The Lundin Foundation expands access to financing for small businesses in rural Kenya

July 20, 2021 by Eva Kigo

After achieving exceptional results, the Turkana Catalyst Initiative (TCI) is evolving to become the Northern Growth Initiative and expanding into new communities in rural Kenya.  

In 2021 the Turkana Catalyst Initiative (TCI) has scaled up to become the Northern Growth Initiative and will focus on five new rural communities and reach 30 small businesses.

The  TCI, which began in 2018, was designed to offer small businesses intensive and practical training and help entrepreneurs develop skills that could be applied to management concepts and address unique challenges within their community.  The program’s impact on local entrepreneurs was incredibly successful and has led to long-term economic growth. The decision to scale up TCI into more communities and rename it the Northern Growth Initiative is a direct result of these impacts.


TCI’s innovative approach and practical delivery of technical assistance to entrepreneurs led to the success of the program,
which includes the following impacts: 

Summary of Beneficiaries

32 SMEs graduated 

33% women led

Profitability Growth 

65.15% of graduated SMEs have experienced growth in profitability 

Cumulative profits increased by $92,700 in 2018

Employment Creation 

49.4% of graduated SMEs have created additional employment 

79 jobs created

Improved Wages 

Average wage rate of employees is 38.4% higher than the national minimum wage from graduated SMEs, translating to $187.84 per month versus $135.72 national minimum wage per month

Business Operational Growth 

New contracts secured valued at $950,000 from graduated SMEs 

61.9% of graduated SMEs acquired new customers 

2 SMEs opened new branch locations for services offered 

3 SME expanded regional scope of service offering, including Coast of Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan

Improved Access to Financing 

$440,000 seed funding disbursed directly by the Foundation to graduated SMEs 

$79,000 additional financing secured by graduated SMEs from commercial banks