The next three years will see Startups and SMEs focusing on ICT receive funding from the Dutch government, following a new agreement with Kenya’s Ministry of ICT through the ICT Authority (ICTA) that is mandated to promote ICT services, both locally and abroad.
Through the new partnership, the Netherlands government has pledged a total of 1.2 Million Dollars (about KSh115 Million) that will be used to support 33 beneficiaries in the country, with the fund being spread out in the three years period.
The 33 startups and SMEs were successfully selected from a pool of applications sent for consideration in November, last year and they are set to receive various benefits in addition to the funding, including market links in B2B matchmaking events across Europe and Africa as well as media promotions.
This new development is in line with the ICT Masterplan 2017 and is expected to contribute largely in its implementation, as it will help facilitate for the creation of larger markets for Kenya’s ICT services by providing training and advice on export marketing as well as finance.
The project is also expected to aid in creating jobs, building the capacity of youth and women as well as increasing exports from Kenyan companies, according to Joseph Tiampati the Permanent secretary in the Ministry of ICT.
To be implemented by the ICT Authority, the project dubbed Netherlands Trust Fund Phase III or NTF III for short is also set to benefit the Kenyan IT and Outsourcing Society (KITOS).
Kenya’s widely celebrated mobile payment system M-Pesa, launched in 2007, has labeled the country East-Arica’s Silicon Savannah and ICT hub, outshining other African countries. Bound and influenced by this fact, Mike Macharia, KITOS chairman says Kenya is committed to expand its global IT outsourcing market.
Just this week, Centum Investments Limited launched invitations for startups and small businesses to apply for consideration in funding and business incubation through the Centum Foundation that was set up to specifically provide support for growing ideas.
Also through the program dubbed ‘The next big thing’, invitations have been extended to Kenyans so as they can share ideas on innovative solutions that are expected to disrupt the current economy, by providing better and easier ways to solve problems in the society as well as improve lives.
This trend focusing on the startup scene in the country is expected to grow even bigger, as more investors and corporations continue to pledge support for the promising Kenyan market.