Seven Kenyan entrepreneurs have been selected to join the network of business catalyst Endeavor Global in what is set to grow their fortunes.
The organisation unveiled in Nairobi last week under the brand Endeavor Kenya seeks to support entrepreneurs and companies in the scale-up phase so that they can generate at least 25,000 jobs for the Kenyan economy in the next five years.
Those selected in the inaugural lot include Grant Brooke of Twiga Foods, Wandia Gichuru of Vivo Activewear, Paul Mbugua of Eclectics International, Bilha Ndirangu and Samuel Gikandi of Africa’s Talking as well as Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro of Cellulant.
Endeavor Kenya chairman and Britam Group managing director Benson Wairegi said collectively, the organisation has created over 700,000 jobs and generated more than Sh1 trillion annual revenue, alongside raising Sh41.3 billion in growth capital in 2016 alone, promising to push for more investments in Kenya.
“Unemployment is very high among young Kenyans and we need to generate more than 3.9 million new jobs for young people by 2020. Endeavor believes that the real heroes of job creation and economic growth are the small subset of entrepreneurs who scale to contribute the lion’s share of net new jobs,” he said.
Upon unveiling the organisation through its innovative co-investment Venture Capital Fund-Endeavor Catalyst, it announced its first Sub Sahara Africa investment of Sh4.8 billion in Cellulant — a digital payments provider.
Cellulant reaches 40 million people across 11 African countries and is run by two entrepreneurs under the organisation’s mentorship Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro.
“We search for, select, and support these entrepreneurs to think big. As they scale up, Endeavor entrepreneurs multiply their impact by inspiring, mentoring, and investing in those that come behind them,” said Endeavor Kenya chief executive Fiona Mungai.
Ms Mungai explained that Endeavor searches for, selects, and supports entrepreneurs to think big and actualise their vision and dreams.
“As they scale, Endeavor Entrepreneurs multiply their impact by inspiring, mentoring, and investing in those that come behind them,” said Ms Mungai.
Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised over $100m (Sh10 billion) in philanthropically donated and invested capital, and invested into 76 Endeavor companies in 21 markets.