Ventures Africa –
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-LAB program, which offers one year of mentorship and learning to social entrepreneurs introducing poverty-alleviation solutions, will provide six startups from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with $20,000 each. The six entrepreneurs have all been selected for the competitive MIT D-LAB Scale-Ups Fellowship, a position that allows the innovators benefit from reduced risk and receive assistance towards best positioning for investment attraction.
Fellowship manager Jona Repishti said, “We are excited to work with a vibrant cohort of East African entrepreneurs whose expertise is grounded in their lived reality. Working with local founders has certain advantages – they reflect the demographics of the markets they serve; their lived experience helps them identify unique, scalable, market-based solutions overlooked by outsiders.” Repishti noted that local founders “are more likely to commit for the long haul,” an important battle to consider before backing any kind of innovation.
Another point of consideration for investors is the scalability of the idea they’re buying into. Repishti thinks these six startups have founders who “have great change potential for their regional economic systems.” One of the six entrepreneurs Repishti speaks so highly of is Winnie Gitau, founder of Kwangu Kwako, which provides safer, healthier, and more secure housing alternatives in Kenya.