The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED) has launched Startup Savanna, a business acceleration program. The program is aimed at linking Kenyan startups to global angel investor and business support resource networks.
Speaking during the launch, Hon. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, MoITED expressed confidence in the program, saying that it creates a reliable government-bank pipeline for local startups and SMEs.
“Through Startup Savanna, Kenyan startups will gain access and linkage to international events and conferences to market their innovations as well as compete globally for partnerships with global industries and business experts for mentorship programs and training. The startups will also secure opportunities to be part of global incubator and accelerator programs for extensive business support and investment prospecting during investor forums and pitch sessions,” she noted.
Startup Savanna targets early-stage startups, growth stage enterprises and mature ventures poised for international expansion. The program is expected to expose an estimated 1,000 Kenyan startups to global networks and match approximately 175 Kenyan startups to mentors, investors, international accelerators, and corporates.
“Startup Savanna seeks to continuously deepen the support government is providing to startups and SMEs. Through the project, we will showcase Kenyan innovation and entrepreneurial spirit globally through interactions with global peers, investors, support partners and entrepreneurship ecosystems. We will do this while harnessing the knowledge and learning to pursue business improvement and expansion to increase Kenya’s participation and involvement in global innovation,” noted Startup Savanna Team Leader, Manasseh Miruka.
An Economic Survey conducted in 2020 revealed that startups are the bedrock of Kenya’s MSMEs sector, which plays an important role in job creation, value addition and income generation. It is estimated that the MSE sector employed 15 million (or 83%) people out of the total of 18.1 million jobs created in Kenya in 2019.
Interested startups have been encouraged to submit their applications HERE.