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‘Clean’ techpreneurs to benefit from crowdfunding support

Crowd-funding is the practice of funding a
Crowd-funding is the practice of funding a project by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people through an online platform. PHOTO | FILE 

East African entrepreneurs keen on clean-tech ventures are set to benefit from a crowd-funding support programme unveiled by the World Bank.

The support programme has already seen six entrepreneurs design, develop and launch online crowd funding campaigns in its pilot phase.

Crowd-funding is the practice of funding a project by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people through an online platform.

“By helping entrepreneurs connect with a global pool of investors, crowd-funding may represent a new tool that can address a funding problem faced by many local green ventures” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director Kenya in a statement today.

He noted that developing a clean technology sector will be instrumental in reducing carbon emissions and boosting resilience to climate change.

In an effort to help Kenyan entrepreneurs tap into the crowd-funding market, the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) - an initiative of the World Bank- with the technical support of Crowd-fund Capital Advisors (CCA) ) has developed a set of advisory services for the lot.

The set of advisory services are specifically designed to help local green ventures conduct effective crowd-funding campaigns and utilise the full range of crowd-funding platforms focused on African projects.

“Despite the growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises interested in crowd-funding in emerging markets, information and data on the topic is scarce and difficult to find,” said Edward Mungai, CEO of the Kenya CIC.

According to a World Bank/infoDev study, the market could reach up to US$96 billion (Sh8.7 trillion) per year by 2025.

Results from the study also show that from an income perspective the number of households in developing economies that could participate in crowd-funding ranges from 240 million to 344 million.

To roll out the program, the Kenya CIC held a national pitching competition last August to select a first pool of local ventures that had 'crowd-funding potential'.

The six winning companies - Wanda Organic, Global Supply Solutions, iCoal Concepts, Skynotch Energy Africa, Develatech, and the Human Needs Project- have received four months of mentorship and training to design and test their crowd-funding strategies.

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