THE MSME Kenya Olympiad 2023

Creating One African Market



Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of many economies, including Kenya. Recognizing the immense potential of these enterprises, I Choose Life- Africa and The Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) have designed an intervention: MSME Olympiad 2023 – Connecting MSMEs to Intra-Africa Trade, to provide acceleration support to 150 MSMEs in Kenya.

This program seeks to empower MSMEs by enhancing their capacity and strengthening the MSME ecosystem, with a primary focus on fostering Intra-Africa trade. The program addresses the challenges faced by MSMEs in accessing markets, finance, and resources required to expand their operations beyond national borders. By providing targeted support and a comprehensive range of services, the program aims to enable MSMEs to seize the opportunities presented by Intra-Africa trade, thereby contributing to their sustainable growth and the economic development of Kenya.


The acceleration program aims to achieve the following:
a) Enhance MSMEs’ capacity to engage in inter-Africa trade.
b) Strengthen the overall MSME ecosystem in targeted counties.
c) Foster entrepreneurship and innovation in key sectors.
d) Facilitate access to finance and markets for participating MSMEs.

To apply for the program, the MSME must

  • Be based in one of these counties: Machakos, Nairobi, Laikipia, Bomet, Turkana and Uasin Gishu
  • Growth stage enterprises (minimum annual turnover of $30,000)
  • Have an existing customer base
  • Have a clear product or service (value proposition)
  • At least 2 full time staff
  • If selected, be available and committed to participating in all workshops and pitch events during the program.

Target Sectors

  • Agro-processing
  • Education
  • Climate and Environment,
  • Trade and Tourism,
  • Construction and Housing
  • Technology
  • Creative, Beauty and Fashion
  • Manufacturing
Other sectors are also encouraged to apply


  • Access to 4-month enterprise acceleration program
  • Embedded coaching support
  • Links to industry mentors
  • Links to finance and markets
  • Access to vibrant entrepreneurial community
  • Opportunity to participate and exhibit at the Kenya Innovation Week
  • Facilitate access to finance and markets for participating MSMEs.

Application process​

  • To apply, kindly fill in the application form and submit it before 30th August 2023. Apply Here
  • The applications will be reviewed and those who will qualify for the challenge will be contacted for engagement in further stages by 31st August 2023.


For any clarification, kindly reach out to Brian Nderitu- or

Meet the Partners

I Choose Life - Africa

I Choose Life – Africa (ICL) is a leading youth focused Non-Governmental Organizations that has significantly contributed to the realization of socio-economic development and empowerment of individuals bringing about transformative change across communities in Kenya. The organization has over 18 years’ experience implementing evidence-based adolescents and youth programs in over 345 institutions of learning (Primary, Secondary and Higher learning institutions) across 25 Counties in Kenya.

Association of Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK)

The Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) is an association that brings together and represents the interests of Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) that support the development and growth of startups and SMEs for maximum impact. In fostering the startup and SME enablers ecosystem in Kenya, ASSEK plays a key role in representing all the actors of the Kenyan startup and SME enablers ecosystem by actively promoting networking among its members spread out across the country.

The association’s mission is to be the voice and support of startup enablers (Incubators, Accelerators, Makerspaces, Co-working spaces, and Innovation centers) and their clients in Kenya and beyond through the advancement of innovation and entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic and social development.