Friday, July 24, 2015

Six Ways You Can Be Involved in #GES2015Kenya

Six Ways You Can Be Involved in #GES2015Kenya

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, onJuly 25-26. It will be the sixth annual gathering, which will convene more than 1,000 entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials.
Can’t go to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya? We’ve got you covered. As we prepare for the sixth annual GES, here are six ways you can be involved and participate in the conversation from anywhere in the world:
1. Watch live events online at and on Periscope.
Many of the sessions will be streamed live online or will be available for on-demand viewing after they conclude. President Barack Obama will address the Summit.  Other speakers will include singer and philanthropist Akon and the recently announced 2015 Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship.  Go to for the schedule of events.
Also, follow @StateDeptLive and others on Periscope to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Summit and engage with U.S. government participants, entrepreneurs, and investors.
2. Follow #GES2015Kenya and #GES2015.
Follow #GES2015Kenya and #GES2015 on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation with those in Nairobi.  On Twitter, follow @GES2015Kenya, @WhiteHouse, @StateDept, @CommerceGov, @USEmbassyKenya, @EconEngage, @Stengel, and @AmbCathyRussell for event coverage and the latest highlights.
On Facebook, like the GES2015Kenya and ShareAmerica Facebook pages, where you will find information about the Summit and great stories about the journeys of successful entrepreneurs.  Also watch for coverage and updates from the White House, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Commerce on the United States’ support --through many initiatives and programs -- for entrepreneurs around the world.
3. View and share photos from the event.
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi will be publishing photos to their Flickr pages.  Check these accounts out for behind-the-scenes coverage of GES!
4. Join a Facebook Chat on youth and entrepreneurship.
Women and youth entrepreneurs are a significant source of economic growth globally, yet they often face additional barriers in accessing services and resources to start and grow businesses.   That is why this year’s GES kicks off with a day dedicated to women and youth entrepreneurs. To address some of these issues, U.S. Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues Andy Rabens will answer your questions during a Facebook chat on July 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM UTC/10:00 AM EDT.Submit your questions now, and join the conversation on Thursday!
5. Connect with the 2015 Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).
President Obama launched and established PAGE in April 2014, and the initiative is chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.   As part of their commitment to entrepreneurship, PAGE members develop Signature Entrepreneurship Initiatives designed to inspire entrepreneurs, expand networks and global exposure of existing entrepreneurs, or increase deal-flow between investors and entrepreneurs.  They also participate in public events – like GES - and lend their voices and platforms to connect with entrepreneurs at home and abroad.
The following PAGE members will join Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in Kenya:
Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution, LLC
Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO, Airbnb
Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board, Kiva
Daymond John, Founder, FUBU and CEO, Shark Branding
6. Follow the 2015 GIST Tech-I Competition. 
You voted for your favorite finalists in the GIST Tech-I Competition, and they will head to GES 2015 where they will receive two days of intensive training in areas such as team building, go-to-market strategies, and financing.  This year’s 30 finalists represent 23 countries -- from Albania to Chile to Botswana. You can follow your favorite finalists, GIST, and Tech-I related activities at, and by following #StartTheSpark on social media.
Now, if you are attending GES in person, please share your insights!  Here’s how you can do so:
  • Download the ‘GES 2015’ App for attendees. It is available in the apple store and the google play store to registered attendees and speakers.  Using the app, participants can engage one another, share photos, and have easy access to the conference agenda and other information.
  • Tweet quotes and information from the various sessions you attend, and use hashtag #GES2015Kenya for remote audience followers.
  • Solicit questions from remote followers, and pitch their questions to presenters.
  • Share photos and videos to Instagram using #GES2015Kenya.
Although GES represents an incredible opportunity to bring together entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and a broad range of other actors, the conversation and effort surrounding global entrepreneurship is an ongoing one.
Creating connections that will help entrepreneurs succeed is important, and the State Department is working to promote entrepreneurship programs, such as new angel investment networks, delegations, and mentoring collaborations.  Visit, like the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Facebook page, and follow @EconEngage to find out more.
About the Author: Ashli Savoy serves as Managing Editor of DipNote. She is on detail to support the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya
 This blog originally appeared on DipNote, the U.S. Department of State's Official blog

