Business

Budding entrepreneurs’ to benefit from Mara Bootcamp

An entrepreneurs’ mentorship programme is slated for December 18 to 21 at the Masai Mara, as a follow up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Nairobi in July this year.

The Entrepreneurs Boot Camp (EBC) and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Kenya will host the programme with the theme ‘2015 Mara Accelerator Boot Camp’. 

Shades Systems CEO Eric Kinoti says the event will gather change-makers and visionaries in business, largely driven by epic ideas to impact the world. “I am an entrepreneur and a knowledge philanthropist where I use my success to mentor and help fellow entrepreneurs grow,” he tells Weekend Business.

Mr Kinoti has been listed in Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 and Forbes Top 30 under 30 and voted the most influential SME personality at the SOMA awards. He says during last year’s edition of the boot camp, participants got a chance to pitch to investors in a session dubbed as the Eagles Nest.

Mr Edward Kinyanjui of Plexus Energy Limited, a renewable energy company, received Sh35,650,000 in funding from Mr Tonee Ndung’u. Some Sh16,650,000 for a 45 per cent stake in the business and Sh19,000,000 as a 5-year loan to clear outstanding debts. Mr Kinyanjui had also received an offer of Sh31,500,000 from Mr Vusi Thembekwayo for a 65 per cent stake in his business that would reduce to 30 per cent if he paid back in 36 months.

The inaugural event also at the Masai Mara had over 350 entrepreneurs. The participants included C-Level executives, mid-level managers, start-up founders, consultants and university students. Some 8 countries in Africa and Asia were represented including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Japan, Guinea, Botswana, Burundi and Nigeria.

“Some 12 investment groups (chamas) were formed by the participants. The groups have been meeting regularly and interact on a daily basis through WhatsApp group chats. It is estimated that over Sh600,000 will be raised monthly through contributions within the investment groups. Most participants did not know each other before, but they are now friends and investing together,” says Kinoti.

He says while most Kenyans harbour dreams of running a business at one point in their lives, they have no idea where or how to start. “With no degree, coming from a rural area and with no connections in the city to kick start me, my journey was bumpy. That is why I am inspired to help fellow Kenyans start somewhere,” he adds.

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