GEN Kenya, founded in 2015, is one of the member countries of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. GEN’s extensive footprint of national operations and global verticals in policy, research and programs ensures members have uncommon access to the most relevant knowledge, networks, communities and programs relative to size of economy, maturity of ecosystem, language, culture, geography and more. GEN helps celebrate, understand, support and connect entrepreneurs and those who champion them.
Celebrate: The world needs entrepreneurs – the doers and makers of things - but not all ecosystems enjoy the entrepreneurial culture that is prevalent in startup hubs like Silicon Valley, Singapore and Sao Paolo. Through Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), GEN celebrates the successes and impact of entrepreneurs in an effort to help break down cultural barriers and reach new audiences, expanding the number of people who at some point in their life consider trying their hand at birthing the new and becoming an entrepreneur.
Understand: There is increasing demand for evidence-based public policies and programs that accelerate growth. While government, corporate and education institution leaders have become eager champions with resources, they require better data, research and analysis about entrepreneurship barriers,needs and opportunities and which program interventions and policies to address them are proven to have maximize impact. Through the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) and GEN’s Startup Nations policymaker network, GEN helps identify and crowdsource best-in-class policies and public programs that help entrepreneurs thrive.
Support: Through efforts such as the Global Business Angels Network, Global Enterprise Registration, Startup Huddle, GEN Starters Club, Startup Open and other programs, GEN offers programs and resources intended to help smooth the path to market for founder teams and provide entrepreneurs at all stages with the support necessary to reach the next level.
Connect: GEN helps break down siloes and enhance collaboration among entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and startup community leaders through its virtual platforms and numerous live events, including its Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) and GEC+ series, the annual Startup Nations Summit, global annual meetings of its vertical communities and by co-hosting other events across the globe.
Junior Achievement Worldwide is one of the world’s largest youth-focused NGOs founded in 1919 with the aim of activating youth for the future of jobs. Junior Achievement Kenya (JA Kenya) was established in 1999 with a nationwide reach of over 300 schools and various multi stakeholders within the public and private sector focusing on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship delivered in our programs in the different levels of primary, secondary and tertiary. Junior Achievement Kenya has been the national host of the Creative Business Cup since 2011.
The Creative Business Cup is a global initiative promoting creativity and innovation. It connects creative entrepreneurs with investors, corporates and governing bodies in need of radical transformation for the benefit of business and society. The Creative Business Cup is held in over 70 countries each year and has a strong presence in at least 11 African countries with the Global Finals held every end of the year.
NIC Bank has partnered with Junior Achievement (JA) Kenya over the last three years to harness innovation of the youth in Kenya.
This year we launch the Afro Youth Challenge with the aim to encourage youth in Africa to develop transformation innovative solutions in the creative economy.How do we participate in the competition?
Within the business enterprises that youth have formed during the Innovation Competitions, participants must demonstrate how they have proposed a device, technology, a tool, a process or an intervention that presents a significant level of innovation, providing an advance over currently commercially available products to enhance students creativity.
The innovations must also fit into one of the 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable development themes as we aim to create a sustainable impact through the innovations.Why should we enter?
By entering the challenge, the participants will compete against innovations from across the African Continent, the top 20 finalists will have a chance to pitch to potential investors and the winner will receive a cash prize of USD 2,000.Who is on the panel of judges and how will projects be evaluated?
The panel of judges will consist of financial experts from NIC Bank and innovation experts from the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
The judges will be reviewing innovations on how promising they are based on the following topics:
Team: this covers the team of the startup, why will they make this startup a success? Any interesting skills or credentials?
Business model & market: How are they making or going to make revenue? And, what is the market potential? Is this realistic?
Financials & Proposition: what is the current financial situation and the proposition they have towards capital, talent or expertise? What is it they need to grow fast right now? And for financials think of cash flow risks, break-even points, revenue projections, cost price and margins. Are these numbers promising?