Youth running struggling businesses should hope for a good year next year as an opportunity to get back on their feet has just knocked, thanks to Centum Foundation.
The Centum Entrepreneurship Program, which aims to provide innovative small businesses (SMEs) with the capital and business development tools they need to take them to the next level, is open for application all year round.
“The Foundation is looking for young, innovative businesses that solve major problems in our economy in a disruptive way,” reads a post on the initiative in part.
It adds that once selected from a pool of applicants, promising SMEs are invited to an 8-week training before they develop an investment proposal with the help of Centum Group mentors.
“This process culminates in a presentation before a panel of judges, who award funds to promising SMMEs as needed.”
The said funds run up to Sh15 million.
Also, of note is that the benefiting businesses will be monitored as they grow to determine impact.
The most recent beneficiaries of the mentorship and funding programme include Blissful, a wedding and events platform; Bunifu Technologies, a software development company; Alive and Young, cosmetics; Desserts Anyone, chocolate vendor.
“Centum Foundation has been a boon for us. The funding is helping us develop new products and ramp up marketing,” says Bunifu Technologies on the Foundation’s page.
Meanwhile, they say Bunifu started with just Sh1,000 for business registration and the team of three then used money they got from their first software sale to open their first office.
But all they had at the time were two tables and chairs and the team used their home laptops to work.
“That was 4 years ago. Currently our flagship product, Bunifu Antivirus, serves more than 1000 people. We’ve developed other products such as school ERP system and developer tools used worldwide,” indicates the Bunifu team.
BY MOSES OMUSOLO