Enablis, NetHope, shortlist 82 in technology ideas competition
BUSINESS| Sept. 3, 2012, 2:37 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Eighty-two technology ideas have qualified for the second round in the ongoing IT business ideas competition being run by Enablis East Africa and NetHope.
The finalists have been picked from 139 who participated in the Growing IT competition launched in mid June.
The 82 will now be trained in presentation skills after which they will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges who will select the best 50 IT enthusiasts who will be supported to start and grow their businesses.
“The competition is aimed at identifying IT enthusiast to be nurtured into successful entrepreneurs. The competition attracted youthful budding entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35,” said Fredrick Kariuki, the chief executive of Enablis East Africa.
NetHope, a nonprofit consortium of international NGOs, will provide learning skills and resources, while Enablis will provide coaching, mentoring and networking.
“We look forward to seeing how these tech savvy youth will work with Enablis’ wide network of entrepreneurs to not only develop IT businesses for themselves, but also to share insight into how other entrepreneurs can become even more effective through the use of ICTs,” said NetHope Academy Africa Programme Manager Lisa Obradovich.
The one-year project – running in three countries, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana – is targeting IT techies from universities, technical institutions, and technological incubation centres among other areas. The project will support a total of 100 ideas in the three countries.
The selected techies will be trained on how to draw up a fundable business plan, how to start and run their businesses effectively and will also have access to platforms aimed at creating marketing linkages and funding for their businesses.
Kariuki said ideas came from different segments in the IT Industry and included innovative solutions geared at improving the education, housing, communication and agriculture. Of the applications received 15 per cent were of existing businesses, with the rest being ideas in the concept stage.
He said less than 10% of the entrants in the Growing IT competition were women, reflecting the need to encourage more women to join the IT space.
“The IT industry presents the fastest growing segment of SMEs and the industry is also labour driven,” Kariuki said. “Needless to say, the giants in the industry are almost all youthful anywhere in the world, which is a huge motivating factor to the youth we seek to nurture and grow. The government is also at the forefront of creating the necessary physical and non-physical infrastructure on which the industry would thrive.”
The NetHope Academy designs, develops and implements ICT capacity building programs in the Africa, Latin America and Asia. “Our goal is to strengthen information and communication technology (ICT) skills through training, online learning and access to professionals within the technology community,” said Obradovich.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Dimension Data announces WirelesscoDimension Data MEA is to launch a new company, WirelessCo, which will build and operate an open access carrier-grade WiFi network. Read More
UBA, ATI collaborate to boost regional and international tradeUnited Bank for Africa (UBA) has entered into a partnership with the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to ease the flow of credit to clients engaging in regional and international trade. Read More
3rd Startup Knight competition to take place in SAByte Orbit has launched the third edition of its annual Startup Knight competition, which the company says aims to empower aspiring tech entrepreneurs in South Africa and offers the winner ZAR250,000 (US$22,000) in prizes. Read More
Global smartphone shipments to reach 1.2bn this yearThe number of smartphone shipments will approach 1.2bn this year, an increase of 19% from 985m in 2013, says a new report. Read More
ITC urges governments to increase public procurement from women vendorsThe International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched an initiative to increase the number public procurement contracts being awarded to women-owned businesses. Currently only an estimated 1% of public-procurement contracts globally are awarded to WOBs or women entrepreneurs. Read More
Orange launches start-up accelerator programme in Ivory CoastWith “Orange Fab Ivory Coast” and “Fab Israel”, Orange’s network of start-up accelerators is now present on four continents. Read More
Safaricom shareholders agree yuMobile buyoutShareholders of Kenya’s leading telecom Safaricom voted in favour of the company’s acquisition of the network, IT and infrastructure of smaller rival yuMobile at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM), meaning the deal now only requires regulatory approval to proceed. Read More
TLcom achieves second profitable African exit of 2014 with Movirtu saleVenture capital firm TLcom Capital (TLcom) has announced its second profitable exit in Africa this year with the sale for an undisclosed fee of virtual identity solutions provider for mobile operators Movirtu to BlackBerry. Read More
Why CWG is re-strategisingNigeria’s Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc) is re-strategising to take the company in a different direction. Read More
FEATURED STORYMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers
Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHiProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTs
An innovation dubbed iProcure is already being used by several agro input firms which are now relying on it to distribute their products to farmers.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric signs exclusive off-grid solar distribution agreement with Zimbabwean firm
Schneider Electric has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Samansco, a Zimbabwean renewable energy, back-up power and appropriate technology company.SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa
Extending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment.