Business start-up study tour of Kenya

Business start-up study tour of Kenya

The challenge

Watt-r is an innovative development and design start-up based in the UK. Watt-r are looking to design and produce a low-cost solar powered cart and power unit to help overcome the challenge of transporting water in many parts of the developing world.

Watt-r contacted OGH to set up a study tour which would strengthen their team’s understanding of the business and physical environments of East Africa.

To meet this brief OGH organised a week long study tour which introduced the watt-r team to a range of business start-ups, engineers and global health organisations currently working in and around the Kenyan cities of Nairobi and Kisumu.

The approach

The study tour was designed to provide insights into the constraints and opportunities for global health start-ups of conducting business within the Kenya market both within a urban and rural settings

Watt-r were introduced to a number start-ups operating in East Africa. These meetings provided the opportunity to discuss and learn more about the Kenyan business environment including customer engagement, labour market, supply and distribution chains, regulatory infrastructure and generally the ease of doing business in such settings. A key finding to come out of these meetings was the challenge of local production which, due to the lack of labour expertise, makes local manufacturing difficult and expensive.

Alongside meeting and visiting similar businesses, the schedule also included a number of visits to large scale global health initiatives including a community-based water chlorination programme provided by Evidence Action that provides clean water to over two million people.

The impact

“It was a great, intense trip, creating new personal connections that can prove invaluable moving forward, but still leaving enough questions and areas to explore (Kibera, the rural north, Masai Mara) that will make a second trip a very useful exercise.”
-Jose Paris, Founder of Watt-r

Meet the lead consultant