New Alliance Launched to Examine Global Accelerators

July 24, 2015

$2.3 million committed to improving the effectiveness of accelerator programs through research and analysis
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Emory University’s Social Enterprise @ Goizueta will announce the launch of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI)a first-time comprehensive market assessment and analysis of acceleratorsat the Sixth Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The announcement will be made by Randall Kempner, executive director of ANDE, during a moderated session on entrepreneurship on Saturday, July 25.
The partnership was created by U.S. Global Development Lab at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Omidyar Network, The Lemelson Foundation, and the Argidius Foundation to analyze the efficacy of accelerator programs. Although there are hundreds of accelerators that have been launched around the world, little research exists to understand early-stage acceleration and its effect on the companies accelerated, especially for small and growing businesses in emerging markets.
GALI builds upon the work done thus far by The Entrepreneurship Database program at Emory University (EDp) which has collected information on more than 3,500 enterprises and partnered with more than 60 accelerator programs to date. This public-private partnership has committed $2.3 million over three years to scale the program by collecting data on more than 10,000 firms globally.
“We’re delighted leaders from the academic, international development, and philanthropy worlds are coming together to take action and further strengthen business communities by ensuring careful investigation of and innovation for accelerator programs worldwide,” said Randall Kempner, executive director of ANDE.
Key questions that the partnership seeks to address for the sector include:
  • Do accelerators actually accelerate growth of early ventures, attracting greater investments and increasing revenue for companies?
  • What types of programs offered by accelerators have the highest impact on entrepreneurial success?
  • What can we learn about the entrepreneurs who participate in accelerator programs?
As a result of GALI’s work, accelerator programs will have statistical data and market insight to better inform their own decision-making as they train the entrepreneurs who create the goods and services that benefit all sectors of society. This data will also be made available to researchers and practitioners for their own analyses. GALI hopes that this body of knowledge will provide greater understanding to all involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, from managers to policy makers.
For more information about GALI, please visit:
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits. Ultimately, ANDE believes that SGBs can help lift countries out of poverty. ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization. For more information please visit
Social Enterprise @ Goizueta (SE@G) is an Academic Center within Emory University’s Goizueta Business School that applies business acumen and market-based solutions to achieve meaningful and enduring societal impacts. SE@G is home to The Entrepreneurship Database program at Emory University (EDp). The program works with entrepreneurship accelerator programs from around the world to gather data from their application process and then re-surveys all applicants at six month intervals.
For more information about the work of our GALI partners, please refer to:
U.S. Agency for International Development ( Network (
The Lemelson Foundation (
Argidius Foundation (

2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit Youth and Women Day

Press Release
2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit Youth and Women Day
Friday, July 24
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) Youth and Women Day will convene 150 established youth and women entrepreneurs along with investors, speakers, and leaders in the entrepreneurship space. The select group of youth and women entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to share their success stories, take part in skills trainings, participate in a pitch competition, and hear from dynamic speakers including hip hop artist Akon, world renowned chef José Andrés, Fubu Founder Daymond John, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, and UN Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi.
These innovative entrepreneurs will be joined by high-level U.S. Government officials, including Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, Acting Administrator of USAID Alfonso Lenhardt, Ambassador at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel. 
The GES Youth and Women Day is supported by the U.S. Government in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit Youth and Women Day builds upon the successful 2014 GES Youth and Women day in Morocco, the Startup Global Youth Summit at GES 2013 in Malaysia, and previous youth and women-related GES events in Dubai, Istanbul, and Washington, D.C.
The day will provide emerging youth and women entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their existing businesses and opportunities to form productive relationships that will help to scale up their ventures.
Time: The opening plenary session will begin at approximately 8 AM Nairobi time, lasting until 9:45 AM.
Coverage: Limited capacity, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Call Time: Members of the media interested in covering the Opening Plenary should gather in the GES Press Filing Center no later than 7:15 AM.
Access: Heavy equipment (e.g. video cameras or tripods) must arrive to the GES Press Filing Center between 6:45 AM and 8:15 AM, or between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM on Friday, July 24. For all other/general access, the media shuttle will run continuously between the GES event site and the International School of Kenya approximately every 30 minutes, at the top and bottom of every hour.
Arrival: All media participants seeking access to the GES venue on Friday, July 24 – Sunday, July 26 must use the GES-provided media shuttle system, departing from the International School of Kenya. No individual may unilaterally arrive to the event site.
Required Credentials: All individuals must have GES accreditation to enter the shuttle system or the GES Press Filing Center.
Note:  Other media opportunities will be available throughout the day on Friday, July 24.  Additional media advisories will be forthcoming, and posted throughout the Press Filing Center.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit - GES

