Village Capital Nairobi Programme 2012 began today at the GrowthHub in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
The programme was announced early in the year and in June, several startups applied. Only the finalists have been considered for the Village Capital Nairobi Programme (VCNP), the first by Growth Africa in Kenya and on the continent.
VCNP will be investing in early stage startups to help them grow their businesses and address the different societal challenges. The programme gives the entrepreneurs mentorship, connections to a huge network of investors and peer reviews of their projects.
The programme that runs until November 25th, 2012 consists of six 3-day workshops addressing key aspects of the start-ups.
Entrepreneurs are paired with mentors to inspire them. It also allows peer learning and networking with potential partners and investors.
Patricia Jumi programme manager at GrowthHub in an interview with HumanIPO said the entreprenuers in the VCNP will use the power of peer support to build enterprises that change the world.
The programme will use ValueCompass material to go through all major elements of the participants’ businesses, allowing peers to point out areas for improvement and help each other develop strategies to improve their businesses and get to scale.
“We will provide mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and business people in Kenya and bring compelling speakers for the sessions. At the end, two of the businesses will be selected to receive $50,000 investment each,” she said.
The participants range from startups dealing with healthcare in slums, rural biogas energy solutions, sustainable and ethical footwear manufacturing, water purification, IT business and personal solutions, e-commerce.
Several startups applied, were interviewed and pitched although only 15 innovative enterprises were picked.
“We sought start-ups that could be brought to scale in Kenya, East Africa, and beyond, owning an innovation that set them apart from their competitors. We also looked for entrepreneurs who we believed could follow through on their businesses, motivated leaders with the tenacity to persevere who would also provide strong support for their peers,” Jumi said.
Even though all the participants gain through peer learning and mentorship only two of the fifteen will win the US$50,000 investment.
The programme uses a peer review process that puts the investment decision ultimately in the hands of the entrepreneurs themselves. At the end of the programme, the entrepreneurs will review their peers, and the two startups with the best reviews will receive the investment.
VCNP has its support from GrowthAfrica and its new work space,GrowthHub, which incubates promising start-ups, providing activities for peer learning, mentoring, business advice, work and meeting space, and access to our network of investors. GrowthAfrica is providing half of the investment funding.