The Western Region has a population of over 10 million, a budding middle class due to devolved government and an increased focus by the Kenyan government to develop Kisumu and neighbouring counties to be an economic hub and a gateway to its East Africa neighbours. However, communities in this largely rural region are consumed by distressing levels of poverty, access to healthcare, safe water, unemployment of young people.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem in western Kenya is in it’s in burgeoning stages, despite the enormous opportunities that come with the region’s natural resources and geographic location, the youth, unfortunately, do not have the necessary skills to inventively exploit these opportunities and build sustainable businesses that have the potential of bringing social change at scale.

These may pose as a huge threat to development but it’s an opportunity for social enterprises exploiting the power of digitization to bridge the gap and create innovative solutions that uplift livelihoods. Therefore, there is a deep need to invest in developing young talented aspiring entrepreneurs in western Kenya with the right knowledge and skills in creating innovative solutions.

The circular economy aims at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources by reusing, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system. e.g turning fish skin to leather

The shared economy which deals with people sharing available assets to improve efficiency and sustainability. People rent or borrow goods rather than buy and own them. e.g uber Airbnb, etc.

Design
Lakehub proposes a 6 months program that takes 10 entrepreneurs/aspiring entrepreneurs every cohort through an incubation program that enables them to learn the innovation process in social entrepreneurship.

This program will  include training on both technical skills and soft skills for anyone with a startup idea, the topics that will be covered are;

  • Understanding the need and Users
  • Customer need validation
  • To go market and idea Validation
  • Idea refining
  • Prototype building and  Testing
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Business Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Building the right Teams
  • Legal
  • Investor readiness

To qualify for the program the aspiring entrepreneurs will need to have a business idea for a social enterprise that leverages on technology or have an existing enterprise that has existed for not more than 1 year. Ideas and enterprises that directly or indirectly leverage Siemens Stiftung existing and future projects in the region would be prioritized.

The program will focus on the process of building social innovative businesses and not the individual startup needs by the participants. Three most promising entrepreneurs will be selected per cohort and supported with a maximum seed fund of Euro 5,000 depending on their needs to develop a minimum viable product and go to market.

Lakehub believes that great ideas can come from any place, but it takes the right support and structure to make these ideas become big & impactful.

Objectives

  1. Develop/Adopt a Business Innovation Incubation Curriculum
  2. Train Young aspiring entrepreneurs on applying Innovative business modelling
  3. Develop a community of social entrepreneurs in western Kenya
  4. Support development of innovative social enterprises
  5. Provide seed capital to social enterprises

Process

  • Announcement of the program: media, blogs
  • Recruitment: from Tvets, Universities, business clubs and youth groups

Selection:

  • stage 1: Initial screening
  • stage 2: Final 30
  • stage 3: Final 20 face to face interview
  • stage 4: Final 10 selected

NB: Your startup idea does not have to be in tech.

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