[Mombasa, 30th November 2023] – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), through its knowledge centre, Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB-K), is increasingly championing inclusive economic growth through the support and recognition of social enterprises in Mombasa, Kenya. Being a hub of diverse industries, the county presents a unique opportunity to develop a symbiotic ecosystem that benefits both the start-up ecosystem and the more developed business community.
Speaking at the 2nd Intergenerational Forum in Mombasa, KEPSA’s Program Manager, Ebenezer Amadi, recognized the pivotal role played by social enterprises, saying, “As the apex body of the private sector, we understand that social entrepreneurs are critical drivers of sustainable economic growth in Kenya, and are the engines for positive change. Therefore, through our various mentorship and empowerment programs, we remain committed to steering innovative solutions among the youth and women venturing into businesses that directly generate social and environmental impact.”
Mohamed Bahero, the Innovation Officer at the Kenya Red Cross Society, echoed his sentiments and emphasized the significance of intergenerational collaboration in fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. “There’s a need for stakeholders to leverage each other’s capacity to enhance our output to the communities we serve with a human-centric approach. For this reason, we’re working with KEPSA’s Sustainable Inclusive Business to connect the youth in our mentorship programs to the industry. Our goal is to build a community where entrepreneurs can learn from each other, regardless of age or experience, and collectively contribute to the growth and sustainability of our economy.”
Sustainability in businesses and social entrepreneurship remained a cross-cutting point of discussion at the forum, with stakeholders emphasizing that business strategies should have a positive impact on people, the planet, and profits.
“If you want to become future-proof as a social entrepreneur, you must think and incorporate sustainability. It’s no longer just about capitalism and financial gains. It’s also about influencing the development of sensible business practices and models,” said Henry Munyao, the Project Officer of the Circular Economy Initiative Programme at WWF Kenya.
The Intergenerational Forum brought together individuals from different generations and industries, including the business community, academia, the youth, government, and civil society, to engage in meaningful conversations, share diverse perspectives, and foster connections that bridge generational gaps in achieving sustainable development goals.
“It was inspiring to witness the enthusiasm and curiosity of other young people, coupled with the seasoned wisdom and insights shared by our experienced industry leaders. As a beneficiary of the just concluded KEPSA Social Entrepreneurship Mentorship Program, I am hopeful that different stakeholders are working collectively to bridge the gap between the past, present, and future of entrepreneurship,” remarked Fatuma Ali, a youth social entrepreneur from Mombasa.
It also served as a platform for robust discussions on the nexus between one’s personality and career choices and development, as well as the current state of gender inclusivity in social entrepreneurship and the imperative for collective action.
The first edition of the Intergenerational Forum was held in Mombasa in July 2023, facilitating deliberations that highlighted challenges faced by the youth transitioning from learning to social entrepreneurship and utilized the experience and expertise of industry leaders in trying to address them.
KEPSA is Kenya’s apex private sector organization, representing diverse businesses and supporting their development, training, networking, and access to global opportunities. Learn more at kepsa.or.ke.
About Sustainable Inclusive Business
SIB-K, a knowledge centre under KEPSA, was established with funding from the Netherlands Government. SIB-K promotes sustainable and inclusive business practices, working toward positive impacts on people, the planet, and profit. SIB-K is the Secretariat to the Kenya Plastics Pact.