Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo, self-employment and entrepreneurship support

Kadiwaku Family Foundation

This project aims at supporting the self-employment of persons with disability through an inclusive entrepreneurship acceleration program. The project offers the following: (1) training on how to start, manage and boost small business; (2) the co-working membership with access to collaborative workplaces, conference space and internet access; (3) business and networking opportunities through alumni meeting, an annual gathering; and (4) post-creation support which includes customized business support and marketplace. The initial project funding has ended. As part of our effort to expand to other countries and sustain the program or adapt it to the COVID19 situation, USADF has provided us with USD 10,000 for developing a Web and Mobile App that will be free and can run offline (the user will just need the internet for downloading and updating information). This app will contain educational materials on how to start and manage a small business in more than 10 African native languages so everyone can take advantage of it regardless of his education and ability to walk and travel.

About the practice at a glance
Name of OrganisationKadiwaku Family Foundation
Type of organisationNational NGO
of Implementation
Democratic Republic of Congo
Year started2018
Funding modelFundraising-grants.

The overall project budget $US 127,050.00 of which 91,500 came from the USADF. The remaining amount represents the contribution from other funders, including Humanity and Inclusion, PayAfrica Foundation and program revenue. The project funding has ended and USADF provided USD 10,000 to develop a web and mobile app with the educational content.


Impact and growth 

The theory of change follows five steps with subsequent expected impacts as follows:

  1. The selected participants attend our training program at our training centers;
  2. The participants have improved the knowledge of good small business management;
  3. The best business plans are selected to receive customized business support;
  4. The participants establish a business; and
  5. Businesses begins to contribute to self-employment.

Of the 502 young entrepreneurs who received post creation support, 360 have are succeeding as entrepreneurs and 12 secured sustainable employment. A major effort through the project’s life span was the creation of an ecosystem of disabled entrepreneurs in DRC and informal alumni networks who might become employers and mentors to their former peers and the organization maintains a database containing detailed information for all beneficiaries.


The training increases the participant’s understanding of creative processes and ultimately enhance their complex problem-solving skills and provides the necessary skills to initiate businesses, make healthy and productive life choices and reinforce professional skills in the workplace. It also helps them sustain and grow their businesses. 

Target group 

The project targets young people with disabilities, especially girls and women with disabilities who are amongst the most marginalized of all and who face additional challenges as women and also disabled that further impede their abilities to become an entrepreneur. 

Other outcomes 

In partnership with the Ministry of Disabled People of DR Congo, the Kadiwaku Foundation designed a guideline for self-employment of people with disabilities in DR Congo and it is in charge of its implementation in selected areas. KFF will organize a series of training for trainers on how to use the guideline. Trained people will be responsible for delivering the training in their respective cities. 


We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:

Target GroupActivityImpactIndicator
Young people with disabilitiesSelected PWDs attend entrepreneurship trainingParticipants have improved the knowledge of good business management and develop a business plan.The participants establish a business,and apply improved managerial practices and attitudes toward business.


We have not replicated our innovation yet, but it is a strategic priority and we have a clear idea about what to replicate, where and with which partners 

We’re still working to collect data and having conversations with Disabled People Organizations in order to identify the real needs and gather information needed to develop our entrepreneurship education program. 

The project was launched in the city of Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo and later expanded to seven other cities throughout the country. We look forward to expanding to other countries within the region where people with disabilities are facing the same challenges when it comes to business creation. 

Our Foundation in the USA helps our entrepreneurs to connect with resources and business opportunities. For example, KFF USA mobilizes Congolese diaspora in the USA to support some business ideas of our program graduates (young with disabilities) with tax-exempt donations, online one-on-one business training, grant writing assistance, and try to introduce them to crowdfunding platforms.



We have 11 paid staff and 15 volunteers in our Foundation but we haven’t yet raised any resources for the replication. 

Yes, we have a project owner for this program, with the necessary skills and seniority 

John Kadiwaku is an award-winning social entrepreneur and Co-Founder of PayAfrica International. Previously, John worked as a consultant in many organizations and foundations. In 2006, John created the East Eagle Foundation, a human rights organization with 1500+ members, that works to advocate for disability rights in DR Congo with missions to the United Nations in New York (USA) and Geneva (Switzerland). In 2018, John, with an award from the global organization based in New York, Echoing Green, created the Kadiwaku Family Foundation to empower people with disabilities to become agents of change and entrepreneurs. 


1) Our goal is to reach one million people with disabilities in DR Congo by 2030  and expand to other counties within the Africa Great Lakes region that comprises countries around the Africa Lakes. 

2) Our Mobile App will be launched in September 2020. It will work offline and will contain a library of business educational articles and podcasts to help the disabled community to learn how to start and manage small businesses in their native languages and regardless of their ability to walk or travel. 


Our team was excited to learn about Zero Project Impact Transfer Program because we need resources, community, opportunities and comprehensive strategies to replicate our program “Inclusive entrepreneurship for Persons With Disabilities” to Angola and Rwanda. 

What is the organisation hoping to learn from taking part in the programme? 

From this program, we look forward to developing a theory of change that can work for more than five countries and also learn how to build new and maintain new relationships with donors.