Investors hold an Entrepreneurial Finance Seminar in Kenya

A group of investors in partnership with UNISDR held an Entrepreneurial Finance Seminar on 25 October to provide Kenyan entrepreneurs with training on capital formation options in the over-the-counter market in the United States. These options are available to entrepreneurs in East Africa through reverse mergers and PIPEs (Private Investment in Public Equity).

The meeting was part of UNISDR’s effort to strengthen its partnership with the private sector to advocate for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Kiki Lawal, the UNISDR Programme Officer - Business Partnerships and Pedro Basabe, Head, Regional Office for Africa made presentations on UNISDR activities to the participants. Together they encouraged the business community to pursue new enterprise opportunities that contribute to DRR. The UNISDR team also provided participants with material from the Making Cities Resilient Campaign.

The seminar was part of a week-long trade mission to Kenya hosted by Savanna East Africa, a company developing opportunities in Kenya on technology and systems integration services, utility support services, affordable housing and health products manufacturing.

The investors that included the Savanna East Africa, Small Equity Initiative, NewMarket Technology and Greenfield Partnership Program attended the two-day seminar at the Nairobi Serena Hotel and the Kenyatta International Conference Center.

On the second day, the entrepreneurs had an opportunity to pitch their business plans to the private investors interested in investment opportunities in East Africa. Following the seminar, the UNISDR Africa office has received proposals from Kenyan entrepreneurs seeking support from the UN to develop their business ideas.

The trade mission was led by Philip Verges, founder of the Small Equity Initiative and founder and Chairman of NewMarket Technology. Mr. Verges has been working in the public market space for nearly 10 years and is a champion for increasing access to financing for small businesses. Mr. Verges is also acting as the interim CEO of Savanna East Africa, after the untimely passing of the Company’s previous CEO U.S. Major General Hugh G. Robinson. Major General Robinson was the keynote speaker in last year’s seminar in Kenya and spearheaded the start up of Savanna East Africa.

The CEOs of NewMarket Technology, Greenfield partners, China Crescent Enterprises, NuMobile also joined the trade mission delegation along with professionals from the U.S. public investment market.
Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
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