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IKEA Foundation launches Sh793 million support for Kenyan businesses

The programme is aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya

IKEA Foundation launches Sh793 million support for Kenyan businesses

The IKEA Foundation has generously earmarked $5.1 million (Sh793 million) for the Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition Programme, popularly known as the SWIFT Programme.

This three-year initiative is poised to revolutionize the waste management sector by bolstering 110 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dedicated to innovating within this crucial field.

The programme, brought to life through the concerted efforts of the IKEA Foundation and the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, aims to pioneer sustainable business models.

These models are designed to steer Kenya towards more effective waste management practices, leveraging the principles of the circular economy.

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This innovative approach not only aims to minimize waste but also ensures that resources are reused and recycled, thus reducing the environmental impact.

The SWIFT Programme is set to provide an array of supports such as business advisory, compliance guidance for market access, technical assistance, and access to finance solutions.

Furthermore, it seeks to enhance sustainability integration, bolster policy and advocacy efforts, and introduce cutting-edge technology solutions.

This comprehensive support package is tailored to empower the private sector, particularly SMEs, enabling them to navigate the complexities of the waste management industry successfully.

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One of the programme's ambitious goals is to create over 2,000 direct and 4,000 indirect job opportunities, significantly impacting the livelihoods of more than 5,000 households.

It also aims to spur economic growth by generating revenues of up to $10 million in both pre-urban and urban areas.

Collaborating closely with the national government and five key counties—Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Uasin Gishu—the programme endeavors to develop policies and regulations that encourage private sector engagement in waste management and circular economy practices.

Moreover, the SWIFT Programme is committed to raising awareness about solid waste management and the benefits of circularity.

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Through various communication channels, it aims to educate the public and stimulate a shift towards more sustainable practices.

A particular focus of the programme is on inclusivity, with special emphasis on breaking down barriers that limit the participation of youth and women in the waste management sector.

Kenya generates about 3000 - 4000 tons of waste per day which is mostly disposed of in open dumpsites without proper management and infrastructure.

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According to President William Ruto's climate envoy, Kenya's waste management and circular economy sector is estimated to have a market potential of $54 million.

This catalytic partnership speaks to the potential we have to actualize our ambitious climate-positive growth pathways to create sustainable jobs and wealth for all while protecting our environment and contributing to the global decarbonization agenda.

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