06 July, 2011

ENABLIS BUSINESS LAUNCH COMPETITION

CHASE BANK ENABLIS ILO BUSINESS LAUNCHPAD TO AWARD BEST BUSINESS PLANS IN NATIONAL COMPETITION

Have a business idea, but don’t know how to execute it? Help is on the way.

The Enablis Entrepreneurial Network East Africa, Chase Bank and the International Labour Organization have today launched the 2011 annual business plan competition aimed at supporting emerging and existing entrepreneurs. The competition will run between July and October 2011.

The competition is a platform for Kenyans with business ideas to realize their dreams. To enter the competition aspiring entrepreneurs have to put their ideas onto paper by preparing a business plan and submitting to the Chase Bank Enablis ILO Business Launchpad. However, for those who may not know how to write a business plan, the competition’s training partner Inoorero University will conduct a series of awareness and training sessions in 20 counties across the country.

“We will visit 20 counties across the country in July and August to offer free training on how to write fundable business plans and also give tips on how to approach a bank for a business loan,” said Mr. Moses Mwaura, Chief Operations Officer, Enablis Africa.

The competition will roll out in four phases, starting with the launch. After the official launch, any Kenyan citizen over the age of 18 is eligible to participate and the competition will accept submissions from both start-ups and expanding businesses.

The awareness and training sessions will be the second phase of the competition. The competition will stop receiving business plans on 31 August 2011 after which the entries will be evaluated, scored, and ranked. The Enablis 100 finalists will be announced on 5 October 2011. The finalists will be invited to Nairobi for further training and judging which will culminate with a winner’s gala where the 2011 winners will be unveiled.

A total of KSH 3.5 million will be awarded to winners in the seven categories which include: Media, marketing and communication, Information and communication technology, Agri-business and agri-processing, Manufacturing and construction, Arts, sports, logistics, tourism and recreation, Business and professional services, and Green and ecological businesses.

The Enablis finalists will also be entitled to Chase Bank accounts, and free Enablis membership for a year. Selected finalists will also benefit from business development support from ILO’s Youth Entrepreneurship Facility.

The 2011 competition got a boost when the ILO’s Youth Entrepreneurship Facility increased their sponsorship to share the title sponsorship with Chase Bank. The competition is also supported by Inoorero University, Business Daily, Safaricom Foundation, MobiKash, Rhino Special Products and the Kenya ICT Board. Mr. Mwaura called for every Kenyan with a business idea to believe in their ideas and submit their business plan.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Parmain ole Narikae, General Manager of Chase Bank said “Chase Bank is delighted to once more become part of transforming the lives of entrepreneurs in Kenya. Through the competition last year, we were able to interact and learn at a most intimate level the requirements of SMEs. These insights have been weaved into our product development process to ensure that entrepreneurs get the services and products they seek. We are especially keen on developing young talent in the vibrant SME sector as they will positively boost Kenya’s Economy in the future,”

Mr. Jens Dyring Christensen, the Chief Technical Advisor of ILO’s Youth Entrepreneurship Facility while speaking at the launch ceremony said “The ILO is excited by the partnership with Chase Bank and Enablis in the 2011 Business Launchpad. We have high hopes for green and social enterprise business plans and are ready to support winners. We want young entrepreneurs to integrate the concept of sustainable enterprise in their operations and establish firms that create decent jobs that integrate green and social benefits in addition to purely economic benefits,” Mr. Christensen pointed out that there was a lot of talent in Kenya and investing in these talents will help contribute to Kenya’s socio-economic growth.

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