Blended finance catalyzed by innovation

Startup East Africa (SEA) is dedicated to leveraging innovative technologies and creative financing to spark new solutions to entrenched problems, catalyzing the impact potential of ambitious Small & Growing Business (SGB) entrepreneurs throughout East Africa.

Communities are industry-specific social enterprise accelerators designed to blend public and private financing.

Scaling inclusive solutions will require us to look beyond building inclusive firms, to building inclusive industries. We believe that an industry-level approach to acceleration is most appropriate as it is at this level that barriers and risks can be meaningfully understood, and ultimately addressed. The sum total of this effort resulting in the improved competitiveness of a sector. 

What We Do

We scale the impact of innovative market-based solutions supporting Small & Growing Businesses (SGBs) by providing infrastructure to identify and act on shared value opportunities.

Innovation Management.

We partner with public & private sector organizations to co-create market-leading frontier solutions that will drive tomorrow’s economy.

Impact Measurement.

We disseminate best practices for impact measurement within our communities to encourage alignment with key SDGs and foster impact investment.

Investment Facilitation.

We work across traditional divides to identify creative ways for aligning incentives and engaging a variety of funding sources across the risk spectrum.


Explore our Kenyan Tourism Community

Tourism is a cornerstone of the Kenyan economy. It triggers the creation of one direct job for every eleven visitors received. It also contributes significantly to foreign exchange reserves and GDP as a whole. Bolstering this industry will require both collaboration and creativity, utilizing key technological innovations and impact strategies to expand product lines, promote marketing strategies, strengthen infrastructure and encourage investment.

Who We Work With

Private & Public Foundations
Private Sector Businesses
  • Strengthen your value chain by making equity investments in strategic suppliers. 
  • Plug into strategic networks and innovation capabilities.  
  • Sponsor a Strategic Development Area that aligns with your business. 
Local Governments
  • Sponsor a community to direct tailored innovation at a given sector. 
  • Sponsor a Strategic Development Area that aligns with your public objectives.
  • Develop a repository of industry best practices. 

Primary SDGs in Focus

Goal #8

Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to sustained social and economic growth. With this goals' targets in mind, SEA works to promote full and productive employment for all women and men by 2030.

Goal #9

Investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. Technological progress will be key to finding lasting solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges. 

Goal #17

The SDGs can only be realized with strong partnerships and cooperation. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation.

    Startup East Africa (SEA L3C) builds communities that scale the impact of innovative market-based solutions supporting Small & Growing Businesses (SGBs) by providing the infrastructure for identifying and acting on shared value opportunities.


    New York | Boston | Nairobi