Africa’s Impact Entrepreneurs Driving Change and Innovation

2015 YALI Entrepreneurship Award Winners. USADF supports African entrepreneurs who are solving problems in their communities with innovative business models..

2015 YALI Entrepreneurship Award Winners. USADF supports African entrepreneurs who are solving problems in their communities with innovative business models..

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) believes in African entrepreneurs who are helping to write Africa’s development story. These leaders are putting ideas into action, tackling challenges, and finding solutions for their communities with innovative ideas. Start-ups have been key to Africa’s economic future, and USADF is committed to providing the seed capital and technical support to growing enterprises.


This week, President Obama will host the seventh annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, June 22-24, 2016. GES is a reflection of the U.S. government’s commitment to utilize entrepreneurship as a foundational tool to build more economically prosperous, secure, and globally connected communities around the world.

Similarly, USADF provides working capital and technical expertise to growing African businesses year-round, bringing together investors and promising African entrepreneurs across the continent. These young men and women are creating jobs, innovating to solve problems, and catalyzing new economic opportunities in Africa.


Take Daisy Muthamia, for example. Daisy is a 2015 YALI entrepreneur and a co-founder of Strauss Energy. With $25K in seed capital from USADF, Daisy is working to develop a solar roofing tile to power electricity in Murang’a Country in central Kenya at Gaitheri Secondary School. This locally designed and produced tile will generate energy for a classroom, allowing students more time to study and the school to engage students in computer and technology studies. With fifteen powered computers and projectors, students at Gaitheri School will be computer-literate and keep up with fast-paced technology in the 21st century.


Social entrepreneurs are a key lever for catalyzing economic development and creating a market where there often is none. They provide small scale assistance and vision for promising social and transformative projects that empower communities towards resilience and local ownership. For example, Andrew Amara is an urban planner and the founder of Town Build, an affordable housing solution for peri-urban populations in Uganda.  Andrew leveraged a $25K YALI Entrepreneurship grant to build a prototype of a sustainable, affordable, and progressive house for low-income families around Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. With a successful prototype in place, Andrew is now working to scale and expand his affordable housing projects to urban poor across Uganda.


USADF is committed to unlocking the potential of entrepreneurship and local enterprises to encourage economic growth – creating a sustainable approach to development with potential to achieve lasting impact. USADF prides itself on these partnerships, investing over $2M in young leaders across 26 countries and 10 sectors, and $5 million dollars to 50 African energy entrepreneurs in the Power Africa Off-Grid Challenge. 


This year’s GES will focus on innovations that exist all over the world, not just in urban areas. People are using technology to solve big problems that exist across the whole country and globe, from healthcare to energy, to transportation and food security. USADF supports African entrepreneurs, and their future, like that of the African continent, is promising.


For more information on the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, visit www.GES2016.org.