Entrepreneurs with a disability in Kenya

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Entrepreneurs with a disability in Kenya: Business coaching

Veenendaal, HolandaKenya
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Light for the World has done a study on the performance of entrepreneurs with a disability in Kenya. We looked at the factors of success and the obstacles they face. Based on the study we will set up a project for coaching and support of the entrepreneurs.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if entrepreneurs with a disability could utilize their talents and develop social and financial sustainable companies?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

People with a disability are facing obstacles to find employment or to set up a company and get self-employed. There a physical barriers but often also social barriers of prejudice and lack of trust that this group of people are able to run their own business. The group of entrepreneurs with a disability we have interviewed report that they are in need of skills training and business coaching.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution is a training and coaching program that takes into account the special needs of people with physical or other types of disabilities. We will work with vocational training institutes, companies and business coaches in Kenya to improve the opportunities for these (small) entrepreneurs.


Light for the World has received the award of 'best charity of the Netherlands' in 2010 and 2011.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We have trained over 250 youth with a disability in regular training institutes on agribusiness, ICT, etc. Some have found employment in a company, others have started their own business. The youth who have started their own small enterprise are in need of financial literacy training, business coaching and mentoring. We are now about to set up a second phase project for business coaching and training. We are setting up this project on a step by step basis. The first step we took was to do a study on the need and obstacles of entrepreneurs with a disability (see report). The next step we will take is to get experienced entrepreneurs together to get feedback on the study report and advise for the design of the second phase project.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The potential impact is that youth with a disability - who are usually facing many obstacles in their own communities - have developed themselves as successful entrepreneurs. They are able to sustain themselves and their families.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Based on the experiences gained in this project we will set up a training for micro-finance institutes and other organisations working in the area of business development to make their services accessible for persons with a disability. This way we can reach much more people that have the capacity and potential to operate a business but are lacking access to financial means, financial skills training and business coaching because of their disability. The training could be provided in Kenya and other countries.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project need some investment. We will bring businessmen from USA or Europa together to support this initiative. Once a training has been developed for micro-finance institutes and for-profit and non-profit organisations, we can deliver the training on a cost-recovery basis. The benefit for these organisations will be a broadening of their client base (they are able to reach out to a group of people that they are currently neglecting)

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Some disability NGOs provide training for persons with a disability in sheltered workshops. These are mostly very traditional trainings which are often not suited to market demands and do not give a basis to set up a sustainable business. The regular organisations that provide business development services often have no attention for persons with a disability. This project brings the two areas together: the professional business development organisations and organisations that have expertise on the special needs of persons with a disability.

Founding Story

We have talked to many persons with disabilities. When we asked for their biggest need the number one answer was 'livelihood'. We have started up a project on employment but found out that even after skills training it is very difficult to get employment within established companies. Managers often do not dare to hire a person with a visual disability if they have many other candidates without a disability. The alternative is the start up of a small enterprise. However, we also learned that the vocational training institute often do not provide business training. We learned that we have to work with companies that provide these trainings and help them to include persons w disabilities


Programme developers, Programme managers, disability inclusion advisors, communication officers and financial officers. We have a great team with people who have experience in skills training, disability inclusion, public private cooperation in the East African context.