Housing start-ups from Kenya will receive funding to turn agricultural waste into affordable building material.

Mtamu Kililo, CEO and co-founder of MycoTile spoke elatedly at the news that they will receive funding from Kiernan Foundation. “We are so grateful to receive this funding at such a timely point of our growth process and will use it to continue our product development in collaboration with Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI). These will further enable us to roll out our insulation products in Kenya. At MycoTile, we turn AgriWaste into affordable building material bonded using mycelium mushroom. Simply, we convert waste into value and connect some of the key challenges in Africa as a youth start-up manufacturing affordable  housing solutions from Agri waste.”

The Big 4 Agenda

In line with the BIG 4 agenda, manufacturing stands tall as a pillar in the Big Four development agenda by the Kenyan Government. Manufacturing is considered key to unlocking the success of the other development goals, namely: Universal Healthcare, Affordable Housing, and Food security. These support the argument that manufacturing can create many quality jobs there-by improving the living standards of the young people, elevating them to access proper healthcare, decent and affordable housing. The Government has set up numerous development projects in the manufacturing sector that seeks to raise the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 9,2% to 20% by 2022.”. This is important to the governments’ recovery plan for Covid-19 as the focus is on job creation so people can meet their basic needs.

For MycoTile, this funding comes in as a relevant and complementary injection to continue growing the start-up during these difficult times with Covid-19 and economic downturn in Kenya and globally.

Africa needs more circular solutions in the housing sector.

According to ACIF, the construction industry contributes to 30% of global waste. These harms the environment, economy and developing countries such as Kenya need circular solutions to build a more sustainable housing sector. Innovative start-ups such as MycoTile can play a major role in driving this transition.  With Africa rapidly urbanizing, there is a greater need for circular solutions. “We are proud of MycoTile and happy about the progress they are making within the African housing sector where there is a greater need for balancing sustainable development and conservation.” Jane Otima, Associate Director Market Systems & Entrepreneurship, Habitat for Humanity International.

MycoTile is part of the ShelterTech Africa alumni network,  a co-creation and stakeholder-driven network by Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, Pangea Accelerator and Alumni from the ShelterTech Africa accelerator program in Africa. This Alumni network seeks to extend support and link opportunities to African entrepreneurs and innovators to facilitate housing markets better meet the needs for affordable housing in Africa.

MtamuKililo - Founder Mycotile
Mtamu Kililo – Founder Mycotile

“This type of catalytic funding is important and timely to organizations that are focused on the housing sector as it allows them to scale their solutions and solve more problems. At Pangea, we are proud of team MycoTile. It has been great supporting them together with Habitat for Humanity through the ShelterTech Accelerator and the investment Readiness program.” Jonas Tesfu, co-founder & CEO, Pangea Accelerator.

About Habitat for Humanity:

Driven by the vision that everyone deserves a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity (www.Habitat.org/emea) began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The housing organization has since grown to become a leading global charity working in more than 70 countries. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with families and individuals in need of a hand-up to build or improve a place they can call home. Learn more at www.Habitat.org/emea or follow @HabitatEMEA

About Habitat’s Terwilliger Center:

Habitat established the Terwilliger Center (Habitat.org/TCIS) to work with housing market systems by supporting local firms to expand innovative and client-responsive services, products and financing so that households can improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently. Habitat can have exponentially more impact by improving systems that make better housing possible for millions of more families. The role of the Terwilliger Center stays true to Habitat for Humanity’s original principles of self-help and sustainability by focusing on improving systems that enable families to achieve affordable shelter without needing ongoing direct support.

To learn more, visit Habitat.org/TCIS

About Pangea Accelerator:

Pangea Accelerator is a Norwegian accelerator and an investment platform operating in East Africa that matches African start-ups with capital, technical expertise and networks such as foundations and development agencies to reach a global scale.

Learn more about Pangea Accelerator here.

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