By caroline Kinyulusi
National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), on Tuesday, 12th March 2019 recognized the creative efforts and achievements of Kenyan-based entrepreneurs at a cocktail dinner during the Fourth Edition of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) held at the United Nations in Gigiri, Nairobi Kenya.
The cocktail was officiated by the Principal Secretary for the Ministry, Dr Ibrahim Mohamed. During the event, six Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) whose innovations are contributing to environmental management, creation of jobs and improving incomes were recognized and awarded.
The awardees were:
- Oscar Aghan – Founder, Continental Renewable Energy Limited
- Wanjiru Waweru Waithaka – CEO, FunKidz Limited
- Brian Bosire – Founder, UjuziKilimo Solutions Limited
- Joseph Gakuru – CEO, Qtron Industries Limited
- Kevin Mureithi – CEO, Trace Eco Solutions Limited
- Elizabeth Achieng’ – CEO, Ukulima Tech Limited
Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, Ms. Joyce Msuya (UN Environment Acting Executive Director), Ms. Maimunah Binti Mohd Sharif (Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi), Dr. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo (UNEP Africa Office), Ambassador Rose Makena Muchiri (Representative at Permanent Mission of Kenya to UNON/UNEP) and Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga (CEO Kenya Association of Manufacturers) presented the certificates to the awardees.
Awardees from left with certificates of recognition: Dr. Oscar Aghan, Wanjiru Waithaka, Elizabeth Achieng’ and Kevin Mureithi.
UNEA 4 AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS
The fourth UN Environment Assembly whose theme was, ‘Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production’ presented a fantastic opportunity for NETFUND and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to recognize local business and social enterprises whose technological focus have in one way or another contributed to addressing environmental challenges and contributing to sustainable consumption and production. The six enterprises were selected based on criteria, which was in line with UNEA’s theme of “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”
GREEN INNOVATION AWARDS
NETFUND is mandated to facilitate; research intended to further the requirements of environmental management, capacity building, environmental awards, environmental publications, scholarships and grants. In line with this, NETFUND has been supporting the development and uptake of innovative solutions to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable consumption in Kenya through its Green Innovations Awards (GIA) Programme.
NETFUND started the GIA programme in 2012 with an aim of “promoting green growth through recognition and adoption of innovations that reduce effects of climate change.” The programme has been supporting innovators through research, capacity building as well as financing. The financial support has been through provision of competitive grants to selected green innovations to develop, test and scale their ventures. We have also supported innovations through capacity building initiatives intended mainly through technical assistance in form of product development and business support services. The innovators have also been exposed to financiers comprising of impact investors, micro financing institutions as well as development partners; 70% of these green innovations have been linked to funding and market opportunities. Majority (70%) of the initiatives supported so far are youth led and are aligned to food security, manufacturing, health and housing. Cumulatively, NETFUND has provided financial and technical support to more than 100 projects since 2014.