On the 15th March, over 150 delegates including local and international investors and entrepreneurs, NGOS and development organisations gathered in Nairobi to connect, discuss and learn about the impact investing ecosystem in East Africa and the work of TBN. TBN hosted a day of engaging and interactive panel discussions, speeches and workshops leaving its audience challenged and inspired.

The audience was made up of a diverse range of businesses of various sizes, some coming just to learn and some looking for investment, some who had been through the highly commended TBN accelerator programme and some with no previous connection to the TBN community. Local and international investors came to learn more about the investment opportunities in Kenya and relationships were forged and the first steps were taken on the way to investment.

 

TBN International CEO, Reuben Coulter spoke passionately about the power of the network to tackle poverty. He shared the importance of the work that TBN is doing in supporting SMEs to grow and scale. 84% of SMEs are unserved or underserved and TBN bridges the gap between the investor and the entrepreneur, developing a community of local investors and catalyzing alternative types of investment suited to entrepreneur needs. He challenged the room to think about the Kenya that they want to leave to their children and to take action and join the movement.

 

Keynote speaker, Linus Gitathi gave the audience insights from the lessons learned on his leadership journey. He challenged the room on the importance of discipline, getting the right people on board, taking your own responsibility for growth, getting the right shareholders, engaging with politics well, being good corporate citizens, having a good culture of integrity ad transparency and finishing well.

 

The two panel workshops, hosted by the charismatic Victoria Rubadiri, showcased the TBN entrepreneurs who spoke openly and candidly about their experiences in business in East Africa and the impact that the accelerator programme had on their businesses. The second panel discussion consisted of high profile investors including Dr. Kim Tan, founder of TBN, Madleine Njuguna from Standard Chartered; Nelson Kuria from SMEP Bank; Rebecca Mincy from Acumen Fund and Rishi Khubchandani from Grofin. They engaged in a frank discussion on matters affecting investors such as the tensions between investment in western versus local entrepreneurs in the East African market, the challenges in getting investor funding and unrealistic entrepreneur expectations.

 

During the afternoon, delegates shared with each other and inspired one another in workshops based on health, women in business, agriculture and NGOs in business. Ideas were presented and relationships were developed throughout the day with practical solutions suggested to some of the challenges within the various fields. 

 

The Transformational Business Network is a global movement which transforms business culture, accelerates purpose-driven entrepreneurs and mobilizes impact investment. We support entrepreneurs to reach their full potential through our accelerator program, our values based community and through our network of international and local impact investors.