Somo is an accelerator that works with impact entrepreneurs from low-income, urban communities. Our programs include long-term support in the form of training, advising, funding, and increased market access. We believe that people from low-income communities are in the best position to create change in their own communities-they understand and see the problems themselves, their families and neighbors are dealing with.
Cities are increasingly overcrowded, with growing slum populations. Fast-growing cities typically lack the infrastructure, resources and services necessary to support population growth. Nairobi exemplifies these trends, with over 4.4 million people in greater metropolitan Nairobi, the issues of inadequate social services and infrastructure in informal settlements are affecting over 3 million people.
We invest in community-led initiatives and provide the resources needed to help build sustainable enterprises. We partner with impact oriented businesses that either focus on creating positive change through life enhancing products or services and/or employing a demographic that has low rates of employment opportunities. Our businesses range from food production (eg. natural yogurt), to recycling (eg. dolls made from recycled fabric), to training institutes (eg. a data journalism training).
We will grow our program beyond these limits as our current businesses in Nairobi continue to grow, as we invest in more Nairobi entrepreneurs building impact businesses in low-income neighborhoods, and as we expand our program to other urban environments around the world, creating a global network of change-makers. We will sustain these programs through a combination of revenue generated at the organizational level and grants and donations.