Multiple barriers to entering commercial agriculture must be addressed simultaneously to support groups like Nyela. NABIO offers:
120m2 modern greenhouse
Roof water harvest, water tank, and irrigation kit
Bi-weekly agricultural training
Community support team
Living wages and local ownership
NABIO is a purpose-driven organisation with the only aim of supporting women groups to make a living. Our model therefore:
Removing group risk
The services are offered as a loan, but it is only repaid as a percentage of sales made to the market buyer.
Ensure fair wages
From the first harvest, the group members earn hourly wages above market standard.
Hands over ownership
The group owns the greenhouse fully once the loan is repaid, allowing earnings to further increase.
Scalability at a profit
Our goal is to extend our impact to as many groups as possible. Our model is built to:
Scale through repayments
Each group repais the cost of support as a percentage of sales, allowing a repayment rate of 7 years.
The model allows one staff to be hired for every 4 greenhouses in operation. We are working towards this milestone to employ the first head of operations on ground.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy pathway out of poverty. Those seeking to become business owners face deep and interlinked structural barriers.
Multiple structural barriers
22% of women in Kenya are iliterate and have not completed primary school education, locking them out of most of the formal labour market. Those seeking to start a business face the complex challenges of entrepreneurship. Those that succeed are those that are able to gain a useful skill, aquire necessary resources, find a market and navigate its failures, and deal with risk.
Extension services are conditional
Despite making up 80% of Kenya’s agricultural production, women access only 6% of agricultural extension services. This means over 90% of finance, insurance, consultancy, and market portals, go towards larger, industrialized, farmers.
Microfinance can become debt traps
Despite the potency of microfinance, it fails to make a difference for certain groups. At interest rates as high as 30%, recipients must be able to make a viable profit. However, not everyone has the skills, network, and market access needed to make a profitable venture. For groups facing multiple barriers, microfinance can become a debt trap.
Agricultural financing, training, and support is not a radically new idea, but it is not a given that it can be provided at a profit to all types of groups. Women, rurally located, and iliterate, are not considered a viable target market.
Our model aimed to test whether women groups in subsistence agriculture could learn agroskills, run the greenhouse, and repay the services to allow the model to scale as planned.
21 women in the Nyela Widow Group
The first group is also the one that were part of creating the NABIO model in the first place. Nyela is a community group that have been running for years as a loan-group.
The greenhouse is 120 square meeters, constructed in steel with a roof water collection system, a water tank, and an irrigation kit.
Since the pilot begun in January 2019, the women group have been running the greenhouse through 4 seasons.
Bi-weekly agronomist training
Since the beginning, the group has met with an agronomist every 2 weeks. They have gained insights into every aspects of running the greenhouse, including planting, fertilization, pruning, pest detection, watering, and harvesting.
Founder and Executive Director
Director of Finance
Director of Research and Impact
Bernard Moloma Supeet
Co-Founder and Director of Community
Women Groups Representative
Director of Strategy and Operations
Director of Student Engagement
Director of Partnerships
Director of Marketing
Reverent Rasime Loiso
Director of Agriculture
We are moving from pilot towards scaling and are seeking people and organisations that share our goal of making agriculture more inclusive. Do get in touch if you are interested in talking about getting involved in the team or in a partnership by reaching out to us at email@example.com