By Emeka Aginam
No fewer than 25 entrepreneurs from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda who have innovative social business ideas with the potential to improve their communities, in the East African region, and the rest of the world are expected to get mentorship from Insiders4GoodEast Africa Fellowship.
The initiative was launched at the weekend by Microsoft in partnership with GrowthAfrica to support emerging entrepreneurs as they turn their business ideas into reality and scale.
The capacity building is designed to empower East African entrepreneurs with mentorship and technology, and amplify their voice through the Windows Insider Program, a global community of millions of Windows users using tech to make a lasting impact upon the world.
Accordingly, Insiders4Good Fellows will receive a suite of Microsoft hardware and software, plus six months of tailored technical and strategic mentorship from local and international leaders.
“Thousands in East Africa are creating extraordinary solutions that change the way communities and businesses solve problems and improve people’s lives,” said Microsoft Director of Software Engineering Bambo Sofola, said, adding that, “Innovation is in the DNA of all Windows Insiders.
We see East Africa as a key region where exciting new ideas are growing. We’ve been impressed and heartened by the progress made already by the first 25 Insiders4Good Fellows in Nigeria, and we’re thrilled to expand the Insiders4Good Fellowship into East Africa.
The region is well known as a hotbed of innovation. We look forward to deepening our relationships with these exceptional entrepreneurs across East Africa and to supporting their goals with this Fellowship.”
For Patricia Jumi,Managing Director and Co-Founderof GrowthAfrica, access to technology and a community of like minded individuals have been key success factors for many of the start-ups supported by GrowthAfrica’s acceleration programme.
“Bolstered by technological resources, expert advice, and out-of-the-box thinking, I’m excited to see East African entrepreneurs continue to create solutions that can provide benefits globally, as well as locally,” Jumi said.
With the March 31st 2017 deadline for application approaching, Sofola, said that, “the Insiders4GoodFellowship aims to recognize visionary entrepreneurs, enable them with technology and expert support, and unlock opportunities for them through the global network of Windows Insiders, the world’s largest community of people using technology to solve problems.The Fellowship aims to accelerate their journeys toward achieving their goals.