In April 2017, the IDP Foundation (IDPF) became a founding partner of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (HEA).

HEA is a network of highly educated young African entrepreneurs who have created high-impact social and business ventures across Africa. Hundreds of Harambeans have transformed retail, agriculture, technology, and other sectors in their countries – they are on the front lines of generating the exponential growth underway in many African economies.

Last week, we hosted the Dreams at Scale Convivium as one of the mechanisms of our partnership with Harambe. The Convivium provided the opportunity for two outstanding Harambean social entrepreneurs to share their entrepreneurship story and to be introduced to potential investors in hopes to recruit collaborators to help scale their ventures.

After a thorough interview process of over a dozen applicants, we chose two Harambeans to participate in the Dreams at Scale event, Mr. Eric Muli of Odyssey Capital and Ms. Naadiya Moosajee of WomEng. Odyssey Capital is a consumer finance organization leveraging financial inclusion by allowing people to pay for otherwise unaffordable smart devices in affordable, monthly installments. Incorporated in 2015, Odyssey Capital’s goal is to grant internet access to 250,000 Kenyans by the year 2022. The company’s core product, Lipa Later, targets the 18 million Kenyans who lack regular access to internet and are principally barred from accessing financial services.

Harambeans are on the front lines of generating the exponential growth underway in many African economies.

WomEng is a multi-award winning enterprise developing the next generation of women engineers as high skilled talent for the engineering and technology industry. Established in 2015, WomEng aims to attract, develop and retain the pipeline of women engineering leaders through a series of robust programming & interventions at every stage of the pipeline. WomEng has already made a huge impact through things like increasing the number of women in male dominated sectors and developing strong pipelines of female talent.

Despite it being a stormy evening in Chicago, we had a great turnout at the event. Both entrepreneurs had a chance to forge important connections that will support them at this crucial junction of strengthening their businesses. We look forward to seeing how Eric and Naadiya will scale their ventures and further their social impact to meet the needs of the populations they serve!

President and CEO Irene Pritzker receiving a Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Pin
President and CEO Irene Pritzker receiving a Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Pin

We are confident that the partnership between the IDP Foundation and the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance truly demonstrates how international collaboration and committed investment can create social impact. Together we can create real societal change to some of the world’s most pressing issues.

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