Two entreprenuers have won Sh1 million each in a business plan competition organised by Sinapis, a faith-based institution that offers entreprenuers capital.

Boaz Katah, the founder of Tumoi Tea, a specialty tea processor in Nandi County, and Cherie Kihato, the founder of Savannah Space, a market start-up for informal sector artisans, beat six other contenders to bag the prize.

The competition, which is currently in its sixth edition, is preceded by a 16-week mini MBA training programme mirrored on Texas-based Acton School of Business, which is blended with practical business insights.

The business training helps the entrepreneurs to structure and grow to the next level and have a sustainable social-economic impact in society.

“Technical assistance and technology are key for fast-tracking the growth of SMEs to grow our economy and impact communities,” said Ronald Osumba, the CEO of IGOV Africa, who was one of the judges.

Sinapis Kenya country manager Silvya Kananu said entrepreneurs have the greatest potential to create wealth and jobs to boost the economy.

-Irene Mugo

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Online firm gets Sh26m boost

An online app, Farmshine, where farmers, buyers and service providers trade, has raised Sh25.5 million to expand its services to smallholder farmers.

The funding raised from US-based impact investor Gray Matters Capital’s women-inclined portfolio, GMC coLABS, will be used to hire and train agronomy personnel, including field agents and further develop the platform to comprehensively connect the agriculture ecosystem.

The app enables smallholder farmers to aggregate and sell their harvests directly to large commodity companies.

According to Luca Alinovi, Farmshine’s founder and chief executive officer, the platform was designed with a farmer-first approach as it can be easily replicated for any value chains.

“Every activity takes place through the app – including contract agreement, production management, and crop aggregation, delivery and payment records – ensuring full transparency between the parties involved,” she said.

–Brian Okinda

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