PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONPublic Affairs Nairobi invites proposals to design and implement an innovative program to provide business training, mentorship, and a business plan competition for business owners with disabilities.
All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with
American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U. S. policy and perspectives.
Northern and Coastal Kenya Purpose of Grant:The purpose of the grant is to increase the capacity of Kenyan business owners with disabilities to do business with the United States and improve the business environment for disabled people.
The project implementers will identify people with disabilities who own small- and medium-sized enterprises and train them in business skills, provide formal networking and mentorship programs, and hold a business plan competition.
The project must include connections to U. S. businesses, either with U. S. companies operating in Kenya, American businesspeople and mentors, U. S. business organizations or guilds, and/or virtual interactions with U. S. businesses.
Project implementers are encouraged to use American Corners in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Lamu where applicable.Key Program Components:Proposals should include the following key program components.• Training:
Participants will receive a minimum of 60 hours of instruction in concepts that will directly help their businesses grow and succeed.
Instructors must be recognized experts in their field and have minimum three years prior teaching experience.
Instruction must be in-person but does need to take place in a classroom.
Program implementers must measure effectiveness through knowledge checks.
By the end of the training, all participants should be able to put together a solid, realistic business plan.• Mentorship program:
All participants will be matched with mentors from U.S.-owned or U.S.-based companies or with mentors who are disabled and are in executive positions in large companies in Kenya.
The mentorship component will include at a minimum bimonthly contact (in-person, by video conferencing, or phone) and the program implementers will provide structured guidelines on the mentor-mentee relationship.
All mentors will be encouraged to meet in-person with their mentees if feasible.• Business plan competition:
At the culmination of the program, each participant should have a business plan that is based on the business they own and incorporates concepts they learned from the training and mentorship programs.
Participants will compete in a business plan competition.
The competition will include a business pitch for a panel of judges and a fair-style expo open to the public.
Judges must be regional or international angel investors.Priority Program Areas:• Promote U.S.-Kenyan Shared Economic Interests:
Promote U. S. trade and investment, improve economic governance and the enabling business environment, achieve inclusive, market-driven, environmentally sustainable economic growth.• Reinforce U.S.-Kenyan Shared Values:
Reinforce U.S.-Kenyan shared values through funding proposals that explore and expand on historical and contemporary connections between U. S. and Kenyan institutions and groups.• Support Kenya’s Ability to Advance Sustainable Development:
Strengthen health and human capacity, enable livelihoods, reduce suffering, and strengthen resilience.Participants and AudiencesThe target audience should be at least 300 people with disabilities who own businesses, with a majority of participants having businesses operating in Northern or Coastal Kenya.