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Selection Criteria


The Kenya Catalytic Job’s Fund is seeking applications from organisations who are seeking technical assistance and grant funding to unlock barriers to scaling up innovations in Manufacturing, Agri-processing and the informal sectors (including MSMEs and small-holder farmers.) 

Eligible Applicants

For this, our third cohort, we are looking to support innovations that are ready to be implemented at scale and rapidly create impact on jobs and livelihoods. Your innovation should be thoroughly tested with demand for your products and services established. You will most likely be an established company whose customer and supplier base facilitates rapid scaling. We are also interested in supporting early stage companies who are able to demonstrate the ability to reach scale rapidly (within 12 months of the grant award.) You will be legally registered and operating in Kenya. Your innovation will have the potential to grow exponentially, create more jobs and improve livelihoods at scale.

All proposals must fit within one or more of the following three thematic areas:

  1. Manufacturing and Agribusiness 

We are looking to support innovations which increase the international competitiveness of agri-processing and manufacturing organisations. You could be a manufacturing or agri-processing organisation or an organisation supplying innovations to such firms. 

  1. Informal Sector

We are looking to support innovations which will raise the productivity of informal sector MSMEs and/or support shifts into the formal sector. Your innovative solution could be improving access to markets, inputs, new goods, new services and finance for MSMEs. Your products or services could increase the productivity of farmers and other MSMEs, build their capacity and enable their transition from the informal to formal sectors. 

  1. Marginalised Communities 

We also target companies that work with marginalised groups (including women, disabled, communities in informal settlements), have presence in marginalised geographies (e.g. ASALs)  and/or looking to positively impact livelihoods in these regions and populations. These interventions may also be operating in agribusiness, manufacturing and/or the informal sector.

Assessment Criteria

All applications will be assessed against the criteria defined below. 

  1. Innovation 

We define innovation as the means by which entrepreneurs exploit emerging challenges as an opportunity for value creation. Innovative enterprises deliver elegant and viable solutions. We define viability as the ability of the innovation to sustain itself and provide a return on investment.   

We consider  innovation as the introduction of something new to Kenya that creates value. It is not limited to new products and services or the use of new technology. We consider all types of innovation including:

  1. Product/ Service Offering
    • New product/ service
    • New grouping/ configuration of products/ services
    • Distinctive elements to the service surrounding your product 
  2. Customer Engagement/ Experience
    • Sales/service channels and mechanism
    • Novel experience provided to the customer
  3. Process
    • Improving production and/or internal processes including by utilisation of new equipment or technology
  4. Organization and Network
    • Novel methods of aligning talents and assets
    • Connecting/networking/integrating with others to create value 
  5. Business/ Profit Model
  1. Impact

The fund is looking to support innovations which coupled with increases in productivity have a positive impact on jobs and livelihoods. This impact can be achieved by:

  1. Creating new direct jobs within your organisation. 
  2. Improving the quality of jobs in your organisation e.g. by increasing productivity, you are able to achieve increased profit per employee, increase the skill level required from your employees and increase the remuneration. 
  3. Creating additional demand from your suppliers and therefore increasing their income and/or the number of people which they employ.
  4. Improving the productivity of your customers which in turn increases their profits and/or the number of people that they employ. 

In each case we will consider the number of jobs created, the number of livelihoods improved and the incremental increase in income for each, over a 12 month period. The fund is seeking businesses that will drive significant, measurable impact in one or more of these areas, for example (this list is not a minimum threshold but rather a guide): 

  • creating 300+ direct jobs above the minimum wage 
  • increasing the monthly income of +1,500 farmers by more than Kes 5K
  • increasing the monthly revenue of 1,000 retailers by more than Kes 20K who in turn employ an additional worker
  • improving the remuneration of 300 existing staff by more than Kes 15K per month. 

An evaluation of the proposed budget compared to the number of jobs created and livelihoods impacted will be used to evaluate the value for money of each application. 

  1. Scalability and replication

We are looking to understand the impact that will be experienced during the implementation of the proposed innovation and the likely scale of impact that can be achieved over a longer period. This scale could be reached by organic growth, attracting external investment through a successful demonstration of the innovation and/or by influencing competitors and other stakeholders to adopt the innovation. 

  1. Co-investment

We would want to see a reasonable level of co-investment in the innovation (the more the better.)

  1. Additionality

You will need to explain why this solution would not rapidly reach scale without grant funding (e.g. other sources of funds are not available or the risk profile of the innovation would cause the organisation to take a different approach to growth without grant support.) 

  1. Sustainability

You will need to demonstrate how the innovation will be sustained and the impact will grow without relying on additional grant funding. 

Important note: Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund does not provide funding to Government organisations, political parties and organisations that advocate, or espouse anti-democratic policies or business organizations that have a negative impact on Climate Sustainability or practice the exploitation of child labour.

The table below showcases demonstrative examples of how the application can be filled



Successful applicants will receive grant funding and technical assistance assessed on a case by case basis up to a maximum value of £150,000.  The exact size of the grant funding will be determined by the grants management team in line with the fund’s objectives. 

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