USIU-Africa has partnered with leading Kenyan employers to launch a new training programme focusing on converting ideas into business. The one-year Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation (ESI) programme, “Launchpad” , will be facilitated by leading Kenyan employers working alongside the USIU-Africa faculty.
Narendra Raval (Guru), EBS, DevKi Group chairman, is the patron of the programme and will be regularly sharing his insights and four-decade business experience alongside other Kenyan entrepreneurs.
“The LaunchPad programme is designed to solve the problem of Business failure. It is an immersive one-year program where participants will incubate their great ideas and receive guidance on how to manage and overcome business challenges,” said Mr Raval.
The programme, coaching and workshop will be hosted at USIU-Africa’s incubation and innovation centre (I²C) in Nairobi, aimed at addressing the gap in between startups and scalable and sustainable business ventures.
Participants will include executives tasked with driving new businesses, business development managers, entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, SMEs owner-managers, innovation managers, R& D managers, business leaders, intrapreneurs and roject managers among others.
Other notable facilitators beside Mr Raval include Tropical Brands chairman Linus Gitahi, OLX CEO Peter Ndiang’ui, Artisan Hive Founder & CEO Eng. Karl Heinz Tondo and Evolve Business Consultants CEO Lucy Kiruthu.
Globally, small and medium enterprises contribute to approximately 66 percent of total, full-time employment and generate 86% of new jobs in the formal sector. In low- income countries, small and medium enterprises contribute to 78% of full-time employment.
A range of “social enterprises” are pioneering innovative business models that advance development outcomes by delivering goods and services to low income communities in areas such as agriculture, energy access, and water and sanitation.
However, a number of critical gaps are limiting entrepreneurs in developing countries from reaching their full potential. Beyond the challenge of financing, they often operate in entrepreneurial ecosystems that are not yet well developed, and thus do not have access to the networks, market information, business development services, and market infrastructure that are important enablers of growth.
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“The last thing we want is for this program to be just about sharing information that will not lead to real transformation. My objective and, I believe, the objective of other facilitators on this course is to cause real impact in real lives through practical and scalable business models. We also want this course to be just the beginning of a conversation that will hopefully last for the rest of your lives,” added Mr Raval.
The programme comes just five months to the 4th African Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ASENTI), which will be hosted at USIU-Africa in November 15-16. ASENTI is a forum that brings SMEs, startups, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and different stakeholders for an intensive interaction, networking and training on entrepreneurship and Innovation from across Africa.