Business leaders and entrepreneurs have expressed optimism that the global media coverage in Kenya before, during and after the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2015 will provide a timely platform to market Kenya as an entrepreneurship hub and an investment destination.
According to Reece Jenkins, partner at Ernest & Young (E&Y) and Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 will go a long way in raising Kenya’s profile. He said
“Post GES 2015, we will see a higher profile and more teaming between the US mission and the American Chamber of Commerce in the business community and greater participation in the business to government dialogue regarding the improving environment for increasing foreign investment.”
The positive international press coverage around this event, Jenkins said, will be integral in communicating to Kenyans the benefits arising from investments the government is making to improve the business environment in terms of highly skilled jobs, health care, infrastructure and education.
This will be a moment for both local and international media to show to the rest of the global business community who are not be familiar with the region, the positive trends occurring here and reasons to consider further the opportunities here in our market.
“I expect that GES 2015 will raise awareness of the robust presence of US companies already operating in Kenya and the contribution they are making to the East African economy and skilled job growth in the region.”
Optiven Ltd Chief Executive Office George Wachiuri says that the media coverage will awaken millions of Kenyans in Diaspora to invest back home.
“I just came back to Kenya from Boston Massachusetts. I also did investments talks in Dallas, Texas and we saw a high level appetite on Kenyans wanting to invest back home and many did through purchase of Optiven Ltd Properties. This means that the awareness created is driving the desire within Kenyans in America to invest back home,” said Wachiuri.
The Sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Wachiuri says, will put our country on the global map with the global media coverage and bring forth visibility which will in turn bring credibility, and profitability.
He revealed that so far he has received several investors and American firms seeking partnerships.
“We have already received several requests to partner with American firms though equity funding and joint ventures,” said Wachiuri.
After the summit, Wachiuri says, Kenyan entrepreneurs must be ready to open up discussions on possible partnership, joint ventures and possible value addition on global companies streaming to Kenya.
“Some of the American businessmen have expressed interest in Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) project that runs in trillions of shillings. This will open job opportunities to many students that are completing their university education,” he said.
“We also expect the inflow of foreigners to stream in Kenya. This has already started with billions being invested in real estate, great malls coming up such as Two Rivers, Karen Mall & Garden Estate. We are yet to see more in the near future.”