Endeavor Kenya, a non-profit organization, actively fosters the growth of high-impact entrepreneurs in East Africa through its pioneering ScaleUp Program. This initiative, tailored for high-growth founders, aims to propel selected ventures forward by offering an extensive support system that includes valuable networks and essential resources, all with the aim of accelerating their success.

Maryanne Ochola, the Managing Director of Endeavor Kenya, underscored the importance of scaling high-growth companies in our local ecosystem. The ScaleUp Program, a 28-month initiative, commits to imparting ten East African entrepreneurs with the proven Endeavor ScaleUp methodology: a process that incorporates expert mentorship, immersive business development training, and fundraising support—all while integrating them into a dynamic peer network comprised exclusively of accomplished entrepreneurs who have skillfully guided their businesses to success.

Underscoring the program’s global expertise and curated services, Ms. Ochola offers ambitious local founders a unique opportunity to accelerate their journey towards scalability. The Endeavor Kenya network sets its sights on creating a ripple effect: experienced founders contribute not only to their own success but also facilitate growth for the next generation of entrepreneurs. This personalized support—by extending successful founder impacts beyond individual achievements—strives towards further enrichment of the broader startup ecosystem.

To qualify for the inaugural Cohort, early-stage businesses must satisfy specific criteria: they need a base in East Africa; their business model should be tech-based or tech-enabled. Furthermore, demonstrating viability through possession of an attractive product is necessary—and this product should yield a minimum annual recurring revenue of $500,000. The stipulations continue: at least 50% year-on-year growth must also be demonstrated, and either job creation or responsible financial services provided on a large scale are required as contributions.

Ms. Ochola envisions the ten startups selected for the ScaleUp program accelerating their business growth and ultimately joining the next cohort of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. The program expects participating businesses—from seed to pre-series A or series A to series B stages—to experience significant expansion.

Ms. Ochola underscored the pivotal role a select number of high-growth firms play in bolstering productivity within entrepreneurship communities, citing a report from Endeavor Insight: among Nairobi’s software sector, the top 10% entrepreneurial software companies accounted for over 70% job creation.

Believing in the transformative power of High-Impact Entrepreneurs on economies, Endeavor aspires to globally cultivate thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems—particularly in emerging and underserved markets. With a focus on inspiring founders to dream bigger, supporting their growth through investments, and providing an influential platform for them to ‘pay it forward,’ the organization seeks not only amplification but also substantial impact within the landscape of entrepreneurship.