New Venture Africa provides free consulting to Kenyan startups

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Social enterprise New Venture Africa, which connects consultants, investment professionals and global business talent with innovative African startups, has successfully concluded its pilot in Nairobi, Kenya.

Founded by Tom Fairburn and Toby Hanington, New Venture Africa supports entrepreneurs in the areas of healthcare, education, agribusiness and microfinance by connecting them with qualified consultants working on a pro bono basis to develop their investment readiness, entrepreneurial skillsets, strategic capabilities and project management skills.

The company has just completed its pilot impact consulting project, working with two tech startups – microfinance startup Wayo and educational web platform Study in Kenya – at the GrowthAfrica incubator in Nairobi,.

Six consultants from London and New York, including senior figures from CitiGroup, CIL Management Consultants and Fidelity, worked with the two companies for two weeks. The teams were made up of investment professionals, consultants, marketers and an entrepreneur.

New Venture Africa said after two weeks, the consultants had worked closely with the startup founders, delivering an in-depth product review, product market fit analysis, a pricing model, marketing plan and a strategy for hiring new talent.

Fairburn said the pilot of New Venture Africa, which makes money from taking a cut of sponsorship fees paid by companies sending staff to Africa, had been a success and the company was now in the process of recruiting for projects in June and August.

“We want to scale as quickly as possible – and give startups all across Sub-Saharan Africa access to top tier, pro bono strategy consultants, to help them develop their business models,” he said.

“We learnt a huge amount from our pilot projects, and really validated the demand for strategic advice amongst startups in Kenya. We are excited to see what impact our recommendations have over the next few months.”

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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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