Ashoka to open continental office in Nairobi

Ashoka, a multibillion global social- entrepreneurship organization is planning to open its continental operation base in Nairobi

Speaking in Nairobi during the annual Future Forward Summit, Ashoka Africa Executive Director Pape Samb said that the move will make it easier to serve the continent.

“The idea is to identify people around the world who are already finding solutions to local problems” said Samb at a summit held at the United States International University.

Unlike other social entrepreneurship organizations which demand for equities for funding startups, Ashoka is not for profit.

“We identify them and give them a stipend for three years to allow them to focus 100 per cent on their ideas. We help them to replicate the ideas at the national level and influence policy that can be a solution to the community,” said Pape.

So far, Ashoka activities in Africa has benefited at least 800,000 people, using only 25 fellows in the continent. Ashoka has been operating in Africa directly from United States of America

This is good news to entrepreneurs in Africa who are at times forced to shelve profitable business ideas due to lack of funding.

The last year survey by African Leadership Academy and MasterCard Foundation in Kenya for instance showed that funding is by far the greatest impediment to growth, with 48 percent of respondents highlighting it as the biggest obstacles to expanding their businesses.

According to the study dubbed ‘Anzisha Youth Entrepreneurship Survey 2016’, 59 per cent of youthful entrepreneurs in Kenya depend on friends and relatives for starting capital, while 52 per cent rely on grants.

The report rank banks as the least resort for entrepreneurs looking for capital to start or boost their businesses at 4 per cent.

Although Ashoka support entrepreneurs, it mainly searches for individuals who have vision, creativity, and determination and are motivated by public rather than personal gain.

The Non-Profit organization was started by Bill Drayton in 1980

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