Talents help entrepreneurs in Nairobi

December 5, 2012

Talents help entrepreneurs in Nairobi

The entrepreneurial scene in Africa is booming as many countries in the region experience significant growth. QVARTZ and a group of talented professionals from our network of clients have joined forces to offer guidance to local start-ups in Nairobi. And to get inspired.

For the second consecutive year, QVARTZ partners with 88mph; a social platform with the objective of putting Kenyan entrepreneurs in contact with mentors and potential investors from all over the world. This year a group of talents from large Danish companies joined a team of QVARTZ consultants, traveled to Nairobi and used their experience to challenge, stimulate and coach local entrepreneurs to reach their goal of obtaining the investments needed to kick off their dreams.

The visit was part of a three-month accelerator programme where eight local start-ups received an initial investment, a shared working space and coaching from a group of mentors who were ready to guide the start-ups and help them develop their businesses.

While in Kenya, the mentors focused on testing the start-ups’ business ideas, assisted the local teams in identifying key priorities for the immediate future and developed a convincing pitch to potential investors. The idea was for the mentors not only to offer advice, but also to be part of the solution and get their hands dirty, for example by joining customer meetings, negotiating with potential partners or simply writing part of a business plan.

The journey was, however, also a two-way learning experience. By getting in touch with the entrepreneurs, the participating professionals got an invaluable chance to be exposed to businesses with cultural differences and challenges different from what they see in Scandinavia. All skills that will hopefully benefit their own companies now that they are back at work.

The start-ups are expected to come out of the programme with a proven business concept, a clear action plan to grow their business and, hopefully, with a few customers already signed up. Some of the teams have received additional funds while others are now better prepared to stand on their own feet and looking to develop their business.

The participating companies were Novo Nordisk, Bech-Bruun, Coop Danmark, LEGO, BDO, Grundfos and QVARTZ.