__”Let’s get the show on the road!”
This Friday in Nairobi is finally the big day! Yes, they’re almost in the elevator… For over a year now, I’ve been talking about choosing two entrepreneurs (one woman and one man) to come work along side me and our #Kwesé team for two weeks in our Johannesburg offices, and also win a $100,000 USD investment in their for-profit or not-for-profit ventures.
As I write today, 11 of our finalist Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz entrepreneurs — from DRC (1), Ghana (1), Rwanda (1) Nigeria (5), South Africa (1) and Zimbabwe (2) are (almost) at the airport to board their flights to Nairobi. Our one finalist from Kenya won’t need to travel too far to get to “Nairobi Garage” where the coaching and networking will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. The Grand Finale pitching contest at Strathmore University Main Auditorium will start on Friday afternoon. Wow!
But that’s not all! Friday afternoon gets even BETTER. I am honoured to share that the Pathways for Prosperity Commission for Technology and Inclusive Growth (that I told you about last September) will be in Nairobi to officially launch its work this week. Part of the inaugural activities will include hosting our first 2018 town hall, along with partners, Kwesé Inc and Liquid Telecom.
I’ll be attending the Pathways meetings this week in Nairobi as one of the co-chairs, along with Melinda Gates (co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Hon. Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Minister of Finance in Indonesia). Now some of you may wonder why we decided to partner with the Pathways Commission on this town hall. It’s all captured in one very important mission we share… the one thing I told you keeps me up at night:
__As new technologies rapidly change the way all of us live and work, how can we (the private sector, governments, and entrepreneurs) create jobs?
Although not all our Kwesé Inc #GoGettaz finalist ventures are tech products and services, what’s important is that these 12 entrepreneurs have begun using these tools to create economic opportunity in their own communities. That is why we call them #GoGettaz!
Two amazing Pathways Commissioners — Shivani Siroya (founder and CEO of Tala) and Kamal Bhattacharya (Chief Innovation Officer of Safaricom) — will join me at the Tech and Entrepreneurship Town Hall which promises to be an excellent start to the cutting-edge dialogue the Commission plans for two years throughout the developing world and at Oxford University in the UK where it’s based.
__They really want to hear new voices and new ideas from people like you, so be sure to be there, send a comment, or tune in online.
Now I’m also really looking forward to meeting the 12 finalists who worked so hard since last August to get to this final pitching stage. In case you’re new to this page, the competition #Process included:
# Completing a series of four quizzes that included questions about Kwesé and lessons from my posts.
# Submitting written information about their for-profit or not-for-profit ventures.
# Preparing 2-3 minute video pitches to be voted on by people on this Facebook platform and beyond. (Thank you for taking part).
# Driving votes for their video pitches through social media – resulting in the videos being shared tens of millions of times up until 30 November. Wow! It was amazing!
__Will you be in Nairobi to watch two of your peers on this Facebook platform win $100,000 on Friday?
If so, please join us at Strathmore University to take part in this exciting afternoon. Hurry though, because seating is limited and on a first-come, first serve basis. Please register at bit.ly/Nairobi_Townhall if you want to attend. Both events are FREE.
If you can’t make it on Friday, please join us online as usual on my Facebook LiveStream. (Did you know last year our Africa and Entrepreneurship Town Halls reached almost 6m Facebook viewers?!)
Now “let’s get this show on the road” as they say. (By the way, Kwesé Inc is going to produce a TV show of the 12 finalists pitches on Friday!) That’s one reason we need you there, on time.
See you in Nairobi.