Bolt launches an Accelerator Program to empower its Kenyan driver partners and their family members




Bolt, the ride hailing platform in Africa, has today launched an Accelerator Program to empower Kenyan drivers and couriers or their immediate family members on an entrepreneurial journey. More than just a means of transportation, being a Bolt driver or courier presents an opportunity to drive innovation and shape the future of mobility in Kenya.

A €20,000 (about Kshs 2.92million) seed fund will be made available today to support business plans developed by Bolt drivers and couriers or their family members that link to sustainable transport. Program beneficiaries will be invited to pitch business ideas connected to Bolt’s vision of creating sustainable African Cities, which is about creating cities that prioritise people’s well-being, sustainability, and accessible mobility for everyone. Participants can now submit their ideas by visiting Bolt Accelerator Program Kenya portal.

The program will be run in close partnership with The Nest Innovation Park, whose network of mentors will support eligible participants in developing their business plans. Through the Bolt Accelerator Program, Kenyan innovators can harness their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and seize the opportunity to develop sustainable mobility solutions that address the country’s pressing urban challenges and as well as contribute to economic growth.

As part of the program, 120 shortlisted participants will undergo training designed to promote business development skills and support future career development. The top 20 participants will then receive additional training with seasoned entrepreneurs and in-person mentoring sessions. Finally, after the Business Pitch Day is held in June, the top 10 business ideas will be selected and awarded the seed funding of €2000 (over Kshs 290,000) each along with additional mentoring.

Caroline Wanjihia, Bolt’s Regional Director of Rides for Africa, said: “Ride hailing and food delivery have always offered drivers and couriers a flexibility to earn whilst pursuing wider career opportunities. We hope this program will take it a step further and help make a real difference to local communities. We are excited to support the concepts of our drivers and couriers and extend this program to their family members to make an even bigger impact. The Accelerator program has been an exceptional success in Nigeria, and we are thrilled to extend its impact to Kenya today.”

The Bolt Accelerator Program was first introduced in Nigeria in September 2023. Today, the programme launches simultaneously in Kenya and Ghana.

Application Details:

The Bolt Accelerator Program opens its doors to all registered Bolt drivers and their immediate family members across Kenya, sparking a journey of learning, growth, and economic empowerment. The application period is set to commence on 19th of March and conclude on 4th of April. Selected participants will be equipped with invaluable mentorship, workshops, and access to funding, all the ingredients for a recipe of entrepreneurial success. Drivers can seize this opportunity to transform their ideas into profitable ventures.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Active Bolt Driver/Courier or Immediate Family Member: Participants must currently be using the Bolt platform as a driver/courier or be a spouse/child to an existing user.
  • Residency: Participants must be residents of Kenya.
  • Time Commitment: Selected participants must dedicate time to take part in the intensive training and mentoring sessions.
  • Feasible Business Idea: Participants’ ideas should address real-life tech mobility challenges in Kenya.

Program Stages:

  • Stage 1: Idea Submission and Screening: Participants’ innovative ideas undergo thorough evaluation. 120 participants are shortlisted.

  • Stage 2: Idea Interviews and Selection: 120 participants receive online training and send in their 1min pitch in video format. Top 20 are selected to proceed.

  • Stage 3: Mentorship for Top 20: Twenty participants undergo comprehensive mentorship to prepare for the final pitch.

  • Stage 4: Pitch Day and Seed Fund: Top 20 participants pitch their ideas for a chance to win seed funding and access to valuable mentorship. The top 10 most innovative ideas will each receive 2000 euros.

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