Back in 2017, IDP Foundation, Inc. became a founding partner of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance in order to find a way to effectively support the many social enterprises that are working towards hard to tackle global issues.

Because we choose our grantees strategically and provide funding to organizations and programs that have future scalability, replication, and sustainability, Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance was the perfect choice to begin a fruitful partnership.

Harambe is a network of African innovators running social enterprises that are creating positive and scalable change in their communities. They are highly educated individuals with a passion to return to their native African country to start businesses that address pressing social or economic needs. The alliance provides social entrepreneurs with essential resources such as access to training, markets, capital, and support networks. One of our main goals when partnering with Harambe was to support social enterprises that had already raised funds or had some revenue, but have trouble finding more partners and funders to help their businesses scale successfully. So, we decided to use our philanthropic funds to create the Global Access Program (GAP), a year-long program designed to support four Harambean entrepreneurs across four key areas: capital, talent, strategic partnerships, and leadership. 

Anis Kallel of Kaoun, one of the GAP Harambeans
Anis Kallel of Kaoun, one of the GAP Harambeans
Yasmin Kumi of Africa Foresight Group, one of the GAP Harambeans
Yasmin Kumi of Africa Foresight Group, one of the GAP Harambeans

The very first cohort of GAP fellows included Kwami Williams of Moringa Connect, Ugem Eneyo of Shyft Power Solutions, Obinna Okwodu of Fibre, Margaret Nyamumbo of Kahawa 1893, and Adeteyo Bamiduro of Max.ng. These five entrepreneurs finished their year in September and we were so happy to hear that the inaugural class was able to raise more than $8.2m, hire over 100 people, and increase revenues by more than 40%.

After celebrating the success of the GAP I cohort, we welcomed the GAP II fellows. Anis Kallel of Kaoun, Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf Group, Kelechi Ofoegbu of Impact Hub Accra, and Yasmin Kumi of Africa Foresight Group are the next four members of GAP and will be supported throughout the next year to reach targets including things like raising capital, partnering with the World Bank, and hiring new talent.

Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf, one of the GAP Harambeans
Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf, one of the GAP Harambeans
Kelechi Ofoegbu of Impact Hub Accra, one of the GAP Harambeans
Kelechi Ofoegbu of Impact Hub Accra, one of the GAP Harambeans

As a result of the learnings and success of GAP so far, we are so pleased that Harambe has partnered with a new funder, the Oppenheimer Generations, to build and implement a program that will support earlier stage entrepreneurs. Modeled after GAP, the Knowledge Transfer Initiative will help to build the capacity and scale the impact of newer social enterprises. It will also provide a solid pipeline for future GAP cohorts.

It is heartening to see more funders forming partnerships with Harambe and growing this important ecosystem of social entrepreneurs that will surely be influential in creating and implementing solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

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