We are on a mission to support women groups into commercial agriculture

Agriculture accounted for the largest share of poverty reduction in Kenya in the past decade.
We are on a mission to include rural women groups in this statistic in the future.

How we workGet involved

Holistic support 

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

Market contracts

Insurance setup

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. 

Be self-sustainable

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.

The challenge 

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.

The pilot

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.

120m2 greenhouse

The greenhouse is 120 square meeters, constructed in steel with a roof water collection system, a water tank, and an irrigation kit. 

4 seasons

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.

The team

Andrea Stykket

Founder and Executive Director

Andreas Prenner

Director of Finance

Benjamin Freeborn

Director of Research and Impact

Bernard Moloma Supeet

Co-Founder and Director of Community

Jacinta Loiso

Women Groups Representative

Jan Vlcek

Director of Strategy and Operations

Karen Mataiko

Director of Student Engagement

Max Nunn

Director of Partnerships

Mide Griffin

Director of Marketing 

Reverent Rasime Loiso

Director of Agriculture

Get involved

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 info@nabio.org