The government has set up plans that will enhance capacity of enterprise ecosystem intermediaries to enable them support more startups in evolving into thriving businesses.
As part of the Ksh 5 billion Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project’s (KIEP), Strengthening Kenya’s Innovation Ecosystem (SKIES) programme target enterprise intermediaries which include incubators, accelerators and tech-bootcamp providers who engage in bridging the gap between startups and their ability to scale their solutions.
Speaking during the launch of the SKIES program, Industry Principal Secretary Dr. Juma Mukhwana said such interventions combined with high tech-skills will enable startups access capital for expansion.
“As we delve into the realm of Kenya’s innovation landscape to drive the industrialization agenda, it’s crucial to understand the vibrant role played by enterprise ecosystem intermediaries.
The KIEP Project aims to increase innovation and productivity in select private sector firms by strengthening intermediaries made up of incubators, accelerators, boot-camp providers and hubs; Tech skills students; Academia; Start-ups; Corporates and SMEs through financial grants and technical assistance,” said Dr. Mukhwana
Dr. Mukhwana said such acceleration interventions combined with high tech-skills development put startups on a scaling up trajectory through a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the lifecycle of young innovative companies, compressing years’ worth of learning-by-doing into just a few months or years.
“As of now, Kenya boasts a burgeoning number of intermediaries with their number being at approximately 200 spread all over the country which are actively contributing to the growth of our innovation ecosystem,” he added.
The intermediaries targeted are involved in incubating and accelerating enterprises engaged in various value chains such as leather, livestock, garments and textiles, industrial production and crops among others, which are the key priority areas for the State Department and are aligned with the government Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).