Canada announces funding to provide training to small-business owners in Kenya

By Department of Foreign Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, together with the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced funding that will help Kenya's poorest and most vulnerable people benefit from the country's growing resource-based economy. Canada is contributing $19.5million to the project over seven years, until 2021.

Minister Freeland made the announcement on the margins of the World Trade Organization's 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

The Government of Canada is contributing the funding to the Mennonite Economic Development Associates' Equitable Prosperity Through Private Sector Development project, which focuses on reducing poverty in Kenya's most marginalized regions by providing training, expertise and mentoring to small-business owners, especially women and youth.

Canada's contribution will assist small-business entrepreneurs to set up producer associations to market and sell their products and will help them access financing to operate and expand their businesses.

It is anticipated that the project will train 20,000 entrepreneurs in managing successful businesses and increase the profits of 250 small and medium-sized enterprises.


“Canada recognizes that small-business owners in developing countries are key drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction. By equipping Kenyan entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, with tools to start and grow their businesses, we are supporting their ability to benefit from economic growth and bring about positive change in their homes and communities.”

- Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade

“Canada is proud of its commitment to helping the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, including women and youth. Our partnership with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates will assist communities in the most marginalized areas of Kenya to overcome poverty and build successful businesses that contribute to further growth and prosperity.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick facts

Canada's international development program in Kenya is closely aligned with Kenya's long-term national planning strategy, officially known as Kenya Vision 2030. The goal of Canada's program is to help Kenya secure a future for children and youth by improving primary education, promoting sustainable economic growth and strengthening democratic governance.

Mennonite Economic Development Associates is a Canadian-based international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty.