Innovators head to Silicon Valley for SAP Social Enterprise Programme

July 22, 2015
Sproxil CEO Ashifi Gogo (left) receives a certificate from Acumen East Africa CEO Duncan Onyango (centre) and Andrew Waititu MD SAP East Africa
Sproxil CEO Ashifi Gogo (left) receives a certificate from Acumen East Africa CEO Duncan Onyango (centre) and Andrew Waititu MD SAP East Africa

, A group of high growth innovators from East Africa will be joining the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in Silicon Valley starting this week.

The participating entrepreneurs from East Africa come from diverse industries representing social enterprises in agriculture, energy, healthcare, and water and sanitation. Their businesses have proven business models with the potential to scale and replicate across multiple markets while the entrepreneurs themselves have demonstrated a strong commitment to leadership across the sector.

David Auerbach (Sanargy), Ashifi Gogo (Sproxil), John Waibochi (Virtual City) and Peter Scott (Burn Manufacturing) will represent Kenya, while Mark Davies (Esoko) and Willem Nolens (SolarNow) will represent Ghana and Uganda respectively.

The fellowship is in line with SAP’s ‘Skills for Africa’ initiative where SAP Africa and partners aims to train 10 000 qualified SAP consultants by 2020 focused on Africa’s growth industries.

Andrew Waititu, Managind Director, SAP East Africa, said the next step of the enterprises will be on how to manage growth, investor relations and people development.

“Social enterprises are a significant driving force for economic growth and job creation in East Africa. Having successfully mastered the challenges of establishing a start-up company with a proven business model, the next challenge for these social entrepreneurs is to set their companies up for sustainable success,” said Waititu.

A recent research study carried out by UK-based business networking group, Approved Index, ranks Africa as the best field for entrepreneurs globally, with the highest level of entrepreneurship in Uganda.

SAP, in collaboration with Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty, launched the programme in April this year. Its goal is to accelerate the growth and impact of social enterprises that are in the critical stage of shifting from start-up to early growth phase.

“The CEOs will address their primary challenges associated with growth. They will learn how to build a strategy for scale from experienced tech entrepreneurs, business experts and impact investors and leave the fellowship with a clear plan of execution,” Waititu added.

Acumen will provide its suite of post-investment resources including technical assistance and mentorship to the CEOs during implementation. SAP will provide functional expertise to ensure that the CEOs have access to high-quality information and technology insights

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