Zuhura Africa, a women-led organisation has opened its doors to Africa’s youth. It is a social impact community where innovation, entrepreneurship and technology flourish. Zuhura supports the boldest early-stage innovators & entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business, through social innovation boot camps.
Based in Nairobi, the organization focuses on championing the youth agenda due to the high number of people living in Africa between the age of 15 and 24 making the continent the youngest population in the world with upward of 200 million people in that age bracket.
With current figures showcasing the number will double by 2045, according to the 2012 African Economic Outlook by African Development Bank (AfDB), UNDP, among others. There is a need to support the youth. With high unemployment rates in the continent, Zuhura Africa is providing them with tools to create businesses for sustainable development and help them make employment for themselves and others.
Zuhura Africa, Hub Manager, Muriel Akiko notes, “Despite Being a young women-led organization, at Zuhura Africa, we understand the challenges facing Africa’s youth, for this reason, we are champions for promoting both entrepreneurship, business scale-up and innovation to support Africa’s youth as a whole.”
Since its inception, Zuhura has had programs such as Africa Basque Challenge (ABC), an entrepreneurship experience where young people from different countries co-create social enterprises addressing challenges affecting their communities.
The program started in November 2018 and February 2019 and involved 48 innovators from Kenya, Somalia and the Basque region (autonomous community of Spain). The Bootcamp entailed six days in Kenya and a week in the Basque Region.
The challenge encouraged young people to co-create and transform the ideas into businesses. At the end of the boot camp, 11 companies were created by multi-disciplinary teams.
The teams pitched their project ideas to potential investors and the winning teams were awarded 15,000 euros. They are currently running the third edition which will focus on Kenya & Senegal youth.
They have also partnered with UNICEF in their global program, UPSHIFT which helps youth in technology and innovation, by digitizing the program for the Kenyan youth.
The program began in October and will conclude in Feb 2022, where the selected project team shall receive seed funding and also the remaining teams will be guided on how to get funding from government & private investors who believe in their cause.