At NETFUND, we recognize the enormous funding gap experienced in the sector. We are dedicated to improving our fundraising efforts to finance environmental initiatives in Kenya. We aim to build synergies with like-minded institutions and to develop innovative resource mobilisation and allocation mechanisms to ensure financial sustainability for the sector.
We believe that no one wants to destroy the environment wilfully; we can pursue development in a sustainable way while respecting the environment; and that everyone deserves an equal opportunity for business growth despite their economic status.
It is this belief system that informs our focus on Sustainable Livelihoods and Greening the Economy. We achieve this by stimulating solutions for and by the bottom of the pyramid in order to tackle environmental degradation, climate change and poverty while enhancing inclusive economic growth.
Our focus areas
NETFUND is currently the only national institution in Kenya working primarily to finance the environment sub-sector. Therefore, we invest in the following key areas intended to deal with environmental challenges:
Environmental awards are a great avenue to motivate citizens to manage their environment more sustainably. The NETFUND Green Innovations Award (NETFUND GIA) identifies, recognizes and rewards innovative projects and ideas in environmental management.
The GIA award process is unique. It comprises a comprehensive awareness program that reaches all levels of the society with
A number of outstanding individuals, groups and organizations who have innovated and/or adopted environmentally-responsible and sustainable initiatives in Kenya have received awards from NETFUND. Our Incubation Services support green enterprises to realise their full market potential through business, technical and financial support. Some of the viable green businesses, however, do not receive incubation services. Instead, they receive some financial support to enable them
Research and publications
NETFUND is actively involved in research aimed at promoting evidence-based programming and policy development for environmental management in Kenya. The organization not only applies research findings to design innovative projects that support environmental management but also disseminates research findings and best practices to policymakers, project developers and other researchers in the country.
The overall objective of the Research programme is to promote evidence-based programming and policy development in environmental management.
The Research Programme’s objectives are to:
- Increase research for green growth in Kenya.
- Increase dissemination of green growth knowledge and innovation.
Research projects conducted include:
- Factors influencing household adoption of renewable energy technologies in rural Kenya.
- The potential of Biofuel from water hyacinth as an alternative household cooking energy: Case of Yiro West Sub-location.
- Determining the effect of solar and biomass drying technologies on the physical and chemical stability of mango powder during storage time.
- Enhancing climate resilience and nutrition uptake through fortification of corn flour with locally produced high nutrition value crops in Kitui County.
- Recycling of rice husks into locally-made water-resistant particle boards.
- Production of
Bio Ethanolfrom cellulosic agro waste biomass.
NETFUND works closely with various research partners including Africa Research Consortium, Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Africa Centre for Technology Studies (ACTs), Tangaza University, among others.
NETFUND identifies and builds
NETFUND is committed to developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources for SMEs, communities, institutions and individuals to better manage the environment. NETFUND’s capacity building extends to:
- Provision of business support services for green start-ups to realize their full potential – includes technical, business and financial support. NETFUND’s incubation programme has
- Providing support to national and county government ministries, departments and agencies in the areas of planning, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, resource mobilisation and funding, to deliver on their environmental management programmes.
- Supporting and strengthening the development of green processes within institutions/organizations through process audits, capacity strengthening and continuous follow-up activities.
- Environmental education and awareness to increase the public’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and its challenges, develop the necessary skills and expertise to address the
challenges,and encourage positive attitudes and behaviors.
NETFUND GIA Incubation
NETFUND Incubation Program runs for 2 – 4 years delivered in three phases. It provides an array of business support services for green start-ups to realize their full market potential. The projects are identified through the NETFUND Green Innovations Awards (NETFUND GIA).
The incubation program grows green businesses by providing them with technical, business and financial support. This holistic provision of support endeavours to strengthen them to survive the intense competition locally and globally. Additionally, NETFUND has established a fully functional incubation centre with office and meeting facilities for use by beneficiaries. The centre also hosts a physical and online resource centre that contains useful information resources.
