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ICChange and Good Foundations International Kickstart Grassroots Social Entrepreneurship in Kenya

Kitengela, Kenya – February 10th, 2022 Good Foundations International (formerly Potters for Peace) are on the ground in Kitengela at the newly completed Kenya Innovative Manufacturing Space and Social Entrepreneurship Academy (KIMSSEA), an ICChange subsidiary project. February 2023 marks the completion of the construction of the Kenya Innovative Manufacturing Space (KIMSSEA). KIMSSEA is a novel platform that is catalyzing home-grown solutions to unmet needs in Kenya’s vulnerable populations with a two-pronged approach of manufacturing infrastructure and social entrepreneurship education. Having created hundreds of jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a 27,780 square foot manufacturing facility is now completed and operational on the KIMSSEA campus. The building was designed by award-winning architectural firm, Morphosis, with environmentally innovative features such as roof eaves that facilitate automatic rainwater capture for facility re-use. KIMSSEA has also secured its first tenant company, CeraMaji, which manufactures low-cost, antimicrobial ceramic water filters at KIMSSEA and distributes them from its strategic location in the Greater Nairobi Metropolitan Area. ICChange and KIMSSEA have partnered with Good Foundations International (GFI), an American not-for-profit organization with decades of experience in ceramic water filter entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment programming. Since 1989, they have championed sustainable impact entrepreneurship in Nicaragua, where they empowered women in rural communities to manufacture and sell ceramic pottery. Through this work, they develop sustainable income streams, grew community-based entrepreneurial acumen, and disseminated an art style that honours Indigenous Nicaraguan traditions and heritage. Due to the current political situation, this work is no longer possible but GFI look forward to the day that they can return. While in Kitengela, GFI trained the first cohort of KIMSSEA’s social entrepreneurship academy by initiating a vocational skills training program for Kenyan women without a chance to pursue higher-level education. GFI hosted over 700 women in Mathare, the second-largest slum in Nairobi, and a further 150 women in the rural communities surrounding Kitengela. An instrumental partner was the Women Empowerment USI (WEUSI), a Matharian women’s group that recruited and mobilized the local women and facilitated the on-the-ground operations. Participants were trained in the making and sale of personal care goods such as soap and skin products, as well as environmentally friendly reusable diaper covers and reusable sanitary napkins. This was followed up by a full day of business skills training such as basic accounting, marketing, and financial literacy hosted by a community leader named Madam Jocinta. This first cohort will be followed up with a pipeline of future cohorts with access to certification in a growing number of training options.

ICChange and GFI are working together to create a sustainable pipeline for developing entrepreneurial talent and supporting local business with access to manufacturing infrastructure in Kenya. In the future, the vocational skills program will serve the function of scouting out high-performing participants who will be invited to formalize their training as KIMSSEA innovators. They will receive personalized business training and resources to accelerate their development into entrepreneurs and community leaders. We look forward to welcoming more partners to support local Kenyan communities’ visions and achieve new heights together.

About ICChange Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange) is a global, social enterprise network that co-creates and implements scalable, sustainable solutions that tackle the most pressing problems faced by vulnerable populations across the world. Together with community partners and organizations, ICChange has improved the quality of life and well-being of over 52 million people to date through initiatives that provide access to clean water, electronic medical records and a comprehensive trauma and injury program.

About Good Foundations International

Good Foundations International (GFI) helps bring potable water and skills training to underserved communities worldwide, with an emphasis on women's physical and economic health. The lack of clean, accessible water greatly impacts the lives of women and their families. It often disables them from getting an education, achieving financial security, and makes menstrual hygiene and prenatal care difficult. GFI addresses the social justice issues that women face which are exacerbated by the challenges of inaccessible and poor-quality household drinking water. GFI understands that the lack of skills plays a role in keeping women from being socially and fiscally independent and offers skills training that is culturally relevant and useful.

Contact Information: Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange) Hasnaien Ahmed, Communications


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