American university working to boost entrepreneurship in Kenya

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Dan Freeman and Julie Frieswyk from the University of Delaware’s Horn Programme in Entrepreneurship recently visited Kenya, where the organisation works in partnership with Wilmington-based StartupAfrica to provide educational opportunities and encourage youth entrepreneurship.

Erastus Mong’are, executive director of StartupAfrica, hosted programme director Freeman and programme coordinator Frieswyk as they travelled to four counties in Kenya to visit students who participated in the Horn Programme’s Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs.

The pair learned about the students’ projects in areas such as energy, security, agriculture and marketing.

“When we created the Diamond Challenge, I knew it would make a big difference,” Freeman said. “But I had no idea about the incredible magnitude of its impact.”

Mong’are said having the Horn team in Kenya made a big difference to the participating teachers.

“They got to understand exactly what the Diamond Challenge is and why entrepreneurship is important, not just for them as teachers but also for their students,” he said.

“There is a huge thirst for entrepreneurship education in Kenya,” said Frieswyk. “Community leaders, politicians and teachers connect it to hope for their youth.”

“The momentum that you gain just by taking the first step to put your idea into action is tremendous,” Freeman said. “Everyone has ideas, but few put them into action. The Diamond Challenge provides a sense of empowerment by showing you how to do something with your ideas. It’s expanding opportunity and hope.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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