I am thrilled to announce that I am back to class, courtesy of Solutech Limited being accepted to the highly competitive and prestigious Stanford Seed Transformation Program (STP) offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business (SGSB). We are extremely excited about the potential for growth and increased success that the program will bring to our business.
I will be participating in this 11-month program with our CEO, Alexander Odhiambo as the business leaders. We will be highly supported by the rest of the Solutech co-founders, Jinal and Rayyidh, our Head of Accounts, Lilian, and Head of Projects, Tecla, and the whole team at Solutech.
Stanford SEED (Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies) partners with entrepreneurs from across Africa and South Asia to help them build thriving enterprises that transform lives by bringing Silicon Valley innovation and entrepreneurship to these businesses, coupled with management skills training, best tools adoption, and setting the right attitude and mindsets for growth and scale.
The program will provide a platform for enterprises to connect with business founders from across Africa and the Class of 2023 in Africa brings CEOs and leaders from 21 countries across Eastern, Western and Southern Africa. Nigeria and Kenya lead with the highest number of companies participating in the Class of 2023. Other countries represented include Ethiopia, Mauritius, Madagascar, DRC, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
As a business, we have always wanted to participate in the Stanford Seed Transformation Program to increase our capacity to grow and scale Solutech to the heights we envision the company reaching, and we first applied to the program in 2021 but unfortunately, we did not succeed as we did not meet the eligibility criteria on revenue. We had hoped that, with businesses resurging from the covid-19 pandemic, we would be able to get through but it wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, that did not deter us and we worked extremely hard to make sure we stood a great chance of being admitted the next year. As fate would have it, when the applications for the 2023 class were announced in 2022, and having met the required annual revenue bracket of between US $300,000 and US $15 million, Alexander and I sprung into action to make the application. We did a series of rigorous interviews with live recorded videos and physical interviews and finally got the good news that we had been accepted into the Stanford Seed Transformation Program on 5th October 2022.
As we begin our in-class learning, we look forward to learning the key business and leadership skills, from strategy and finance to sales and marketing, all provided by world-renowned Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty and local business practitioners. Above all, I am looking forward to developing business relationships with like-minded leaders to share experiences and develop ongoing peer-to-peer support of Seed Transformation Network to connect and collaborate with other founders across Africa and beyond.
Since its inception in 2013, 662 enterprises have participated in the program as of 2021 data. Over this period, after joining Stanford Seed, these enterprises have gone on to raise US $690M and created 20,886 direct jobs with 640,693 household members impacted through this direct and indirect job creation.
In 2020 alone (the latest year revenue data was provided), average revenue growth was 12% and median growth was 3%. This far outpaced the average 2020 GDP growth rate of -2.6% in Africa and South Asia, suggesting the resilience of Seed enterprises during the pandemic.2021 Seed Impact Report
At Solutech Limited, we are excited to be part of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program and are looking forward to fully utilizing the resources, mentorships, and insights that this program provides. We are confident that this program will help us shape our transformation plan to achieve our full potential and, coupled with our United Nations Global Compact Network commitment to our Sustainable Development Goals, become a successful business that creates a positive impact in the community and society at large.
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