By Ogova Ondego
Published March 20, 2018
Entrepreneurship may be the buzzword in business and development. But not all processes of designing, launching and running a new business to reap profits from an emerging trend may be useful to countries as a new survey that looks at entrepreneurship in the information and communications technology sector of Nairobi has just shown.
‘Mapping the Nairobi Tech Sector’, the study that was launched in the Kenyan capital on March 20, 2018, shows how entrepreneurs from the North have set up tech outfits with resources from North American and European corporations and government agencies but that have not resulted in any economic growth in Kenya.
Mapping the Nairobi Tech Sector looks at the contribution of entrepreneurship on job-creation and long-term economic growth. It shows that Kenya’s expatriate-led technology sector has little impact on mentorship, job creation or economic growth of the East African country.
The study, that is conducted by an organisation called Endeavor that says it leads the movement to transform economies through the power of high-impact entrepreneurship, looks at the tech ecosystems in Kenya’s Nairobi, Uganda’s Kampala, Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam, Nigeria’s Lagos, India’s Bangalore and Bangladesh’s Dhaka with a view to helping develop insights to guide local players.
The ‘Mapping the Nairobi Tech Sector’ report, Endeavor says, is based on surveys and interviews with more than 300 tech entrepreneurs in Kenya’s capital and that it highlights findings on the state of the Nairobi ICT sector and benchmarks from three African and two Indian and Bangladeshi cities. It is produced in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Endeavor Insight team that presented the Mapping the Nairobi Tech Sector report in Nairobi in the presence of Joseph Mucheru, Kenya’s Minister for Information and Communications, stressed that this was a sneak preview and that the complete study shall be released later in 2018.
Endeavor was founded in 1997 and styles itself as ‘a global organisation … that leads the movement to transform economies through the power of high-impact entrepreneurship’; it says it has ‘selected [more than] 1 500 entrepreneurs who have created more than 700 000 jobs and currently generates [more than] US$10 Billion in annual revenue’.
Endeavor, that operates in 30 countries, opened its sub-Saharan Africa office in Nairobi in February 2017 with its inaugural board of directors being Benson Wairegi of Britam insurance, Sylvia Mulinge of Safaricom, Darshan Chandaria of Chandaria Industries, Muhoho Kenyatta of Brookside Dairies, Sachen Chandaria of Orbit Chemicals, Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Breweries, Akshay Shah of Sumaria Industries, Isaac Awoundo of Commercial Bank of Africa and Mike Macharia of Seven Seas Technologies.