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Kenya:  Safaricom, Sumitomo launch support platform for start-ups

Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp have created a platform for supporting start-up companies.

While African economies, such as Kenya, were once viewed as promising frontiers for startups, particularly in the technology sector, entrepreneurs encountered challenges related to insufficient funding and the need for effective market strategies.

“Studies show that entrepreneurs in Kenya face major challenges, with a 30% lifetime survival rate for startups,” Safaricom said in a statement.

Both companies, along with M-Pesa Africa, have collaborated in a venture known as the Spark Accelerator. M-Pesa Africa is responsible for overseeing Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile financial services platform.

M-Pesa, a mobile financial service enabling users to send and receive money, make payments, save, and access small loans through their phones, boasts 60 million individual users and serves 3 million businesses across the continent.

Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, the managing director of M-Pesa Africa said “We trust this acceleration program will enable startups to create value within this ecosystem,”.

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