US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations compound in Nairobi July 25, 2015
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations compound in Nairobi July 25, 2015
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations compound in Nairobi July 25, 2015

The US will put up three women entrepreneurship centres in Kenya, Mali and Zambia, US President Barack Obama has said.

Obama said the three countries will benefit from a Sh101 billion fund in women’s support.

“If more global capital could see beyond prejudicial blinders, the great progress of the last 10 years could harness potential. It is time we changed the narrative about Africa,” he said.

“If half of your team is not playing, you have a problem. In many countries, half of the the team is women and youth”.

He spoke on Saturday morning during the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the UN headquarters in Gigiri, which he is co-hosting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Obama said it is great when governments feel obliged to support start-ups in the entrepreneurial world, adding that the world has to invest in human capital.

“This is a neglected market, the US government policy can help but it is all about exposure. Do not be distracted by some of the stereotypes being promoted about Africa, come and invest and partner,” he said.

He said governments should facilitate, as opposed to being parasitic to the entrepreneurial spirit, and that they should practice what they preach.

“Entrepreneurship is tough, you face many challenges along the way; access to capital, getting mentorship. I am proud of what Kenya has done so far. I urge more global leaders to come to Kenya, Africa,” he said.

He said Kenya needs to be the hub for the world, not just Africa.

Obama lauded governments that recognise and use technology saying this steers innovation.

He said the young people he has seen starting their own businesses in nations he has visited, indicate that they can compete on the global platform.

“Imagine what would happen if more global leaders came into Kenya,” he said, adding that great things are expected of young entrepreneurs.

‘It is even more encouraging President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged his support. We are surrounded by entrepreneurs from over 120 countries,” he noted.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am the founder of M-ASCA (Mobile Accumulating Savings and Credit in Kenya) an indiscriminate mobile phone based Accumulating Savings and Credit Association (ASCA) registered as a Community Based Organization (CBO) under the Ministry of Labor and social Services whose aim is to bring community members together in order to improve their livelihoods. Using the M-ASCA mobile money USSD platform it targets every adult Kenyan irrespective of their background (youths, small scale business people, women, employees in private institutions, unemployed etc) excluded from formal financial services and in need of credit facilities who end up turning to exploitative alternatives to enable them access lump sum credit for business start-up’s, School fees payments, asset purchase or any other viable need. M-ASCA is a pure electronic system that enables members to register to the association, save, apply for loans, request guarantors and get guaranteed on phone, get disbursements on M-ASCA phone based accounts, check balances and exit from the association among other functionalities. A pure electronic process allows people with irregular incomes to submit small amounts little by little; it also provides access to marginalized populations nurturing a saving culture as well as well as ensuring financial inclusion. It fosters transparency and streamlines the informal sector bedevilled by Management challenges (FSD, 2009). We are currently piloting the product, we exhibited at the Pre Global entrepreneurship forum at the KICC in Kenya under ICTA and would like partners to help us accelerate the product. How do we get assistance from the women entrepreneurship funds

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