- Bech-Bruun News
- 10 December 2012
Entrepreneurship in Kenya
Two Bech-Bruun partners have just returned from Kenya after assisting and coaching Kenyan entrepreneurs and their start-up undertakings in building up viable business.
Traditional humanitarian aid versus self-help humanitarian aid is a well-known discussion. Kresten Buch, the founder of 88mph, a social platform whose purpose is to establish contact between Kenyan entrepreneurs and mentors from around the world, is convinced that the best way to achieve viable development is by passing on expertise and skills. At his and Quartz+co’s initiatives, a number of Danish specialists and corporate executives from Bech-Bruun, Quartz+Co, BDO, Novo Nordisk, Grundfos, COOP and Lego therefore visited Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to do what they all do best: offering their advisory services to businesses and helping them meet the challenges they are facing.
In Kenya, as in several other countries in this region, the number of businesses set up by young Africans is growing rapidly, thriving on the young entrepreneurs’ strong optimism for the future and the prospects offered by mobile technology in particular.
The eight Kenyan entrepreneurs participating in the project all based their start-up businesses on the mobile technology. All the entrepreneurial ideas were promising and visionary, but the businesses were still in their very early stages and needed capital to develop their products and to determine and prioritise their individual challenges. For new businesses to survive in Kenya’s highly competitive market, it is vital that they take up these challenges right from the start.
From day one, all the participating mentors committed themselves fully to the task in Kenya (not to mention their thorough preparation in advance), gaining in-depth knowledge of each of the new businesses. Combining this knowledge with mentee/mentor dialogues and individual coaching of the founders/owners, the mentors managed to fine-tune the business models, prepare persuasive investor presentations and focus efforts and attention on priority areas.
Bech-Bruun has had its focus on CSR policy for several years by doing what we do best, that is, helping businesses and organisations in meeting and taking up challenges. This long-standing focus includes our development work in Africa, for instance our five-year partnership with Save the Children, which has resulted in the construction of two new schools and improved education prospects for children.
The Bech-Bruun partners Thomas Gjøl-Trønning and Simon Milthers hope to return to Kenya next year. They are both convinced now that even a small amount of self-help aid will put Africa well on its way to viable development.