Kenya has 2 cities in the top 1000 and is one of Eastern Africa’s best countries for setting up a startup.
Kenya’s startup scene remains stable in 2023 on the 62nd position, having kept 2 cities in the global top 1000.
One of the most advanced economies in Africa, Kenya has become an innovative tech hub, especially for mobile payment solutions. Kenya’s pioneering status as a leading continental ecosystem is even more impressive considering the relatively low population compared to countries such as Nigeria.
A popular and original initiative in Africa’s fintech industry was the launch of M-pesa, a mobile banking solution that allows people to send and receive money through their phone. With access to a mature economy and a growing culture of entrepreneurship, Kenya offers a strong English speaking point of access to the African market. In terms of attracting funding for startups, Kenya, along with Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa, have historically been top destinations for Africa’s investors. Some recent examples include M-Kopa, raising US$ 75 million in 2022 to expand to other regional markets while Wasoko, a tech startup, is a contender to become Kenya’s first unicorn.
Kenya’s public sector has been involved in startup ecosystem development since the 2013 launch of Konza Technopolis, a tech hub built outside of Nairobi. The Kenyan Startup Act is a framework that encourages a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through incentives for startups and incubators. Another recent public sector initiative is the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) policy which aims to formalize micro and small-sized enterprises while creating a business-friendly environment for them.
Besides public sector efforts, Nairobi is home to global tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Intel, which makes the city more attractive to tech startups. Also, the presence of accelerators like Antler and Pangea Accelerator, contributes to the startup culture. With Kenya’s population of just over 50 million, it will not be able to create a critical mass of unicorns from within its local market and must have a regional or global focus in order to grow. Some challenges in the ecosystem include a small number of mentorship programs and limited access to markets.
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Kenya is ranked within the top 100 startup ecosystems globally.
Kenya’s startup scene is best represented in Energy & Environment, Foodtech, and in and Transportation.
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On our map, you can explore a total of 44 startups for Energy & Environment.
In Eastern Africa, Kenya's Foodtech is in top 38. Kenya has a concentration of about 40 of the region's total Foodtech startups that are represented on our map.
Kenya's Transportation is ranked 46th in the world. Our database contains 18 for this industry.
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