UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has partnered Nailab, a technology business incubator, to launch an initiative, dubbed iAccelerator. The initiative will invest in business solutions that are focused on promoting youth sexual reproductive health and rights. The program has been funded by UKAID and was developed with the contribution of the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) and the Ministry of Health.
This initiative has been informed by stats that show young people are affected by sexual health issues and it affects their future. For instance, 29,000 young people between the ages of 15-24 get infected with HIV every year and 1 in 5 teenage girls is a mother, with approximately 13,000 dropping out of school each year. The iAccelerator initiative aims to invest in business ideas and solutions that will help the youth talk about, discuss, learn and understand their sexuality and sexual reproductive health.
The initiative will run as follows:
Applications open – June 13 2016
Bootcamps: Nailab on 24th – 25th June, UON on 1st – 2nd July & JKUAT on 8th – 9th July
Applications close: July 26 2016
Judging completed – July 29 2016
Final pitching – August 4 2016
Program begins – August 8 2016
Demo Day – November 20 2016
Four businesses that are led by young entrepreneurs will be picked to join the accelerator program. They will then be trained and mentored for 2 months while also being helped to fine tune their business model. At the end of the process, they will also receive Ksh. 1,000,000 seed funding based on achievement of pre-agreed business milestones.
This is the first of such initiatives that have been launched by UNFPA in the region with 3 more planned in the region by 2017.