Juhudi Kilimo is a social enterprise that provides asset financing and technical assistance to smallholder farmers and small-to-medium agribusinesses throughout Kenya. Juhudi operates exclusively in rural areas, giving smallholder farmers access to the tools they need to scale up and succeed. Through our services, we help our clients make their farms productive and sustainable, increasing their farming income and improving the well-being of their families. Since 2009, Juhudi Kilimo has provided KES 2 Billion worth of fincancing to 40,000 Kenyan farmers. We currently have 20,000 clients spread across 20 rural branches and served by our team of 140 employees. In recognition of its efforts, Juhudi Kilimo received the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the World Economic Forum in 2011, and was acknowledged in CIO Magazine’s Top 100 list of technology innovations in 2013. Juhudi Kilimo also became the first African B Corporation in 2013.
We want to work with startups and companies that have smallholder farmers as their customers. We are also interested in startups and companies whose customers are other organizations in the agriculture value chain, such as feed or fertilizer companies, input suppliers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, extension service providers and so on. At its core, a Juhudi Labs company should serve the Kenyan smallholder farmer, whether directly or indirectly
3. Can you give examples of the agricultural or financial products and services you are interested in?
Yes! We are interested in all sorts of products and services that are or can be helpful for farmers and agribusinesses, for example: high-yield livestock breeds, improved seed varieties, farming inputs, farming machinery, greenhouses, water tanks and irrigation units, renewable energy solutions, farm transportation, technical assistance and extension services, weather information services, business and financial literacy services for farmers, market access solutions, information and productivity managament services, affordable credit solutions, farming insurance products, distribution and supply chain services, and solutions that improve agricultural process efficiency and productivity. If you think your product or service is right for farmers and/or other agriculture sector organizations, tell us about it!
The size or maturity of the business is not a limiting factor for Juhudi Labs; we are willing to consider your business, whether it is only at the idea/prototype stage or is already profitable and growing. What is important to us is that we are able to work with you to develop a realistic, mutually beneficial partnership that will prove your startup’s potential or will help your company achieve a desired level of growth and scale. This means we will evaluate your application based on your company’s fit with Juhudi Kilimo and its future potential, rather than its current state.
Once funneled into our Startup Residency Program, partner companies can be given access to our farmer client base for product development, usability testing and market research. Through Juhudi Kilimo’s network of branches, the companies can also reach a pre-selected market of 20,000 smallholder farmers to promote and sell their products or services. Juhudi Labs may also help resident companies grow and reach scale by investing directly in them or helping them to raise investor or donor funding. The exact format and scale of support will be assessed and determined at various stages during the residency.
Yes, we created the Field Research Program as a way to work with research-focused organizations. This may include governmental and non-government al research bodies, universities and academic institutions, or policy institutes and think tanks. The research projects developed in this program are expected to use academic methods, such as randomized control trials, to ensure the rigour and validity of findings. Thematically, the studies should focus on Juhudi Kilimo’s core business and customers – financial services and rural smallholder farmers – in order for research outcomes to be relevant and practicable. Because we have slightly different needs and requirements for this program, potential partners may either apply through the general application form, or contact Juhudi Labs directly.
To identify high-potential startups for our residency program in 2014, we are partnering with Village Capital on the Innovations in Agriculture accelerator program. The 3-month accelerator provides training and mentorship to innovative agriculture companies in Kenya. At the end of the program, Juhudi Kilimo will make an investment of USD 50,000 in the two winning companies.