Unilever graduates 1st cohort of its accelerator programme

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – Unilever Kenya, in partnership with the SME Support Center, has graduated the first cohort of Unilever’s Emerge Accelerator Programme.

The program, which brought onboard businesses with at least 51 percent shareholding of women and persons that are abled differently, saw the graduation of 30 Kenyan SMEs.

Participants were drawn from packaging materials, business services, ingredients, chemicals, or logistics industries.

The 30 women-led SMEs got training on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, e-commerce, business mentorship, and coaching.

“We are keen on creating economic opportunities for people to grow their businesses to make a wider impact on our Kenyan economy and even beyond,” Unilever Kenya CEO Luck Ochieng said.

“This has been shown through our commitment to annually spend Ksh 312B globally and Ksh 1B locally with diverse businesses by 2025,” he added.

 “It is inspiring and encouraging to witness the growth and development of each of the SMEs who enrolled in the Emerge Accelerator Programme,” he added.

The program also offers SMEs opportunities to access markets by leveraging Unilever as a potential client and networking among peer businesses.

The SME Support Centre will work closely with the new cohort to utilize digital technology and business expertise to create novel products and services that address Kenya’s challenges in the SMEs sector.

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“The Emerge Accelerator Programme is a proven platform that identifies and empowers innovative startups to achieve scale and impact. We look forward to seeing how the SMEs will leverage skills gained to accelerate their growth and enhance the regional startup landscape.” Said SME Support Center CEO, Linda Onyango.

The program, Unilever says, is a gateway for entrepreneurs to grow their own businesses and make an impact on the wider economy.

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