Platform to support Diaspora business engagement in Kenya
Attention is drawn to WIDU.africa, an online platform to provide professional business coaching and funding for small businesses, involving the African diaspora in Europe, and their partners in participating African countries. The program enables Kenyans living in Switzerland, among several other countries in Europe, to receive partial funding in the form of a grant, for starting new, or supporting existing businesses.
The WIDU project aims at the creation of new jobs, increased income and better economic prospectives for the participants. This is to be achieved through redirecting remittances by the participants in the Diaspora, working with their partners in Kenya, into sustainable investments for start-ups and small businesses through a transparent and efficient management process. The WIDU program is in line with Kenya’s Diaspora policy 2014, which has a broad objective of mainstreaming and empowering Kenyans abroad to effectively contribute to the development of the country, while at the same time meeting their needs and expectations as Kenyans in diaspora.
The central tool for the project is WIDU’s online platform. Potential applicants for the WIDU Africa support are private individuals from the diaspora in specific countries, who regularly transfer money to Kenya and partners they choose in Kenya. The prerequisite for participation in the promotion programme is that the project partners already know and trust each other. It is also important that both parties i.e. the Diaspora donors and the entrepreneurs – are prepared to invest the same amount of money in the project. After successful coaching and proof of private investment on the platform, WIDU will match the joint contribution of the diaspora and the entrepreneur with a grant.