Over the past decade, there has been a surge in technology entrepreneurship in Nairobi and Kenya as a whole. This growth wave has primarily been brought about by the installation of digital infrastructure grids, growing consumer markets for technology and the rapid growth of mobile technologies.
The future of the world is technology-driven; this is why governments need to empower digital start-ups and tech-entrepreneurs. A strong digital foundation is critical to Kenya’s success when it comes to harnessing the potential of the digital economy as a driver of economic growth.
Kenya is home to a variety of diverse tech start-ups ranging from payments to health, blockchain, e-commerce, and logistics. The country has one of the most vibrant start-up scenes in the Sub-Saharan Africa continent with 38 start-up incubators and accelerators, most of which operate in the Nairobi.
The technology start-up space in Kenya has seen steady growth with a value of $ 35,294 in 2009 to $11.8 million by January 2019. Even as we see rapid growth in tech start-ups in Nairobi and Kenya as a whole, there has been a very slow transition rate which begs the question; why are Kenya tech start-ups not effectively transitioning into full-blown technology companies? What needs to be done to help Kenyan start-ups effectively transition?
There are five key foundations for success in the digital economy as highlighted in the report includes digital Infrastructure, digital skills, digital platforms and services, digital financial serves and digital entrepreneurship.
The government needs to come up with measures to help these start-ups transition to growth. This can be done by improving the entrepreneurship eco-system to capitalize on the increased adoption of technology and building companies of the future.
“Kenya’s impressive performance in churning out innovative new startup stage digital ventures needs to be matched with higher rates of success in enabling these startups to rapidly grow – creating enterprises that will have a big impact on overall economic growth and job creation. This includes improving access to capital for startups and reviewing existing taxation and procurement policies that are not tailored for the unique start-up business models. “The Kenya Economic Update: Securing Future Growth, October 2019.
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