Six East African startup entrepreneurs were chosen from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda will receive $20,000 each from MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowships program.
The one-year MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program supports social entrepreneurs to bring poverty-alleviating products to market at scale.
Also, the program aims to help the entrepreneurs to reduce risk and position their ventures for investment, partnership, and growth.
Quoting the manager of the fellowship Jona Repishti:
“We are excited to work with a vibrant cohort of East African entrepreneurs whose expertise is grounded in their lived reality”.
“Working with local founders has certain advantages as they reflect the demographics of the markets they serve; their lived experience helps them identify unique, scalable, market-based solutions overlooked by outsiders.
Repishti who noted that as individuals and as a cohort, these selected fellows have great change potential for their regional ecosystems further stressed that by bringing them into the broader MIT community; the program hopes to advance not only their ventures but also the company’s approach to social entrepreneurship.
Launched in 2012, the D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship was launched in 2012 and has supported 39 fellows working on four continents in sectors including agriculture, energy, water, health care, housing, mobility, recycling, education, and personal finance.
However, at the close of last year’s cycle, Scale-Ups fellows had raised $11.1 million in funding, generated $10.2 million in revenue, and created over 700 direct and 6,700 indirect full-time equivalent jobs. In addition, it reached 1.5 million people living in low-income settings with their product and service offerings.
Repishti explained that the company’s entrepreneurs guide and provide the support that is tailored to address their pain points, delivered fast, and focused on the essentials.