Following a recent realization of the huge entrepreneurial opportunity in Africa, there has been no shortage of private and public investors channeling millions into potential break-through projects and concepts. From global ground-shakers, the likes of Jack Ma (who last year chose Nailab to oversee the investment of Ksh. 1 billion to the budding Kenyan Tech startup scene) to private venture firms such as Partech that launched a Ksh 10 billion investment fund targetting tech startups in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria being the states with the primary focus), there appears to be a general investor awareness and interest on the present possibilities of Africas’ entrepreneurial scale-up.
In Kenya, this couldn’t have come at a more timely hour given the much talked about and cliched notion is the state of utter joblessness. As the numbers show (following the 2015/16 Basic Labor Force Report released in March 2018), an estimated 11.4% of the youth population in Kenya is currently unemployed translating to about 1.22 million of the entire country’s population. With such staggering statistics, it would make perfect sense to ditch the dreary pursuit of 8 to 5 employment, seek convenient investment opportunities and start one’s own venture, for those who have the right psychological mettle, build and heart for such a worthwhile risk. With this in mind, below are a few noteworthy investments opportunities currently available for Kenyan entrepreneurial hopefuls.
On the discussion of investment opportunities in Kenya, it would be nefarious for me not to include KCB Lion’s Den in my list. Following its advent in 2016 and after 3 successful annual seasons, the KCB initiative has managed to sign deals well over Ksh. 200 million. Apart from the likely chance that if you deliver good enough pitch you might leave the stage with enough seed capital to further propel your concept into fruition, the initiative comes with an added advantage of publicizing your idea given that it is a reality show and the whole experience is aired on national tv. This might prove to be especially important as it opens you up to a wide audience who, should they find that they resonate with the concept, might choose to invest in the idea or become customers or clients.
I would liken it to a more localized Kenyan version of the world-renowned Shark Tank series. With a prolific judge panel consisting of five of the country’s most accomplished lot of entrepreneurs (Darshan Chandaria CEO of Kenya Chandaria Group, Mike Rabar founder and CEO of Homeboyz Group, Olive Gachara Editor-in-Chief Couture Africa Magazine, Kris Senanu founder of Blackrock capital investments, Joanne Mwangi C.E.O of Professional Marketing Services Ltd nothing short of hard-earned professionalism and finesse is expected in selection criteria. If this is the opportunity for you, you’re in luck because you can apply for the season 4 cohort using through the following link http://www.kcb2jiajiri.com/.
Secondly, following a statement by the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, where she announced a package for new initiatives to support the youth during her visit to the country last year and the research findings from the Next Generation Kenya (a collaborative initiative pioneered by the UK Department for Internal Development and the British Council) which aimed to understand and make improvements on Youth Policy, comes the Business Innovation Challenge. The challenge is structured by the UK government and it is in search of enterprises that are developing innovative solutions to create jobs for Kenya’s youth population. The proposal call targets initiatives that are scalable, innovative, sustainable and impactful and five out of the many applied initiatives will receive a seed investment fund of an upwards of Ksh. 13 million. Applications close on 8th April 2019 and to apply simply register through the following link address https://t.co/baSvCoRAR9.
Some other honorable mentions include the Standard Chattered Women In Tech incubator which is a partnership programme together with IBizAfrica and Strathmore University that aims at elevating women in the tech space, the Uwezo Fund which offers financial support to societies and self-help groups in Kenya and last but not least, the Safaricom BYOB which is somewhat similar to the KCB Lions Den. However way you look at it, there is a wide option base when it comes to investment opportunities in Kenya, one just has to be vigilant enough search one that best fits his/her eligibility criteria.