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Caption:  StartUp Savanna team representatives pose for a photo during the launch

As a continuation of our partnership with the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP), we recently participated in the virtual launch of the Start-Up Savanna on the 31st of May 2021.

The Start-Up Savanna known as the International Acceleration process is part of KIEP  and is led by the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED) with support from the World Bank. The StartUp Savanna  Initiative is being managed by our member Growth Africa and ASPEN network of Developers (ANDE). 

Speaking during the launch, Hon. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, MoITED expressed confidence in the program saying that it creates a reliable government-bank pipeline where local startups and SMEs with proven viable projects can access business training and equity funds.

We were honored to have our Chairperson Dr. Robert Karanja represent us in a panel discussion session during the launch. He reiterated the importance of the association’s role as being a voice to speak up on behalf of startups, an arm that would nurture, and help entrepreneurs actualize their ideas into the growth stage as a global village would. He also said that the association’s membership of more than 40 Entrepreneurship Support Enablers was more than capable of collaborating to create great change. 

Speaking during the launch he remarked that “Starting small is inescapable but staying small is inexcusable, that is the magic of startups, they can change and move the world as was witnessed in Asia whereby they were able to pursue the Millennium Development Goals and thereby reduce global poverty rates significantly to stand at 50 percent. They did this by creating jobs in the formal sector and the informal sector, that is the power that Kenyan startups have.” He further stated that where it concerned impact investment, Kenya had been at the helm drawing from records of investment acumen and that was motivation enough to push the entrepreneurship ecosystem forward.

In regards to the role of international partners and local linkages being created by initiatives such as the Startup Savanna, he observed that as an ecosystem we would need handholding into international markets to establish a footprint that would then result in leveraging deeper international relationships hence allowing for a global footprint. He stated that the role of the Startup  Savanna would be extremely complementary to the association’s work of deepening international linkages while transforming the innovation entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya.

The aim of this initiative is to :

  • Connect the Kenyan ecosystem to international experts, investment, and support infrastructure.
  • Contribute to job creation, GDP growth, digital transformation, and sustainability. 
  • Identify the best Kenyan startups and connect them to a global network of mentors, investors, and corporate partners to transform them into successful ventures on the international stage, while positioning Kenya as Africa’s leading innovation and startup destination. 
  • Enable businesses to achieve scale-up readiness and create expansion and partnership opportunities to develop their global potential by connecting to international resources.

We look forward to collaborating with the implementation partners of the Start-Up Savanna initiative as we continue in our aim of fostering internationalization between the international community and the local entrepreneurship stakeholders!

To learn more about the Startup Savanna click here.