Sankalp Africa Summit kicks off in Nairobi Kenya. Kasha, from Rwanda, wins the coveted Sankalp Africa Award.

The 4th edition of the annual Sankalp Africa Summit (SAS’17) kicked off yesterday, 23rd February, 2017 at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) right here at the heart of Nairobi, Kenya. The two-day summit hosting over 1,000 participants from 40+ countries from around the world aims to bring the entrepreneurs community together to help solve problems facing them through cutting edge innovation. One of the key themes of this year’s summit is how entrepreneurs can contribute in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Sankalp Forum is one of our largest initiatives and is aimed at bringing the community together to help solve the problems that face us through cutting edge innovation and high potential entrepreneurship. Sankalp today, in its 4th year in Africa has demonstrated the ability to drive action and influence outcomes, we’re very excited to host it once again, along with our partners.”

– Nisha Dutt, CEO Intellecap

The Sankalp Forum, an initiative by Intellecap Advisory, curates an environment where entrepreneurs and investors will network. Some of the key highlights of the summit are enterprise development support for entrepreneurs to raise investment, exclusive networking opportunities with over 1000 global leaders, partnership and collaboration with players across the value chain from investors to corporations and governments and deep sector insights through research and publications.

The Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group announced an equity raising round of $25 million, led by Triodos Investment Management, the investment arm of European lender Triodos Bank, and Shell Foundation. Triodos invested $15 million while Shell Foundation contributed $10 million of the total capital raised. The investment will enable the group to consolidate and expand its bouquet of ecosystem building initiatives/businesses across the globe.

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“Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group believes that key goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) can be met by building entrepreneurial ecosystem that unleash entrepreneurial action toward core challenges around Employment, Health, Energy and Financial Inclusion. For the world and for us Africa remains the continent of hope with a very young population, bountiful resources and incredible talent. We believe Africa along with Asia would provide next wave of entrepreneurs that make substantial contribution in addressing complex challenges of poverty and hunger. Our Partnership with Triodos Investments and Shell Foundation will strengthen our ability to contribute to local ecosystem as we have demonstrated with Intellecap initiative SANKALP. We now extend our engagement with proposed launch of Aavishkaar African fund by 2018-19.”

– Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group

Similar to each year, the Summit recognized high potential entrepreneurs where 10 enterprises competed for the coveted Sankalp Africa Award. Winners from previous years have gone on to raise over $500,000 in investments.

As we had written before, of the 10 enterprises that made it to the finals, 9 were from Kenya. Rwandan-based Kesha is the only enterprise outside Kenya that made it to this year’s final list at the Sankalp summit. The enterprises had an opportunity to showcase their business ideas before a jury at this year’s Sankalp Africa Summit. The 10 enterprises were:

  1. Popote Payments – Kenya

Founded in 2015, Popote Payments operates a platform that enables businesses and individuals make and manage 100 percent of their payables digitally. It processes payments to a variety of endpoints (mobile, paybill, buygoods, bank accounts, debit/credit cards and online gateways), while automatically maintaining expense accounts and P&L with minimal user involvement. It can be used online or via the smartphone application.

  1. iProcure – Kenya
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This is a technology and distribution company leveraging proprietary technology and business practices to lower the cost of agricultural inputs for the small holder farmer. They also provide business intelligence and data-driven stock management across the supply chains.

  1. Student Finance Africa (SFA) – Kenya

Launched in July 2015, Student Finance Africa provides tuition loans for higher education to qualified students and a parent or guardian co-borrower through strategic partnerships with higher learning institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

  1. Soko Watch – Kenya

This is a distribution and e-commerce platform for consumer goods for companies with a simple, consistent, and reliable distribution channel to meet the demands of the informal market. Shops order from Sokowatch via SMS and receive free delivery of their goods within 24 hours.

  1. Ecozoom – Kenya

Established in 2013, EcoZoom manufactures and distributes solar lighting systems and fuel efficient cook stoves that are designed to save people money, improve the health of the household and preserve the environment.

  1. Kasha – Rwanda

Established in Rwanda at the start of August 2016, Kasha confidentially sells and delivers women’s health products such as sanitary pads and contraceptives over a widely accessible mobile platform. The Kasha platform only requires access to a basic mobile phone to order and pay, no internet access or smartphone required.

  1. Internet of Elephants – Kenya, USA

Launched in March 2016, Internet of Elephants is using data captured from GPS sensors on animals in the wild to build online games that engage a worldwide audience with wildlife conservation and generate revenue for their wildlife conservation partners.

  1. Amtech – Kenya
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Launched in February 2007, Amtech Technologies Limited specializes in software development in agricultural, government, financial and hospitality sector delivering customized solution to specific fields.

  1. Indicus – Kenya

Indicus EA Limited is a dairy genetics company that seeks to actualize Africa’s dairy potential through proven genetics. Over the last 6 years, Indicus has pioneered various dairy breeding technologies to improve milk production for smallholder dairy farmers.

  1. Agrimech Africa Limited – Kenya

Registered in May 2014 and launched in September 2015, AAL is a company of companies, using her agricultural mechanization hubs as accessible and dependable sources for the full range of farmpower services by small and medium scale farmers to sustainably increase their land, labour, agroinputs and financial productivity.

This year’s winners of The Sankalp Africa Award are Rwanda’s, Kasha. First runners-up and second runners-up were Kenya’s Popote Payments and Sokowatch respectively. There was also the Investors Choice Award that went to Kenya’s Indicus EA Limited.

Mr. Felix
A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

Mr. Felix

A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

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