The World Bank’s Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) has launched the first ever crowdfunding mentorship programme for entrepreneurs in East Africa; the four month programme teaching participants how to effectively leverage crowdfunding.
Under the trial phase of the programme, KCIC has helped six clean-tech startups design and implement crowdfunding campaigns; with the organisation aiming to unlock new channels of funding for green-tech entrepreneurs.
“By helping entrepreneurs connect with a global pool of investors, crowdfunding may represent a new tool that can address a funding problem faced by many local green ventures” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank country director for Kenya.
“The development of a competitive clean technology sector will be instrumental toward a low-carbon economy and Kenya is taking important steps to reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience to climate change in accordance with its National Climate Change Action Plan.”
With the assistance of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), KCIC is offering a range of advisory services designed to help clean-tech startups in East Africa effectively leverage all the crowdfunding platforms available to African entrepreneurs.
According to KCIC, the new programme is intended to address the lack of information and education programmes regarding crowdfunding opportunities for startups currently hindering entrepreneurs in Kenya.
“Despite the growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises interested in crowdfunding in emerging markets, information and data on the topic is scarce and difficult to find,” said Edward Mungai, chief executive officer (CEO) of KCIC.
“The ultimate goal of this project is to assist local ventures in making the most of this innovative form of financing.”
To select the first cohort of startups for the programme, KCIC held a national pitching competition last August, selecting startups based on their “crowdfunding potential”.
The six startups which took part in the first programme were Wanda Organic, Global Supply Solutions, iCoal Concepts, Skynotch Energy Africa, Develatech, and the Human Needs Project.
The participants received four months of mentorship and training during which they designed and tested their crowdfunding strategies. Four of these clean-tech ventures—Wanda Organic, Global Supply Solutions, iCoal Concepts, and Skynotch Energy Africa – launched their campaigns on Indiegogo, while the other two plan to go live with their campaigns in March.