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Profiling Kenya’s Winners From The JICA Next Innovation With Japan (NINJA) Business Plan Competition

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched the ‘Next Innovation with Japan’ (NINJA) Business Plan Competition in Kenya in response to COVID-19 in July 2020. The NINJA project aimed to support the growth of start-ups with innovative business models and technologies that respond to changes in social structure and economic activities. NINJA targeted startups and organizations from 19 African countries and applications were open for startups or organizations in all sectors with a specific focus on emerging businesses in COVID-19-related fields including, but not limited to:

  1. Health: Online healthcare support; disease testing solutions; medical data sharing and privacy protection solutions; distribution of drugs and medical equipment; IoT, including 3D printers, in the medical field
  2. Disaster Management: Geo-tracking during disasters; emergency information dissemination
  3. Business Services: Support for remote workers; efficient management/operation of online events
  4. Education Sector: Remote learning support
  5. Food and Agriculture: Efficient food/commodity distribution technology
  6. Finance: Contactless transactions / payment; lending / insurance services to SMEs and individuals
  7. Logistics: delivery service, urban mobility management
  8. Other: Substituting imported goods with local innovative technology

5 outstanding companies from Kenya out of 300 applications were selected and awarded a grant to implement their pilot projects. They also benefited from customized business training and mentorship programs. The 5 NINJA finalists were Eneza Telecoms, Kytabu, Daktari Media Africa, Solar E Cycles, and Upepo Technology. Find out more about the NINJA project in Kenya via this YouTube video @ https://bit.ly/JICAKenyaNINJA

Kytabu

Kytabu is an education technology startup that creates and delivers digital learning solutions for the African continent. It’s a stand-out edtech innovator in the education sector looking to bring fun learning to every child through online education video content and a cloud-based integrated school management system. Kytabu supports the student learning journey and contributes to an efficient school management system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about Kytabu’s involvement in the NINJA project via this YouTube video @ https://bit.ly/JICAKenyaKytabu

Eneza Telecom

Eneza Telecom is an agile software development startup providing MSMEs, Corporates, NGOs, and Government Institutions with Eneza Business Suite, an affordable and integrated cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. Eneza Business Suite has modules for accounting, human resource management, payroll, cash management, customized customer engagement surveys, and Bulk SMS. All of the Eneza Business Suite ERP modules are affordable, secure, and easy to use solutions. Find out more about Eneza Telecom’s involvement in the NINJA project via this YouTube video @ https://bit.ly/JICAKenyaEneza

Daktari Media Africa

Daktari Media Africa is a healthtech and edtech startup from Kenya offering online learning for Health Sector Professionals. It has transformed the growth of the health sector professionals by supporting their training needs for short courses and medical education for mandatory Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points conveniently and in a cost-effective manner. Find out more about Daktari Media Africa’s involvement in the NINJA project via this YouTube video @ https://bit.ly/JICAKenyaDaktari

Solar E Cycles

Solar E Cycles is a startup focusing on affordable clean energy and electric-powered mobility solutions and access to renewable energy for consumers and businesses in Africa. Solar E Cycles currently offers an affordable and light electric solar-powered tricycle or trike that carries cargo and is planning to enter the two-wheeler market with electric bicycles in the near future. Find out more about Solar E Cycle’s involvement in the NINJA project @ https://bit.ly/JICAKenyaSolar

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