$100m fund aims to kickstart next generation of African businesses

$100m fund aims to kickstart next generation of African businesses

Down a scratchy phone line from Nairobi, 21-year-old Joel Mwale says he has spent the past year seeking funds to take his online educational and mentorship platform to the next level. His frustration cuts through the static.

Mwale might have expected better. He won a degree of fame in his teens for setting up a rainwater filtration and bottling company – Skydrop Enterprises – which he sold to an Israeli firm to fund the development of the website gigavia . But he feels far from empowered by his expertise in technology – a sector sometimes hailed as the answer to Africa’s myriad problems.

“ With the media profile I have , you would think it would be easy for me to find funding, but that’s not the reality,” he says. “How many other young people are out there, trying to come up with innovative solutions?” He finally got the investment two months ago, from a Kenya-based media group. He’ll work with his new partners to polish the product before an official launch early next year.

Mwale says outsiders are wary of investing in Kenya because of insecurity and threats from Islamic extremists in Somalia. He also criticises business leaders who have been […]

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