• The deal will see the two organisations collaborate to financially invest in selected social enterprises.
• YSB Regional director for East Africa, Susan Ngalawa said the partnership with TikTok signifies a strategic shift towards embracing digital innovation to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.
Entertainment platform, TikTok has announced a $1.5 million (Sh227 million) partnership with non-profit firm Yunus Social Business (YBS) to support Kenyan social enterprises.
The deal will see the two organisations collaborate to financially invest in selected social enterprises while providing others with training and mentorship on brand building, sales/e-commerce and leveraging digital platforms for business success.
According to TikTok's Sub-Saharan Africa director, Government Relations and Public Policy Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, the partnership dubbed #TikTokEmpower represents a transformative opportunity to empower entrepreneurs, address social challenges, and drive sustainable economic growth in Kenya and East Africa.
He said that the creative economy is a key priority for Kenya and this is the time to amplify these opportunities.
"We have seen the profound impact and real-world opportunity that TikTok brings to small businesses around the world, and we are proud to foster this entrepreneurial spirit and digital innovation in Africa," Sibanda.
YSB Regional director for East Africa, Susan Ngalawa on her part said the partnership with TikTok signifies a strategic shift towards embracing digital innovation to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.
She added that social businesses hold solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time, but they cannot deliver or scale those solutions alone.
"This collaboration with TikTok is designed to help overcome specific social business challenges. For example, by providing them with direct financial support, upskilling their teams in digital marketing to strengthen their position in the digital economy, and giving them access to markets so that as the social businesses grow," Ngalawa added.
During the launch of the partnership, Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports CS Ababu Namwamba who was the chief guest handed a $450,000 (Sh68.6 million) cheque to BURN Manufacturing, the only modern cookstove manufacturing facility in Africa.
It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent and has already reached over 22.5 million people. It is also the maiden investment as a result of the partnership.
Speaking at the event, Ababu noted that TikTok has had an impact that extends beyond entertainment and social interaction.
He hailed the new partnership, insisting that it provides a pivotal effort to leverage business solutions for social good.
"It has influenced various aspects of society, education, and philanthropy, positioning itself as an impact organisation by providing a platform for individuals from diverse backgrounds to share their stories, talents, and creativity.
"It has also empowered creators to express themselves, build communities, and find their voices, fostering inclusivity and diversity," Ababu said.
Other social enterprises to benefit from this partnership include Ndivisi Enterprises and ED Partners Africa amongst others.
They will receive access to digital skills training, resources and brand-building mentorship as part of the offering.