Susie Kitchens joins discussion with Countrywide Innovation Hubs in Nairobi

Susie Kitchens at Nairobi Innovation Week 2019
Susie Kitchens with Kenyan entrepreneurs during Nairobi Innovation Week. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

On Wednesday, Deputy UK High Commissioner Susie Kitchens joined entrepreneurs from across Kenya as part of Nairobi Innovation Week at a meeting of the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs at Safaricom’s Innovation Centre in Nairobi.

In association with Safaricom Alpha, the mobile operator’s innovation team, Ms Kitchens took part in a meeting discussing how to foster growth and support for innovation hubs working outside Nairobi.

Hubs from Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Voi, Homabay, Ruiru, Nyeri, Machakos, Kisumu, Kakamega, Eldoret, and Nairobi were in attendance.

Susie Kitchens at Nairobi Innovation Week 2019
Susie Kitchens speaks at the meeting of the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs at Safaricom’s Innovation Centre in Nairobi. Photo: Twitter/CountrywideHubs

The British Government has promised to offer to support the ambitions of entrepreneurs in hubs across Kenya and is helping Kenyan innovators at all stages, from bright idea to scaling up their business. As part of this support, they are connected to experts locally and in the UK to help them grow.

Support is offered as part of the Go Global programme, a unique opportunity for start-ups using technology to solve local issues. Companies selected to join the initiative have the opportunity to take part in an exciting and intensive programme in the UK to learn how to build their business to develop global solutions.

Susie Kitchens at Nairobi Innovation Week 2019
The meeting of the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs took place during Nairobi Innovation Week. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

Nasreen Aleey, from Cherehani Africa, one of the companies who successfully pitched to be involved in the 2019 GoGlobal programme, was among the speakers at the meeting. Her company is opening up markets for women and teenage girls in rural Kenya and will be supported by British mentors to help grow the company.

Head of Innovation at Safaricom Alpha, Veronica Ogeto, also told those attending the meeting that giving power to entrepreneurs through the Net Promoter Score (NPS) Programme will allow voting for the best-supporting innovation Hubs, which will provide valuable data for the mobile operator about which Hubs it should support.

Susie Kitchens at Nairobi Innovation Week 2019
Susie Kitchens speaks at the meeting of the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs at Safaricom’s Innovation Centre in Nairobi. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

Florence Kimata from the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Co-operatives said the government was encouraging a unified agenda towards entrepreneurship support and called on the Hubs to collaborate with the government as an enabler to enhance resource availability for growth and impact.

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