Individuals facing systemic and economic barriers constantly innovate and adapt as a way of life. Disadvantaged communities, including those from urban slums, rural and remote areas, refugee camps, and conflict and displaced people zones, often convert adversity into creativity and entrepreneurship. They turn networks into informal economies, up-cycle unused goods into circular supply chains, and create their own prototypes with improvised materials and tools. The people with the most potential and commitment to solve problems and create livelihoods in these settings are those who live in them.
These unrecognized innovators represent an untapped market of entrepreneurial talent. They are often unable to realize their full potential because they lack access to investors, manufacturing infrastructure, and mentorship for growth and overcoming regulatory hurdles. For innovators, as well as motivated social impact entrepreneurs, there is a paucity of physical spaces that can take their ideas the full journey from conceptual stage, through prototyping and regulatory and on to small-to-medium-scale manufacturing.
Located 20 minutes from the Greater Nairobi Metropolitan Area, KIMSSEAs central hub location in Kitengela, Kajiado County is a booming industrial area with a young workforce and easy access to both urban and rural Kenya.
The longer the entrepreneurial potential of these local innovators goes unrealized and unrecognized, the longer issues of food, housing, water, and energy insecurity will perpetuate poverty and poor health in their communities.
KIMSSEA is a novel platform with a two-pronged approach - a manufacturing infrastructure space and an academy to incubate, launch, and scale local social enterprises. KIMSSEA catalyzes the development and scaling of local solutions to unmet needs facing Kenya’s vulnerable populations. Our organization’s 13 years of social impact entrepreneurship in Kenya has led us to identify 5 key areas representing untapped market niches facing significant challenges that demand innovative solutions.
KIMSSEA Portfolio Streams
Water & Sanitation
Health & Wellness
The 5 portfolio guide the manufacturing of products and services made by social impact start-ups and the incubation of new ventures from KIMSSEA innovators.
Innovative Manufacturing Space
21,780 square feet of factory space with hydraulic presses, mixers, kilns, power tools, and hand tools available, allowing for small-to-medium scale manufacturing capacity out of the KIMSSEA facility.
KIMSSEA has a dynamic Entrepreneur-in-Residence, that is a fully functional social enterprise and manufacturing company that can share its experience, succes, failures and insights with the other KIMSSEA program cohorts and tenants.
Tenant companies access design space, expertise, talent, and equipment to manufacture their own proven products, leveraging KIMSSEA as a production and distribution launchpad.
Social Entrepreneurship Academy
KIMSSEA identifies motivated innovators and leaders disadvantaged backgrounds such as urban slums, refugee camps, remote rural settlements, and conflict areas who are then enrolled in an incubation program that equips them with resources to overcome their barriers to entrepreneurial success.
Market analysis and purchase power analysis
Business planning and strategy
Communication and public relations
Technical and income-generating skills training
Opportunities for seed funding and investment and access to a global network
Mentorship and expertise for growth and regulatory navigation
The social entrepreneurship academy is a comprehensive pipeline for growing ideas into successful, investable enterprises that enter high-impact market spaces and manufacture at scale.
Construction of the KIMSSEA manufacturing space was completed in February 2023.
Designed by award winning architectural firm, Morphosis, with sustainable design features including rainwater capture.
Hundreds of jobs were created and maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first KIMSSEA tenant company has moved their production into the facility and is the current entrepreneur-in-residence.
Partnership established with Good Foundations International to offer a vocational skills program to Kenyan women.
Hundreds of disadvantaged women and youth are being trained to craft homecare goods and feminine hygiene products alongside business fundamentals education.
Motivated participants will be invited to complete our full social entrepreneurship academy programming.
Launch of 3 cohorts of the social entrepreneurship academy by 2024.
Secure the second tenant company to rent the manufacturing space by 2024.
Now accepting innovators to mentor, train, and fund KIMSSEA entrepreneurs.