Kimmies Non Toxic Enterprises is the entrepreneurial brainchild of three women co-founders - Linda Kimeu, Faith Kimeu and Mel Ngao - who are committed to making a difference to the lives and health of Kenyan people, especially children and youth, by improving their personal hygiene knowledge and awareness.
LoA spoke to Linda Kimeu, one of the co-founders of Kimmies Non Toxic Enterprises, to find out more about their work and their ambitions.
What does your company do?
We predominantly deal with hygiene and sanitation issues in our environment through our projects such as our school-based hand washing programme and our menstrual hygiene programme. Our aim is to try addressing the above mentioned hygiene challenges through infrastructure development and rehabilitation, as well as behavioural change advocacy.
"Our aim is to try addressing the country’s hygiene challenges through infrastructure development and rehabilitation, as well as behavioural change advocacy."
What inspired you to start your company?
The poor hygiene and sanitation levels in Kenyan public primary schools, estates and villages that lead to poor health, especially for children under 5 who are susceptible to diarrhoea and upper respiratory diseases. This coupled with the reality that available statistics up to 2013 suggest that only 1% of Kenyans wash their hands with soap and water!
Why should anyone use your service or product?
The people/ institutions should use our services because our programmes promote self sustainability and efficacy in a way that brings radical socioeconomic development. In addition to this, we offer a range of quality services thanks to partnerships with similar organisations that deal with hygiene and sanitation, such as WASH for knowledge sharing purposes.
"The poor hygiene and sanitation levels in Kenyan public primary schools, estates and villages that lead to poor health, especially for children under 5 who are susceptible to diarrhoea and upper respiratory diseases, led us to start our company. This coupled with the reality that available statistics up to 2013 suggest that only 1% of Kenyans wash their hands with soap and water!"
Tell us a little about your team
Kimmies non toxic has 3 founders - Faith Kimeu, Mel Ngao and myself. There is also a team of 5 volunteers who are creative and self motivated and who help us in our programme activities.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Our enterprise was established in August 2014, originally in our storage room at my parents home. Thereafter, we embarked on a journey of honing our skills in such areas as detergents and lotion making, and later approached various stakeholders in the health and education sectors. I do not have an entrepreneurial background having undertaken a master of arts degree in religious studies.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To have our school-based hand washing and menstrual hygiene programmes being rolled out in all the public schools in Kenya.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing the transformation in people’s lives from simple, cost effective and sustainable community based hygiene and sanitation projects.
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Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love to profile those young women entrepreneurs who are committed to making a difference in the lives and health of those in their communities. Through their entrepreneurial venture, they are improving the knowledge and awareness of the importance of personal hygiene amongst young people, in order to help them improve their overall health and wellbeing. Future generations of young Kenyans will be able to thank them for their contribution to building a nation of healthier and more hygiene conscious people. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa