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H abitat for Humanity International, through it’s ShelterTech Accelerator program in Kenya recently hosted a session on the circular economy during the Sankalp Global Summit 2020 held on Friday 6th November 2020. The session sought to gather insights from stakeholders in the sector and innovators in the housing sector building solutions for the circular economy. These innovators contributing to the discussions were; Daniel Luis Paffenholz, CEO and Founder of TakaTaka Solutions, Mtamu Kililo, CEO and Co-Founder of Mycotile and Nzambi Matee, Founder of Gjenge Makers.

Key stakeholders joining the conversation were; Philip Thigo, Advisor to Kenya’s Deputy President and Member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council, Christina Jäger, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Yunnus Environment Hub, Balmoi Abe, A Pan African Winning Social Heritage Architect and Etta Madete, Representative of Architectural Association of Kenya and Architectural Designer at BuildX.


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Image courtesy of DOB Equity

At Pangea, our goal is to provide access to competence, network and capital to African entrepreneurs. We are always on the lookout for amazing founders and co-founders solving some of the continent’s biggest challenges in urbanization. In order to do this, we seek like-minded experts to collaborate and partner with especially impact investors. One of our partner investors is DOB Equity. We had a candid conversation with Maina Murage, Investment Analyst at DOB Equity to understand better what they do and highlight what interesting opportunities they see in the sector.

Tell us a little bit about DOB Equity

DOB Equity Is a Dutch family office that focuses on investments in East Africa. We invest in businesses that positively contribute to a more social and sustainable society and deliver long-term profitability. We work with entrepreneurs to mitigate potential risks related to environmental, social and governance matters, whilst creating value and social impact for the company and its communities. …


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This month at Pangea, we have been running a series on the amazing women who make up the Pangea team. We had a chat with the Chair of The Board of Directors at Pangea Accelerator, Borghild Holen to get her insights on her journey and the interesting lessons and observations she has made over the years. She has always been passionate about business development and has over 33 years of experience in international financing and investments in emerging markets and developing countries.

Tell us a little about your journey and interest in business development and supporting youth and gender?

BH: Early in my career, I worked at the Regional Development Fund (Norwegian) and my experience doing business development inspired and informed me going forward in my career to continue supporting youth. This includes my time at DNB, the largest Norwegian Bank, where I worked most of my career. ( I did not work with startups in DNB, on the contrary, I worked with large corporates and financial…


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Last week, WorkPay Africa joined the list of leading African tech startups to have passed the million dollar mark having raised US$2.1 million in funding. The startup, originally called TozzaPlus, offers a cloud-based human resources management and payroll solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa. Through it’s time tracking and salary disbursement tools, the startup assists African businesses save money and time by eliminating ghost workers from their payroll as well as inefficiencies associated with cash payments. We had a candid conversation with Paul Kimani, CEO at WorkPay Africa to understand their fundraising journey during Covid-19.

What was your sentiment fundraising during covid-19?


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WorkPay, one of Pangea’s portfolio startups, today announced a new and innovative partnership with professional accountants in Kenya to offer the 250+ businesses on its platform accounting and bookkeeping assistance beginning with the 2020 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) iTax annual returns due on 30th June.

The addition of professional accountants on the WorkPay platform will complete the 360° employee statutory returns with the monthly NSSF, NHIF, and PAYE statutory reports already taken care of. The accountants will assist WorkPay clients to ensure 100% tax compliance by providing them with proactive bookkeeping assistance and audit services.

The service is also available to non-WorkPay clients who are required to submit a form with their company details and contact information to enable right matching with the pool of professionals. The link to the form is available here.


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I n recent weeks, we have seen the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic not only on financial markets but also on vulnerable industries such as the service industry with experts predicting a potential economic recession. We talked to thought leaders in the Silicon Savannah to learn how the startup ecosystem in Kenya and hubs across the continent have been impacted by the pandemic and what they are doing to stay afloat.

Status report on Kenyan startup scene

As with most businesses globally, startups and startup support organizations in Kenya have been forced to adopt remote working. Bernard Chiira, Chairman of The Association of Startup & SME Enablers in Kenya (ASSEK) points out that the Kenyan startup ecosystem will have to invest in new trust models, workplace rules to compensate for lack of physical contact to maintain the same level of work output. A recent survey indicates that Kenyan businesses and hubs have redirected their resources towards acquiring connectivity at home (airtime, internet bundles), licenses for telework platforms e.g. …


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We’re running a monthly series on the finalists from the ShelterTech Accelerator Kenya program. This month of March we spotlight, The Vlage, a startup redefining modern living in Africa by offering furnished and serviced co-living spaces for young professionals and startup founders. We discussed their experiences in the accelerator, what they’ve been up to and the next steps and in honor of Women’s History Month — women in the housing and real estate industry.

What was your experience in the accelerator program?

The Vlage: The accelerator program created brilliant opportunities for us. Pangea offered us mentorship and partners who guided us in taking our idea to market and gave insights on the do’s and don’ts. We also got a lot of support from the accelerator program team in developing a unique product. They did this through iteration of ideas and testing the ideas in the market to validate, basically, does the market need this product? Through this process, we realized what we had initially conceptualized didn’t fit the market 100% and Pangea gave us valuable advise on how to approach the problem. …


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For the last two and a half years, Pangea has been focusing on the diaspora providing both training and business intelligence for diaspora investors and engaging the diaspora in the startups Pangea has invested in.The need to involve the diaspora in investing and supporting startup and SMEs is a continuous discussion that even shaped the conversations at the recent 2019 AfriLabs Gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At Pangea, we view this opportunity as having immense value that could spring board African startups and with good reason. First, data shows that just in 2018, remittances from the diaspora reached US $48 billion not including informal money transfers and the figure has been increasing annually. Additionally, almost a third of the diaspora community are middle class with significant disposable income and possess a wide spectrum of knowledge and skills useful to the continent. So, there is a strong case for the need to build potential partnerships between the diaspora and the startup ecosystem. …


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World Cities Day 2019. Picture courtesy of UN-HABITAT Communications

W e were at UN HABITAT World Cities Day 2019 in Yekaterinburg, Russia represented by our Team Lead, Anne Lawi. This year’s World Cities Day sought to explore challenges and identify solutions related to the the sub-theme Changing the World: Innovations and a Better Life for Future Generations. Pangea Accelerator led the discussion on “Digital Innovation for Urban Service Delivery” in a panel discussion on the first day and a keynote address on how we can build inclusive smart cities on the second day showing how we’ve been supporting startups in Africa in UrbanTech. …


Six Kenyan startups had the opportunity to attend Oslo Innovation Week (OIW) 2019 courtesy of Pangea’s partnership with IKT Norge (ICT Norway) and the Norwegian Embassy in Kenya. The startups participated at 100Pitches, met investors and partners and played a key role during the Kenya Day side event at OIW 2019. Here’s what they had to say about their experience.

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Photo credits: Oslo Innovation Week/Julie Hrncirova.

What was your experience at Oslo Innovation Week 2019, did you make any partnerships?

ESCON Leather Creations: Oslo Innovation Week was an eye opening experience for our business. …

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Pangea Accelerator

We scale startups across Africa

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