of waste daily.

MSABI, a Tanzanian not-for-profit organisation promoting access to clean water and sanitation for rural dwellers in the country clinched third place.

The awards help scale or replicate business-oriented initiatives that address challenges in nutrition, water and rural development.

It is open to individuals, governmental and non-governmental organisations, academia and social enterprises.

During the presentation of the awards Cornel Krummenacher, CEO Nestlé Equatorial Africa said: “Every two years, up to three innovative schemes related to water, nutrition or rural development are selected for the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value.

“Creating Shared Value encourages businesses to create economic and social value simultaneously by focusing on the social issues that they are uniquely capable of addressing.”

The announcement was made during the 6th Creating Shared Value: Changing role of business in society Forum in Switzerland, which was co-hosted by Nestlé and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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