NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5- Over 300 delegates have converged in Kenya for the Impact!Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit to discuss ways of funding i
nnovations in Africa.
The Impact!Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit being held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies brings together social entrepreneurs from the public and private sectors to share experiences and exchange ideas on the best way to finance social enterprises.
This year is the third such forum following similar summits in Ghana and South Africa in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The forum aims to prepare and inspire young social entrepreneurs, policymakers and educational institutions to transform their passion for social change into action.
The main theme of the summit is Collaborative Finance for Social Innovation and how to catalyze social innovation in Africa through, the Future of Financing for Social Innovation and Framework for Social Innovation.
The two-day summit is a partnership by the British Council and Ashoka to accelerate innovative solutions to Africa’s most pressing challenges by inspiring, supporting and connecting leading social entrepreneurs and key ecosystem players across countries, organizations, and sectors such as policy, social investment, business and media across Africa.
The British Council Regional Director for Sub Saharan Africa, Moses Anibaba says,”In 2018 at the Impact! Africa summit in South Africa, we got a taste of what could happen if you really bring social entrepreneurs together. “What we are doing this year is to provide a framework for social innovation to inspire people and let them know we have the solutions here and it’s all about how we leverage what other people are doing,” he said.
According to a British Council study in 2016, The State of Social Enterprise in Kenya social enterprise activity is gaining momentum in Kenya with an estimated 43,933 social enterprises in the country, many of them recently established and optimistic about the future.
The study also highlights a significant number of social enterprises had been supported by donations in cash or in-kind 37.4 percent.
A greater proportion of female led social enterprises receive support in this form 53 percent.
One in every four respondents said that they received no financial support at all.
Just five percent had accessed commercial loans which are perhaps unsurprising in the Kenyan context.
Banks in Kenya find it expensive to monitor loans of small value and carrying out due diligence is costly because of a lack of credit ratings agencies, which makes it harder for banks to lend to small firms.