The Digital Transformation Centre (DTC) Kenya was set up to improve the country’s preconditions for a digital transition towards a sustainable digital economy. Hereby the DTC capitalises on the existing innovation ecosystem, seeking to strengthen it, while also looking at the wider societal impact of digital technologies. This part of the GIZ project seeks to improve the structural capacities of intermediaries of the digital and innovation ecosystem to strengthen digital and entrepreneurial skills of SMEs and start-ups. Intermediaries are hereby defined as technology and innovation hubs, entrepreneurship and SME support organizations (ESO), support institutions of universities, research and technology organisations, as well as start-up and SME associations. The project foresees a twofold approach:
a) Digital skills development, access to finance and start-up promotion:
- Intermediaries of the digital and innovation ecosystem are important actors when it comes to bringing digital know-how into start-up communities, strengthening access to investors and start-up promotion. They understand the underlying businesses of their communities and – through their wide client base – have broad experience in what works particularly well (and what doesn’t) for different kinds of SMEs and start-ups. Hence, the first approach of the project targets intermediaries that are providing support services to SMEs and start-ups in Kenya.
- For the implementation of the approach, the DTC has entered into a strategic partnership with the Association of Start-up and SME Enablers Kenya (ASSEK) which brings together and represent the interests of over 40 ESOs supporting the development and growth of start-ups and SMEs in the country.
b) Kenyan Digital Innovation Hub to help SMEs digitize:
- The second approach of the project seeks to improve the digital transformation of local SMEs’ by supporting the establishment of a Kenyan Digital Innovation Hub3 as part of the African-European Innovation Bridge (AEDIB). Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) are one-stop shops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and mid-caps within a specific sector that wish to become more competitive with regard to their business and production processes as well as products and services using digital and innovative technologies. Given the nature of the Kenyan business land-scape the Kenya DIH shall also cover micro enterprises, hence MSME.
- With the African-European Digital Innovation Bridge (AEDIB), EU Member States and the European Commission plan to establish a Pan-African Network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). This network is aimed at encouraging joint ventures between Africa and Europe and provide technical, digital and innovation expertise and experimentation for small and mid-size enterprises. The Kenyan DIH shall therefore also serve as a vehicle to connect the Kenyan manufacturing industry to the African and European DIH network.
- Support ESOs in assisting start-ups throughout their innovation cycle
- Draft together with ASSEK an operational plan for the strengthening of the association and its members when it comes to supporting start-ups throughout their innovation cycle, e.g., in the areas of legal skills, negotiating skills for women, crisis response strategies, market orientation, access to investor or the digitization of their services
- Implement the operational plan either through direct assistance to ASSEK and its members or by setting up local subsidies for ASSEK members
- Support the selection of ASSEK members qualifying for local subsidies and assist them in developing local subsidy proposals aimed at supporting start-ups throughout their innovation cycle
- Accompany and monitor progress and implementation of the local subsidies
- Pilot the supported in close cooperation with ASSEK (members)
- Report towards team lead with regards to the achievement of the milestones responsible for
- Education/training: Master’s degree or a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of 5 years in the field of business, economy, innovation management
- Languages: English C2, and Swahili C2
- General professional experience: 8 years of professional experience in the field of business development, entrepreneurship promotion, innovation, digitalization and in strengthening digital skills development
- Specific professional experience: 5 years of professional experience in start-up promotion, access to finance, capacity development for ESOs and local subsidy management
- 1 year of experience working on DC projects
Dagmar Roehr email@example.com
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