Kenya will be hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July of 2015. This is going to be a great opportunity for young people, entrepreneurs, businesses and the continent at large to converge and reconnect with global players in the enterprise field. President Obama has been on the fore front of this initiative and has elevated entrepreneurship to the forefront of the United States’ engagement agenda during a historic speech in Cairo in 2009. 

The first summit was hosted by the United States in 2010 in Washington, D.C., The GES has expanded to a global event that has been un-matched with the amount of will power coming from the participation and good will of global players. Other countries that have played host are the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Morocco. 

The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit comes to Nairobi, Kenya, on July 25-26. This becomes the sixth annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials. The established tradition demonstrates the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to fostering entrepreneurship around the world. In retrospect, this becomes a good platform to network, exchange ideas and connect with other global ventures that will catapult our African Businesses to the next level. 

Here is What President Obama had to say about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 

This is also seen as an opportunity for African businesses to connect with the ventures that will infuse skill, finance and technical abilities so that business start ups and those that want to scale can be able to get the boost that they need to compete in the global market. It is also an opportunity for the global markets to get a taste and a sense of what Africa has to offer to the World. I believe, the potential for Africa has not been fully utilized and it is just a unique market that will overtake other players since the opportunities are still yet to be explored. As the old adage goes, lets make hay while the sun shines. The global enterprise sun, is shining on Africa. 

Interested to participate, here is the application form where to apply.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Future Daily

Invest in growing Women and Youth Agri SME's

Many innovations are being practiced on pilot and on scale in the country when it comes to Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship. One aspect that is dear to me is that of Gender Transformative & Responsible Agribusiness Investments. Women in our rural communities have traditionally worked hard in their farms or family farms tiling to eke a living for their families' survival. 

It is important for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in agriculture value chains to transform their thinking and practices in focusing on the role that women have played. Support should be channeled to businesses that compliment impact assessment and are investment readiness to which capital can be provided by impact investors.

Agri-SMEs that are making a positive impact in their community and are interested in optimizing that impact and have growth potential should be natured in order for their best practices to be scaled or replicated. For communities living near water bodies should invest on businesses in aquaculture and specifically palm and coconut oil value chains for coastal regions. SMEs from all agri-focused value chains should be identified and given the necessary support to grow.

For our communities to grow into sustainability and have greater impact, focus should be given on growing, replicating and scaling women’s economic empowerment through the growth of agribusinesses. 

Farming is cool for both women and youth, it still is and will be the back bone of our economic growth trajectory. If Government doesn't support Agriculture, then Kenya and Africa indeed will be headed the downward trend. How else will our economies achieve food security if investments are not put in agri SME's run by women and youth?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thinking Green

This morning unlike all other mornings, my mind is fixated on the future of green and sustainability in our livelihoods. This for sure can only be achieved if we have disciplined values and principles that think of our future generations.

What we do now and how we nature the young ones, will determine the kind of future that our universe will turn out to be. Lets go green, lets ensure our future generations have a place they can call home. Let us instill values that they will pass on to their future generations as well.

Lets live, sleep, work, and go green.

President Obama arrives to deliver remarks on clean energy after a tour of a solar power array at Hill Air Force Base in Utah on April 3.  (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Stupified South Africans in Xenophobic Stupor

The many of my fellow Africans looked with awe at South Africa as the land of opportunity and haven for tolerance going by the examples of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. But there has always been that cog that is Xenophobic violence that now promises to completely tarnish that image of hope that we so dearly held as Africans in a nation so young and promising yet so far in realizing its own potential. Many Africans are now fleeing South Africa in the fear of being attacked by fellow Africans. South Africans have stooped so low that they have turned against their fellow Africans.

