Four social entrepreneurs have been selected to take part in the four-month iAccelerator programme in Nairobi, focused on promoting youth sexual reproductive health and rights.
Disrupt Africa reported in June Nairobi-based incubator Nailab had partnered the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to launch the iAccelerator, which will pair the startups with expert mentors, enroll them in business management and development training, and allow them access to seed-capital of KES1 million (US$9,900).
Ten finalists were selected to take part in a pitch event at Nailab, after which four startups were chosen. They are Fluid, a mobile game based on sexuality and sexual reproductive health, Sophie Bot, an intelligent system for information on sexual health, Deaf Elimu Plus, an app for deaf users, and Imara TV, an online system that crowdsources youth-generated video content.
“It’s been an intense period for the team, which has focused on mining and catalysing innovative thinking by engaging with the best minds as we talk innovations on sexual reproductive health. This has been an interesting and quite an unexplored theme and we have learnt a lot from the young people in the process,” said Josephine Mwangi, head of communications and marketing at Nailab.
The application process was anchored in the I.AM initiative, which calls on young people to realize their desire to discuss, learn about and understand their sexuality and sexual reproductive health by engaging with credible sources of information in safe and unstigmatised environments. The initiative saw a total of 92 applications submitted.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved without assuring that all young people enjoy the dignity and human rights to expand their capabilities, secure their reproductive health and rights, find decent work and contribute to economic growth. This is what the iAccelerator is all about,” said UNFPA Kenya country representative Siddharth Chatterjee.