Two SMEs win Sh2m to expand their businesses

Two Kenyan start-ups have secured a Sh2 million seed capital from Sinapis, a global business accelerator that seeks to help more than 10,000 SMEs by 2022.

Tumoi Tea founder Boaz Katah and Savannah Space founder Cherie Kihato bagged the 2019 prize money after facing stiff competition from six other contestants.

Tumoi Tea is a specialty tea processor in Nandi County while Savannah Space provides access to markets for Kenyan artisans in the furniture and home décor sector.

The contestants underwent a 16-week mini MBA training modelled on Texas-based Acton School of Business MBA programme, and blended with practical business insights.

Speaking during the annual business plan competition ceremony held in Nairobi, Ronald Osumba, CEO IGOV Africa, a tech firm, said technical assistance and technology of SMEs is key to economic growth.


“Entrepreneurs need to align their passions with the required skills to convert ideas to fully structured businesses,” Mr Osumba said.

The start-ups also received executive-level business training to help them structure and grow their businesses and play a role in creating a sustainable social-economic impact to the society.

Sinapis Kenya Country Manager Silvya Kananu said entrepreneurs have the greatest potential to contribute to economic development through wealth and job creation.

“Beyond business skills training, we help the entrepreneurs get investor-ready, with an aim to attract growth capital in three to five years,” she said.

Started in 2011 in Kenya, Sinapis Organisation has grown to over 7 countries with 4,000+ entrepreneurs trained through structured programmes and workshops and more than Sh2.4 billion raised in capital.

Sinapis aims to partner with government, non-government and business membership organisations to develop sector-specific training modules.