In early 2021, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) was commissioned and funded (USD 5,000) by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to conduct a baseline survey project whose aim was to analyze the current situation of the Catholic sisters’ social enterprises which are supported by the Foundation and the impact that these have had within the targeted communities. Further, to explore the challenges that the Catholic sisters face in their
ministries in various transformative works that they are involved in as they serve humanity.
Some of the challenges established by the study include reduced donor funds, lack of adequate leadership skills and capacities, inadequate financial and organizational sustainability measures, etc. the survey was conducted in selected congregations in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia – representatives of the countries supported by Conrad Hilton Foundation.
Following the success of the baseline survey, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) was awarded a grant of USD 3,200,000 by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation effective 1st December 2021 which will run over three years. This grant aims to transform the social ministries owned and managed by Catholic sisters into sustainable social enterprises.
The project is currently being implemented in four countries; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia and will work with various Catholic sisters’ congregations from the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA), who in their role as trusted servant leaders in communities play a critical role in supporting the most vulnerable groups in our societies. The broad areas of focus will include social enterprise development, individual and institutional capacity building, and establishing collaborative networks.
In addition, the grant will also provide an opportunity to conduct research, design, develop and incorporate innovative social entrepreneurship models and platforms (an incubator/accelerator, seed grant, and a financial inclusion facility) that will support the transformation of the sisters’ social enterprises towards sustainability. The project aims at reaching 600 sisters and 40 congregations over the three years.