Patience, persistence, resilience and income

December 19, 2013 in Hub-Blog

Highlights from the IAP Conference and Awards 2013 The many and varied inclusive business journeys was the underlying theme of the conference that took in place in Lusaka, Zambia on 28 November. For many of the start-ups that participated in the conference, this journey could be described as a journey ... (more...)

Innovations Against Poverty Survey 2013: What applicants had to say

December 18, 2013 in Hub-Blog

In July of this year, IAP surveyed applicants from cycles 3 and 4 of the programme to get a sense of the how the programme is perceived overall, how well the application process worked for prospective grantees and how accessible communication with the programme is. With a view to drawing out useful lessons ... (more...)

Reaching breakthroughs in government relationships

September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

It is in the DNA of most entrepreneurs to be more optimistic than the average population (research has confirmed this). So we are not surprised in the IAP team when companies come back and report different hurdles and changes to their plans which extends the time to reach the targets. Especially those ... (more...)

Understanding phones and toilet instructions without being able to read….

September 5, 2013 in Hub-Blog

I changed the language of my phone today into one I do not understand. This new language uses Latin characters so I can figure out the meaning of a few words. But it is thanks to the icons really that I can still use my phone (since I am using a smart phone with icons for every function). Some icons ... (more...)

Day 10: The people behind Sunny People

August 23, 2013 in Hub-Blog

  I double-check the official facts on mobile phone penetration by asking families in several villages how many phones they have. And sure enough, every adult has a phone! But there are myths about solar charging and its effect. South of Mombasa we find a negative perception that a battery charged ... (more...)

Day 8: Clean energy, from the bottom up

August 21, 2013 in Hub-Blog

  Today we are looking forward to meeting Boma Safi, a company set up to distribute products for clean energy. They started selling nearly a year ago and have already reached a turnover of 14.2M Kenyan Shillings (about 165,000 USD). They had seven products in their pilot, a mix of cooking stoves, ... (more...)

Day 7: Ruby Club time at St Juliet School, Kibera

August 20, 2013 in Hub-Blog

  In a small, tucked away cul-de-sac behind a main passage through Kibera slum in Nairobi, we find a little schoolyard where children gather next to a central flag pole. Their teacher holds their last assembly for the day and in the meantime we enter a small, dark class room where a naked light ... (more...)

Day 6: Ghana to Kenya in style

August 19, 2013 in Hub-Blog

Travelling to Kenya. A 16 hour journey via Addis Ababa, where my luggage is lost for days… Transits, delays, sleeplessness. The less exciting part of travelling…. I have finished most of my travel literature by now, a few chapters left of “A guide to the birds of East Africa” by Nicholas ... (more...)

Day 5: Investments, scale-ups…and Hawaiian beach parties!

August 16, 2013 in Hub-Blog

Today I am discussing scale-up challenges with Ignitia. Like many other start-ups I work with, Ignitia’s CEO is facing a common investment dilemma. She needs capital for her company but investors are still reluctant to come on board at this early commercial stage. Without capital though, it is impossible ... (more...)

Day 4: When tradition meets technology

August 15, 2013 in Hub-Blog

At five am, everyone is ready to go, despite a last minute refusal from our first driver to take us… Here we are with a second driver, our guide and the four-wheel drive, as ordered. We pick up a freezer bag filled with delicious sandwiches prepared and packaged by a South African deli. We have ... (more...)