Scholarships and Grants
NETFUND is also mandated to give scholarships and grants to enhance knowledge within scholarships are given to students pursuing Masters and PhD programs that align to NETFUND thematic areas of Agribusiness, Energy, Water and Resource Based Waste Management.
Invitations for applications will be made to the public when funds are available. Currently, there are no available funds for this initiative
Key Achievements of the Programmes & Projects Implemented
National response to GIA
Since the programme inception, there has been increased countrywide participation in the GIA programme. To
In terms of gender representation, women led initiatives accounted for 33% while male led initiatives were at 67% of the total entries.
Awarded winners were drawn from schools, civil society organizations, individuals, women groups, small, micro and medium enterprises.
The First Lady H.E Margaret Kenyatta awards one of the winners during an awards gala.
2. Incubation of Viable Green Enterprises
Viable green MSMEs have taken through the NETFUND incubation programme where they have been provided with technical and business support services to refine their innovations. Based on the analysis of gaps and challenges encountered by green start-ups, NETFUND incubation model was designed to enhance the success of early stage start-ups by providing the necessary support during the pre-incubation, incubation and
The diagram below shows the phases of NETFUND incubation programme.
Some of the key challenges that the model addresses include: inadequate technical support for prototyping, technology and product refinement; limited access to
3. Incubation Services
Based on the above challenges, the incubation centre was designed around eight major services identified as being essential for successfully supporting green innovations to be sustainable companies.
The following diagram shows a summary of the key services offered by the Department.
4. Financing and Market Opportunities
During and after incubation, green enterprises that demonstrated
The pie chart below shows forms of financial support that the innovators have received through the programme.
The organisation is developing a sustainable financing mechanism to support its projects and beneficiaries. The organisation has been providing financial support to its projects through a
The programme has attracted partnerships from public, private and civil society sectors and has more than 21 partners. The portfolio of partners includes financing, implementing and sponsoring partners. The partners have supported various components of the programme leading to improved programme delivery and greater impact.
Key partners of the Green Innovations Award Programme
- Embassy of Sweden
- United States International Development Agency
- Worldwide Fund for Nature
- Japanese International Cooperation Agency
- SLOVAK Aid
- African Development Bank
- National Environment Management Authority
- Kenya Forest Service
- Kenya Wildlife Service
- Postal Corporation of Kenya
- Daystar University
- Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
- Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute
- Bamburi Cement
- Kenya Commercial Bank
- Energy Regulatory Commission
- Jomo Kenyatta Foundation
- Pollination Fund
6. Awards and Recognition
NETFUND participated in the University Business Incubator (UBI) 2017 Global Ranking. The UBI Global identifies and gives recognition to the best incubators and accelerators who then leverages the ranking to grow, gain funding and increase visibility. During the 2017 ranking, the NETFUND incubation programme was awarded the Top Challenger Award for Africa. This is in recognition of the impact and performance of the programme in comparison to its peers regionally. The award is a vindication of the hard work and diligence of NETFUND in delivering value to budding Kenyan entrepreneurs.
A snapshot of
As a result of the support, NETFUND provides to its beneficiaries, some of them have been recognized and awarded with grants in various programmes as shown below;
Examples of awards won by NETFUND beneficiaries
- Magiro Hydro Electricity Challenge Winner of the Seed Award 2015
EnteprisesChallenge winner of the SEED award 2016
- Straus Energy named 1776 “People’s Choice” Winner 2015
- Sweet N Dried Kaves Received funding for their Solar Dryer Through the Kenya Value Chains Enterprises
- Stawi Food Industries was
rakedamong Top 30 under 30 Enterpreneurwho is making a great impact across Africa by Forbes Africa Magazine 2014
ConsuleLtd won grantof $5000 from the Tony Elumelu Foundation 2017
- Sweet N Dried recognised as African Development Bank (AfDB) High 5 Promising startups – Feed Africa Category with a grant of USD 1500