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Nairobi Stew

Selfless stweies: from left: Naomi of Bena Care, Thomas and Michelle of Habari Kibra, Angela Muiruri the host, Julie from the Somo Project and Anna and Njenga from Changing Faces Competition.

Ref: Superman Position

Nearly two-thirds of Kenya’s $50 billion economy is controlled by a tiny clique of less than 0.02% super-wealthy individuals. 46% of the country’s people live below the poverty line, surviving on less than $2 a day. This fact truly reaffirms the maxim that enyewe Kenya ina wenyewe!” Depending on what side you happen to be dear reader, selfless acts are either an ingrained habit or a PR stunt. 

Once we realize that we cannot wait for a superman to do what we can do ourselves, we see the power in our hands. How we can create change around us for the better. When success is not measured by the amount of wealth you amass but the number of lives you impact, is when the world becomes a better place for all of us.

It is from such a realization that motivated the following four people, or stewies as we like to call them, to apply for Nairobi Stew, a microgrant dinner that took place at ALX. The aim of the event went beyond the monetary boost. The event set out to help social entrepreneurs gain support from the community and open up their networks.  In addition, the platform offered an opportunity to understand what is happening on the local scene.

The “be your own superman” individuals that are creating a better Nairobi

We started out with a musical interlude to set the tone for the event. After that, Naomi from Bena Care was first on stage. Her project that was conceived while in campus. It offers affordable and reliable nursing services to the sick people at the comfort of their own home. By so doing, they save families hefty hospital bills time spent in traffic to see their loved ones.

The next stewies were Ana and Njenga from Changing Faces Competition. Their initiative mobilizes citizens across Nairobi to present and enact creative concepts to transform the city’s public open spaces into clean, green and safe places in a fun competition.

The third tag team stewies were Thomas and Michelle from Habari Kibra. They equip youth with data journalism skills so that they can report on stories from their communities. Their mission, to amplify the communities’ voice through accurate and representative reporting of development and sustainability issues in informal settlements. This way, they minimize misrepresentation by media houses about the true state on the ground. 

The last stewie was Juliet from the Somo Project. Her initiative invests in social entrepreneurs and provides them with training and tools to help them build enterprises that change their communities. They run a 12-week entrepreneurship training program for entrepreneurs living in low-income communities. After the training program, shortlisted candidates receive mentorship and startup capital to launch their businesses.

As with all competitions, one winner had to be feted. At this 6th Nairobi Stew, Naomi from Bena Care was the one that found favour with the guardians of the pot. However, all the stewies went home with pledges of support from people in the audience, because the best part of Nairobi Stew is not the money – it’s the community who helps the stewies create change.  

We can all be our own superman. Join us for the next Nairobi Stew in February to support Nairobi’s future gamechangers.

Business Showers – why not?

It’s been a while since I last came across a tweet that was so provocative. It made me question a lot of things in me and whether I was being my brothers’ keeper.

Was I telling my other circle of friends about his/her business or services?

Was I following their business page on social media sites and even going the extent of sharing their content?

Would I bargain just because we are buddies?

Had I helped them out with my technical capabilities if not financially?

These were some of the questions that kept gnawing at my soul. I’d forgotten that when you light a lamp on someone’s way, in one way or the other, yours brightens up also. It doesn’t have to be grand. Simple, yet impactful gestures could be getting them a book or forwarding an online article on entrepreneurship or informing them about forums such as the Nairobi Stew. The stew is a community dinner built on the belief that a donation of 500 bob, a bowl of stew and a vote can bring about change in our city. Four people will present an initiative that they are running to build a better Nairobi, and the winner receives the pot of donations as a microgrant to grow their initiative. It’s a night of raw presentations where projectors and powerpoint presentations are given a miss, and your story telling skills take centre stage.

Inform your pal of the Nairobi Stew and bring them there with you. Next time, it could be them pitching on that stage. RSVP here

Written by Kennedy Ngugi, intern at the Kijiji. 

Apply to pitch at Nairobi Stew

Are you running or starting up a project or business to create change in our city? Would you like community support in making it happen?

If the answer is yes, we’d love to hear from you!

Nairobi Stew is a community dinner funding microgrants for community projects. It is built on the belief that Ksh 500, four pitches, stew and a vote is all you need to make incredible things happen in your community. The Nairobi Stew series is inspired by the soup movement, which began with Detroit Soup in 2010 and has spread around the world since.

Pitching at Nairobi Stew entails explaining to the room what your idea is, what you would do with the money and how it will benefit the community. You then grab a bowl of stew, participate in the discussions and enjoy yourself. At the end of the night, once everyone has voted, the winning pitch gets the pot of donations from the door. 

Click here to submit your application. We accept applications on a rolling basis.

The money isn’t the only reason you should pitch your idea. Here are some others:

Access to resources – You’ll have the opportunity to access new networks, new relationships and open doors to collaboration. Tap into the many networks of people that are in our community.
An audience – Spread the word about your project to a new, supportive audience & raise your profile in the community.Volunteers – Many projects gain volunteers from the Stew, even if they don’t win!
Donations – Again, even if you don’t win, some ideas gain donations on, and after, the night.
Advertising – The pitched projects will be advertised on social media & may feature in press releases.
Feedback – Presenting at the Stew allows you to gauge opinion & discuss your ideas with others. You could gain valuable feedback and develop ideas.
No restrictions – There are no restrictions on what can be pitched and no age restrictions. In fact, only three rules apply…

– No technology can be used in a pitch
– The idea must be related to Nairobi. If you’d like to host Stew for another part of the country, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to support you in setting that up. 
– The winner comes to a future Nairobi Stew to report on the progress of their project.
– Anyone can pitch and we encourage people from all walks of life to have a go. You can pitch alone, in a pair or a group.

What is the process?

26th April 2019: Deadline to submit application

1st May 2019: You will hear from the Stew committee whether you have been selected to pitch.

6th May 2019: Come and practice your pitch with us and receive feedback on how to improve it.

8th May 2019: Its time to stew and pitch your initiative

Agenda for the Stew Night

17:30 Doors open. Come, find your seat, talk with your neighbour and learn about the presenters.
18:00 Introduction to Nairobi Stew, and then presentations. Each presenter is invited to talk about their idea for four minutes, and then the audience is allowed four questions.
19:00 Dinner & voting.
19:30 Announcement of the winner.

Venue: To be confirmed.

Apply here. If you apply after the deadline specified above, we will let you know about the outcome of your application for the next Nairobi Stew (it is held every three months).

*Photos were taken by Quantum Pixels Media.

Nairobi Stew – A Microgranting Community Dinner

Can we create change in our community? Lets start with a night of crowdfunding, music, food and community action!

Nairobi Stew is a community dinner funding microgrants for community projects. RSVP here for the next edition on Wednesday November 7th and apply to pitch here.