The current numbers of about 3500 immigrants sleeping in crowded camps in search of a quick exit from a country that has decided to hate Africa. About five people have been killed, shops have been looted, homes have been shuttered and in the flames that engulf the dying, so cries Africa on what could have gone so wrong such that Africans could be so mad at Whites during Apartheid and after the illusion that was independence, only turn against their fellow Africans.

It is not lost in the memory of Africans that many nations in the continent, housed and fed many of the South Africans, including freedom fighters during the Apartheid rein. A number of south Africans today hold dual citizenship emanating from the dark days. What could have gone so wrong to elicit the eruption of xenophobic attacks?

Today many Africans are angered and calls for boycotts of all South African Products engulf many social media discourse. If this were to happen, then South Africa would come to realize that she needs the rest of Africa for her survival. It is South African products that dominate many shelves in quite a number of African Countries. It is South African Companies that are making crazy profits in other parts of Africa. Pretty much, South Africa produces more for foreign markets than it produces for its own. It is such an open foreign market that south Africa survives on when it comes to foreign trade. The ground is shifting and if so, South Africa will be the hardest hit.

I join many African brothers and sisters in calling for an end to the stupidity that is being practiced by a few ungrateful south Africans. Why is it that South Africans are attacking Africans and not whites?

Mr. Jacob Tsuma's calls came albeit too late. President Tsuma knows too well and has been witnessing from the comfort of his powerful office as many Africans burn at the flame of his people in Durban. I know for a fact that many white supremacists whose agenda is to celebrate the fall of Africa have been celebrating the current situation in South Africa. The leadership of the country that was so admired is now shaming itself without the fear of what portends their own comfort. President Tsuma needs to rise to the occasion and stop this madness.

The African Union on the other hand has been very silent, as is tradition, waiting on the sidelines as many Africans die only to emerge later when it is too late. 

My biggest worry is to all South Africans, mobilize your fellow country men, encourage them to go to school and stop this stupidity. Earn what you have worked for and regain your place in the continent. Failure of that, is being reduced to a village of hate mongers and a dimming star for a country we so cherished. I no longer want my children and their generation to ever want to grow in such a country. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Terror on Campus and the Questions we should be interrogating as Citizens

Watching the pain on the faces of the parents and relatives of the students who were massacred in Garissa University leaves a lot of pain in my heart. Reading the stories of the survivors and messages of the departed moments before they were shot in cold blood is heartrending. There can never be justification for such heinous acts of terror meted on innocent souls.

I remember vividly the hope and aspiration among the University administration on the vision they had for the only University in the Northern frontier. All that is now on shaky grounds since it may not be reopened and even if it will be reopened, there will be no students from other parts of the country who would want to go learn there. Garissa University in the place where the G-United​ training programme was conducted. What was once an island of knowledge has now been turned into a ghost town haunted by the souls of the more than 140 students killed in the hands of Terror. Something radical must happen very quickly to wipe off Alshabaab from the face of earth. It requires the concerted efforts of all East Africans.

The stories about radicalization of our youth, need to be interrogated and any family that has a young person unaccounted for should be questioned and made to ensure their sons and daughters are up to good. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are all safe if we love this country and if we have aspiration for our sons and daughters to also grow in a peaceful country. Our security agents should stay in Somalia as long as it takes. We need to strengthen security on our porous borders so that we don't continually have to deal with runaway crime as is the case now.

The leadership of the Northern Frontier need to work together to ensure that they account for each and every member of the families.

The casual treatment of terror tips by the security agents need to be stopped. Whenever there is an imminent attack, it is the responsibility of the Government to advise its citizens on what to expect and what to do in case of an attack. There is nothing as good as a citizenry that is aware of what is happening. If the Government is serious about protecting its citizens, then we all need to know and be given travel advisories.

It will require concerted efforts of the civil society to begin to interrogate its work and engage the citizenry on matters security. Civic Education on security is paramount in this difficult times.

