Kenyan entrepreneurs will share a platform with titans of commerce and finance from across the world during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be opened by US President Barack Obama this week.
According to the event schedule seen by the Nation, some of the world’s wealthiest people, leading entrepreneurs, top scholars, investors and venture capitalists will lead and moderate different sessions during the three-day summit.
Executives of multinational companies such as Walmart, Google, Microsoft, Demo Africa, Barclays Bank and the Milken Institute are among high-profile business leaders expected to address various sessions of the global conference.
Three billionaires, who are part of the cast of the American reality television series "Shark Tank", are expected to attract considerable attention because of the show’s popularity in Kenya.
Ms Barbara Corcoran, founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, Mr Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and Mr Daymond John, founder of the FUBU fashion line, will be among the guests at the summit.
Mr John will be a panellist during the discussion on "Bootstrapping and Non-Commercial Financing", which will be chaired Ms Nisha Dutt, CEO of Intellecap, a technology company in the US.
HIGH-RANKING POLITICAL FIGURES
According to her company’s website, Ms Dutt has led technology-led innovations in healthcare, agriculture and financial services, which have impacted the lives of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
High-ranking political figures from different countries are also expected to attend and to hold talks with Mr Obama on the sidelines of the meeting.
According to the draft schedule, Industrialisation minister Adan Mohamed will moderate the fourth conversation, whose theme is "David and Goliath: Linking to International Supply chains".
Participants will include Ms Shelley Broader of Walmart, Mr Kitili Mbathi, currently the chief executive of Standard Bank Group’s East Africa operations, and Ms Monica Musonda of Java Foods.
Mr Mbathi was part of a team of technocrats drawn from the private sector, commonly referred to as “the Dream Team”, who were hired by President Daniel arap Moi in 1999 to turn around Kenya’s economy and reform the public service.
Mr Mbathi served as the permanent secretary for investments under the team led by Dr Richard Leakey, who was then the head of the civil service.
The President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Dr Susan Mboya, the wife of Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero, will moderate one of the sessions.
Dr Mboya is also the founder of Zawadi Africa Educational Fund, a programme that gives scholarships to underprivileged students to study in top universities in the world.
CUSTOMER CARE SERVICES
The programme is modelled on a similar one started by her father, Tom Mboya, in the 1960s. Barack Obama Sr, father of the US President, was a beneficiary of the programme.
Dr Mboya will be moderating the workshop on customer care services and how to connect with customers. Also expected is Mr Randall Kempner, executive director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, a global network of organisations that support entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
A Kenyan, Ms Hilda Morara, 26, will also address the delegates on Friday afternoon. She co-founded Weza Tele Ltd, a company that provides solutions through use of technology. The summit will discuss 11 key areas on entrepreneurship in 12 workshops.
On Saturday, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will moderate a panel of five billionaires to discuss financing entrepreneurship. The five include Ugandan-born Briton Ashish Thakkar, founder of the Mara Group, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, who is among the first people to introduce mobile telephony in Africa and founder of Econet wireless, Ms Loretta McCarthy of Golden Seeds, Ms Mindy Silverstein of the Milken Institute and Ms Julie Hanna, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
In May, President Obama named Ms Hanna a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (Page).
The goal of Page is to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs both at home and abroad.
PANEL OF INVESTORS
Mr Steve Case will be moderating the second conversation on “Getting Ready for Growth” on the same day.
He will be chairing a panel of investors, including Mr Ayisi Makatiani, managing partner and CEO of Fanisi Capital Ltd, which manages the Fanisi Venture Capital Fund for investing in East Africa.
Mr Case, co-founder of America Online (AOL), stands at number 1,386 on the list of the world’s richest people. According to Forbes, his wealth is estimated at $1.37 billion in assets.
Also to participate in the event will be Mr Wale Tinubu, who, according to Forbes, is building Africa’s largest energy company. His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion and he is ranked among the top 10 richest people in Africa.
Also to participate in the summit are Mr James Mwangi, CEO of Equity bank, Mr Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, and their KCB counterpart, Mr Joshua Oigara.
The event will be officially opened by President Obama and his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
On Sunday, Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru will officially close the summit at 4.30pm.