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Mar 07, 2018

Sankalp Africa Summit 2018: innovation in one space

The 5th Sankalp Africa Summit was held on the 1st -2nd of March at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS). The event brought together entrepreneurs, investors, intermediaries and individuals with interests in the entrepreneurship community locally and globally. This year’s theme was Open Alliances for a Sustainable and Inclusive Africa 2030.

Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) participated as one of the strategic partners. Investors and entrepreneurs were able to engage during the different sessions that included pitching and speed dating sessions with the investors. Some of the KCIC clients that were able to showcase their innovations at the exhibition included Wisdom Innovations, Full spoon Ltd, Miyonga Fresh Greens Ltd, Home Biogas Kenya, Consumer’s Choice Limited and SCODE.

On the first day of the summit, KCIC CEO Edward Mungai made a presentation on Climate Smart Innovation for a Sustainable Africa 2030. He placed emphasis on becoming sustainable and changing the narrative on how we approach businesses.

“As we take part in innovation for climate change we make impacts and money at the same time through creation of sustainable businesses,” remarked Edward.

One of the major highlights was the need to invest in the creative sector. Human Rights Activist and Award winning photojournalist, Boniface Mwangi, one of the guest speakers, stressed that there was a need to rethink investments in the creative economy.

Joy Mboya, the Executive Director of the GoDown Arts Centre added, “Investment in the creative economy is key in addressing the SDGs and making them a reality. Art, Music, Dance speaks a great deal. It is also important to encourage more women to be involved in innovation.”

The event that has been running for five years is a breakaway of the Sankalp Global Summit. The reason behind the move was the realisation that Africa has a lot to offer in terms of generating new ideas and innovations that if accelerated had the potential of spurring the continents economy.

This year’s Sankalp Awards went to Inuka Pap who emerged as the overall winner. The 1st runners up was Kopa Gas and 2nd runners up was Mhogo foods.

“This was a great opportunity for me to meet potential investors and like minded individuals who are passionate about business,” noted Mohammed Kadhi from Consumer’s Choice.

Caleb Wasilwa from Home Biogas Kenya was estatic about the experience he got from interacting with investors and fellow entreprenuers.

“start ups require a lot of support both technical and financial. Events like these provide exposure to potential investors and an opportunity for product improvement through the insights given,” noted Caleb.

The seven enterprises that pitched at the clean tech deal house included Miyonga, Nawiri, Scode, Lentera, Kitui Industries, Future Pump and Full Spoon. However, some of the entrepreneurs felt that the pitch session was rushed therefore not having enough time to respond to questions from the investors.

By Michelle Mung’ata

 

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