Our mandate at SII-Africa is to build the capacity of individual entrepreneurs in business, those aspiring to start a business as well as entrepreneurial groups. We focus on rural communities with particular attention to smallholder farmers, particularly women, youth and Persons with Disabilities.
We offer an array of business services, including technical and training assistance, consultancy and promotion of business linkages that are both strategic (on short, medium to long term issues to improve performance] as well as operational [day-to-day issues).
Business Management Training
Financial education teaches the knowledge, skills and attitudes that people can use to adopt good money management practices for earning, spending, savings, borrowing and investing. Financial education is for both individuals in business and not in business. We empower people to establish a revolving fund and make prudent money decisions from their loans. Over 500 clients have been trained to date. Many say they wish they had received this training before taking their first loan.
We provide business management training for clients across the board, from smallholder farmers to micro and small enterprise owner managers. Our trainings are both generic and tailor-made to meet the unique business management needs of our clients. Over 500 clients have participated in this training program so far. Majority of those trained have reported increased sales for their businesses as a result of the skills and knowledge gained during our training.
Business Advisory Services
Access to Government Procurement Opportunities
Our Business Advisory Services are custom-made to meet the needs of the client. Unless a client is absolutely certain of the business challenge they are facing, we normally insist on up-to-date business records in all our business advisory assignments. This provides a basis for appropriate interventions depending on business needs. Through our qualified professionals, 20 institutions have been provided with organizational development support in areas such as governance, leadership, HR, financial management and resource mobilization.
The Government in any country is the biggest buyer of goods, works and services. Kenya is currently implementing a set aside of 30% of public procurement for women, youth and persons with disability, which is estimated at over Ksh. 200 Billion. This project provides women, youth and PWDs with simulated skills training on how fill out Standard Tender Documents in order to enhance their competitiveness and ensure they successfully engage in public procurement opportunities at the County level through the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
SII-Africa is promoting sustainable livelihoods for forest adjacent communities by helping them to identify market-based economic opportunities that have long-term potential. We target vulnerable populations by developing local capacity to implement income generating activities and establishing forest based enterprises.
Establishment of Alternative Income Generating Activities/Forest Based Enterprises
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Energy efficient technology
We train forest adjacent communities on alternative sources of livelihoods to enable them to diversify their income bases through efficient and sustainable utilization of forest resources. The training focuses on how user groups can implement user rights conferred to them in their management plans and agreements, particularly for initiatives that promote alternative income generating activities or profitable forest based enterprises such as bee keeping, agro forestry, and indigenous poultry management.
Most rural communities do not understand issues of climate change or how they can reduce vulnerabilities and build climate resilience. We are working with them to create awareness on strategies that they can use to strengthen their capacities to adapt to a changing climate by initiating adaptation/mitigation actions at the local level. The youth in particular are being trained to establish and maintain tree nurseries commercially to promote reforestation and agroforestry.
SII-Africa is promoting the use of energy efficient products among forest adjacent communities through promotion of energy efficient technologies. We have partnered with a local manufacturer who produces energy efficient equipment to support sustainable use of energy efficient technologies. These range from biomass stoves and solar equipment designed to efficiently use bioenergy to enhance the quality of life of rural communities at an affordable price. The energy efficient biomass stoves will lead to reduced reliance on fuel wood, save women time in firewood collection and reduce illegal deforestation activities.
Equity and social justice is an important recurrent principle in our work. At SII-Africa, we deliberately work with poor rural communities unemployed youth, women, and all vulnerable groups to correct existing economic and social inequalities.
Child Welfare Promotion to Reduce Child Labour
Gender Mainstreaming and Empowerment of Women
At SII-Africa, we support orphans and vulnerable children with minimal funds for tuition, books, uniforms and sanitary products when necessary. We train destitute youth and youth headed households to start and maintain small businesses for sustainable livelihoods. We train caregivers on children rights and raise public awareness in the community on the importance of education and the dangers of child labor. We work with local partners to facilitate support services for children and their families.
SII-Africa provides consultancy services to clients on gender mainstreaming to enable them to integrate gender actions as a cross cutting theme in development assistance, while supporting interventions that specifically target women's rights and needs. We create awareness to ensure both women and men have the same access to democratic and financial institutions, health care, education, employment, and natural resources. We train and build capacities on gender equality and women's rights as provided for in national, regional and international policy frameworks.