Curtains come down on 2017 Sankalp Africa Summit in Nairobi


The 4th edition of the annual Sankalp Africa Summit kicked ended yesterday at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. The two-day summit hosting over 1,000 participants from 40+ countries from around the world was aimed to bring the entrepreneur community together to help solve problems facing them through innovation.

One of the key themes of this year’s summit is how entrepreneurs can contribute in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

(TOP: Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group founder Mr Vineet  Rai speaks at the 2017 Sankalp Africa Summit at KSMS, Nairobi).

The key note speaker, Mark Malloch, Former Deputy Secretary General of the UN and Chair of the Business Commission for Sustainable Development which has released a report on the market opportunities that would result from achieving the SDGs.

This year’s Sankalp Forum brought forward questions on the Sustainable Development Agenda and questioned the way forward. It discussed the potential for technology to help leapfrog Africa, while also focusing the spotlight on the need to get basic infrastructure in place to ensure equal access to basic services for all.

The Sankalp Forum, an initiative of Intellecap Advisory, curates an environment where entrepreneurs and investors network. Some of the key highlights of the summit are enterprise development support for entrepreneurs to raise investment, exclusive networking opportunities with over 1,000 global leaders, partnership & collaboration with players across the value chain from investors to corporations and governments and deep sector insights through research and publications.

One of the corner stones of the Sankalp Forum is that it brings investors and entrepreneurs together. The Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group earlier announced an equity raising round of US $25 million, led by Triodos Investment Management, the investment arm of European lender Triodos Bank, and Shell Foundation. Triodos invested US $15 million while Shell Foundation contributed US $10 million of the total capital raised. The investment will enable the group to consolidate and expand its bouquet of ecosystem building initiatives/businesses across the globe.

On the capital raising, Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkaar – Intellecap Group said: “Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group believes that key goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) can be met by building entrepreneurial ecosystem that unleash entrepreneurial action toward core challenges around Employment, Health, Energy & Financial Inclusion. For the world and for us Africa remains the continent of hope with a very young population, bountiful resources and incredible talent. We believe Africa along with Asia would provide next wave of entrepreneurs that make substantial contribution in addressing complex challenges of poverty and hunger. Our Partnership with Triodos Investments and Shell Foundation will strengthen our ability to contribute to local ecosystem as we have demonstrated with Intellecap initiative SANKALP. We now extend our engagement with proposed launch of Aavishkaar African fund by 2018-19.”

At the summit, Intellecap also released a report on Africa in 2030 which showcased the future of Africa and the key shifts expected around access to basic services such as food & nutrition, water & sanitation, healthcare among others. In line with this report the summit will bring forward conversations around whether technology is really the Silver Bullet for the future of Africa. Currently, the narrative around technology as the solution that will help Africa leap frog is getting stronger, however the discussions that will be brought will evaluate its real potential and question the hype surrounding it.

Intellecap is a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions that help build and scale profitable and sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change. Founded in 2002, the Aavishkaar and Intellecap Group have directed US $600 million of capital to entrepreneurs working on such challenging problems sustainably through equity funds, venture debt vehicle, microfinance lending or investment banking intermediation.

Sankalp Forum was initiated in India in 2009 by Intellecap to create a thriving ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. Over the past eight years, Sankalp has built one of the world’s largest impact enterprise focused platforms that has supported over 900 social enterprises with connections to over 400 investors, mentors, and business support providers.

Through the 2017 Summit, the spotlight was on “Spurring the Entrepreneurship Economy” and how emerging markets are becoming the hub of entrepreneurship, innovation and investments.