His Excellency the President Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H. officially launched the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on 9th June, 2015. The event that was filled with eager young entrepreneurs, sought to showcase and discuss innovation in Kenya. Accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Ms. Anne Waiguru, the president discussed areas the government hopes to work on to strengthen innovation in a country full of great potential. Business founders showcased their projects, while urging the president to consider entrepreneurs holistically and strive to boost the regime.
Organized annually since 2009, the GES has emerged as a global platform connecting emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from businesses, international organizations, and governments looking to support them. This will be the first time the GES will take place in sub-Saharan Africa. This years summit is scheduled to take place in Kenya, with U.S. President Barrack Obama expected to grace the auspicious occasion.
Accentuating the fact that Kenya is full of great entrepreneurs in his address, President Uhuru encouraged companies to identify the potential in the country and tap into it. The president also discussed the role the government is playing in encouraging this great segment of the country, promising young entrepreneurs that he will create a forum where the private sector, public sector and investors will discuss the future of entrepreneurs. President Uhuru also urged investors to pick on inventors in the country stating that it is not fair that young potential entrepreneurs have to seek an audience elsewhere, I’m disappointed by our inability to tap into the great ideas we have locally. The best entrepreneurs in the world are clearly looking at what is happening in Kenya.
Young entrepreneurs used this platform to showcase their invention explaining to the president the possibilities of the government adopting their work. Founder of FunKids-Funky, Furniture, Functional stores Ms. Wanjiru highlighted on the ability to create a fun learning environment for children around the country through her functional furniture inventions. Discussing the famous SuperMamas platform was its founder Ms. Christine Odero, who highlighted on the importance of intellectual Capital in a country like Kenya where entrepreneurs are rising high quite fast. Mr. Taita Ngetich, co-founder of Illuminum Greenhouses shared the successes that have come with starting these kind of greenhouses underlining how effective they work in promoting agriculture in the country. Darshan Chandaria Director and Group CEO Chandaria businesses used the platform to ask the president on how effective the government systems are in line with growing businesses across the country.
Innovators from @ILabAfrica incubation centre also had an opportunity to showcase their projects and book key appointments with the government office.
CS Anne Waiguru spoke of the potential in Africa and Kenya affirming that there is a lot of potential in the country that needs to be tapped into. Ms. Waiguru also mentioned that Kenya is ranked among the top countries with potential for investment in Africa. Kenya is a key driver of economic stability in Africa, she said. In his welcoming address, Dean of Strathmore Business School and DVC Research Strathmore University Dr. George Njenga, lauded Kenya for the upcoming GES conference, stating that Strathmore is rich with innovators who are ready to work with president and serve the country. At Strathmore we have good warriors ready to serve you and your government, Dr. Njenga emphasized.
A key area that was greatly tackled during the panel session with Dr. Monica Kerrets and the president, was in the introduction of innovation for young children as early as in primary school level. Parents need to shift their cultural mindsets. We need to promote innovation, as we ask why we need education. Education needs to create a platform that changes our society, she expressed. Dr. Kerrets also emphasized on the fact that parents should be ready to support their childrens interest from an early age, in order to cultivate the innovation mindset in the childrens minds.
The event culminated with a Question and Answer session to the president by different entrepreneurs in the audience, and a cake cutting ceremony that marked the launch of GES as well as celebrating SBS 10years anniversary.