The biggest question that the Government needs to ponder is what kind of information do you need to provide the public in order for them to protect themselves. That responsibility starts with you Mr. President.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Paradox of Need Versus Want

There is data and evidence to show that more adults decide to study and that at least half of part-time students are not only employed but also have pre-school children. There is no data to show what motivates Kenyan Politicians to go back to school apart from their quest to run for higher office, be more influential in order to gain government tenders and engage in more corrupt practices. Such are paradoxes of need versus want. We truly live in a very unequal world.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Of Sex and Sex Education for our Teens!

Of sex and sex education. Kenya lost 12,000 teenagers to the deadly scourge in the year 2014 alone. More children are now having sex as early as at the age of 8 and 9 years. With our moral compass already broken as a country, the fact that there is incest and rape in families and communities, only makes the situation even dire. 

See also: Teenage Sex is a National Crisis

There is a very very thin demarcation line between sex, sex education, condoms and condom use and HIV/AIDS. With more children having sex at the age of 8, how on earth can we as a country educate our children on safe methods of contraception? Should condoms be readily provided so that as our children get sexually active, safety will be a priority? Or should we ignore the fact and have more than 20,000 teenagers dying in 2015? 

See also - when-your-teenager-is-having-sex

What is moral between ensuring the safety of our children and ignoring the fact that they will still engage in early sex with or without intervention? 

See also: Teens are having sex, let them have it safely

For those Old men and Women who are having sex with children the age of their grand children shame on you. For those thinking that we shall just ignore the facts? Shame on you. 

It is high time we started the hard talk on matters safe sex for our teens in order to save our future generations. We do not want to become a country of old people just because we ignored the deadly facts. 

Let us all #DoSomeThing

Monday, January 12, 2015

Attack on Charly Hebdou and our African Narrative

The Terrorist Attack on Charlie Hebdo last week must be condemned at all costs by the entire world. For the sole reason of standing with the Families of the slain journalists, I also said "Je Suis Charlie" 

The Attack on Charlie Hebdo (The New Yorker)

Charlie Hebdo Editor Killed in Paris (TIME)

People Around the World Are Pouring Into the Streets to Support Charlie Hebdo After the Paris Massacre (Mother Jones)

There was the other voice in the entire narrative that was disturbing. But in a world of free speech, I leave to the world to be the judge.

No, we are NOT all Charlie (and that’s a problem) (openDemocracy)

What was most stunning and in an extra ordinary sign of solidarity was when the entire world joined the French nationals in the biggest March in French history. According to CNN at least 3.7 million people, including world leaders, marched in anti-terrorism rallies in Paris and elsewhere in the France on Sunday. 

This goes far to show how in solidarity the west can rally around their own and come up with strategies to defeat terror. Elsewhere in Nigeria, Boko Harram is feared to have killed over 2000 people. Listen, the world is silent. 

The Boko Harram Millitants opened fire in a village in Northern Nigeria and bodies are reported to have been left scattered all over the place. While the world gathered in Paris to stand in solidarity with France, the world is silent in Nigeria. 

But the biggest question is, Has Africa mobilized the world stand in solidarity as its people are finished by militants who subscribe to the same ideologies as the Alshababs and Alqaeda terror based belief? It is high time Africa rewrote its narrative on whether it belongs to the unity of nations, or it is a different planet all together. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I support the Abolishment of Ranking in National Exams

I am in full support by the Ministry of Education for abolishing the ranking of students in the KCPE exams. You can not rank a school in Nyamtiro, Modogashe, Lamu, Kolongolo at the same competitive level and standards as the Sunshine's and Alliances of this country. What we should be breeding is all rounded Kenyans with high value system based on character and ability to resolve many of the pressing challenges our society faces today. 

There has always been a problem in our education system where teachers work hard to ensure their students pass exams as the main goal of education. The students on the other hand cram and memorize a few concepts to ensure they perform better. 

There has never been emphasis on producing young people who are able to understand the dynamics of changing systems. Furthermore, there is no proven evidence of students who scored highly in private schools maintaining the same performance when they end up in University.

It is equally wrong to condemn the average performers as failures who do not deserve a place in our universities.

As a country we should level the playing field to also accord students with technical abilities who never had a chance to score an A to ascend and achieve university education. Indeed if we strive to make university education accessible to all, we will be breeding a society of thinkers and problem solvers. Many of the livelihood, governance among other problems our country faces today would be a thing of the past.

Season's greetings all.