This Mum’s Experience at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015
I had the great honour of being invited by the White House to speak at the just concluded Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi. This was the first GES that President Obama attended in person. I actually didn’t realise how significant this invitation was until much closer to the time of the event.
Not only did the summit bring together 1,000 outstanding entrepreneurs and investors from around the world for dynamic sessions and opportunities, but also only a handful of other Kenyan women were in the speaker’s line up. These included Julie Gichuru, Hilda Moraa and Susan Mboya.
Personal highlights include being in the same room as President Obama when he addressed the delegation, attending a private dinner with Steve Case and meeting accomplished entrepreneurs from all over the world.
The entire experience was nothing short of amazing.
I spoke on the Women’s Entrepreneurship panel, hosted by Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. As a brand new mother of a newborn, it was a special experience blending my role as a Mum with that of Speaker and Tech Entrepreneur. I felt at home with both, and the energy overall was electrifying. I found it highly motivating to stay the course of the entrepreneurial path.
Obama’s Goody Bag: Mumpreneurs Take Note
By now everyone has caught wind that President Obama is passionate about the role of entrepreneurs in boosting Africa’s economies. The central focus of his trip to Kenya was the Global Entrepreneurship Summit where he announced several financial commitments. This fifth annual GES was his first in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the entrepreneurial dynamism of the continent.
We’ve dug into the details of these commitments to ensure MumsVillage mumpreneurs are aware and take advantage of them:
- President Obama announced over $1 billion in new commitments from banks, foundations, philanthropists, and the U.S. Government, with half of that money going to support youth and women entrepreneurs.
- These include support of up to $200 million support from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for Equity Bank Group lending of $450 with a focus on youth and women to SMEs over the next 5 years
- The US Department of State will launch Africa-focused Startup Boot Camps, and Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Women’s Village workshops to train, mentor and connect more than 10,000 young African tech entrepreneurs, with a focus on women by July 2016
- At GES 2015, global private sector companies committed to providing training and capital funding of $700 million to the next generation of entrepreneurs
- Over the next three years, Chase Bank Kenya will lend over $580 million to entrepreneurs with small and medium enterprises, with a focus on youth and women, ensuring that formal credit lines reach entrepreneurs who would otherwise not have access to formal financing.
- Village Capital is announcing $13.2 million to supporting entrepreneurs at the critical seed-funding stage who are solving major problems in society. VilCap Investment anticipates that over the life of the fund, 25 entrepreneurs in Kenya will receive critical seed-stage support.
- The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) is launching GEN Kenya and commits $100 million for programs to support entrepreneurs and the development of their local ecosystems
These were just a few highlights I am excited to share with fellow Mumprepreneurs. To those considering taking the entrepreneurial leap in Kenya, don’t wait! The time is now. You have everything you need, not to mention a powerful support system here at MumsVillage. Indeed we are committed to connecting Mothers in Kenya to their most valuable resource – each other.