Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s blog. See the original post here.
This week, I will join President Obama in Nairobi, Kenya, for the sixth-annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit. GES 2015 will shine a spotlight on the extraordinary potential of entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.
Five of the world’s 10-fastest growing economies are African. Innovation hubs have sprung up in Nairobi, Cape Town, and Lagos. A new generation of upstart entrepreneurs has formed tightly knit communities committed to creating African-based solutions to the region’s challenges.
Today, Nairobi is the site of major African headquarters for Google, Microsoft and IBM and has earned itself the nickname “Silicone Savannah” for the innovative ecosystem that has taken root. But the region still faces obstacles. Limited banking options make it difficult for entrepreneurs to access affordable capital. Societal barriers make it difficult for young and female entrepreneurs to access investors.