Why we exist.
We believe the power of entrepreneurship is the key to solving some of the toughest social and environmental challenges we face in East Africa like inequality, unemployment, poverty and the lack of basic human needs(food, shelter, healthcare, education, safe clean drinking water and many more). Despite the emergence of entrepreneurs building companies using market-based solutions and innovative business models to solve these challenges, the majority of these new companies fail in their early stages unable to operate in an environment that is not designed to facilitate their growth (a fractured ecosystem). They are unable to access the knowledge and resources they need, and thus fail to build the teams, find the customer base or raise the investment necessary to survive and grow. Even worse, the failures of these otherwise viable companies sends a signal to the market that discourages future creation of such companies. We exist to help these companies overcome these odds.
To create an East Africa in which no one is limited by their circumstances.
We get early stage companies, working on solving tough social and environmental challenges in East Africa, what they need to grow.
How we do this.
To overcome the barriers to growth for these companies, we match carefully selected high-potential companies with the knowledge, mentor-ship, connections, and financing they need to grow and enhance their impact. We do this at a 5-week boot camp in Kampala, Uganda.
But it does not end there. We and the entire Unreasonable network of 120+ entrepreneurs, 300+ mentors, 550+ funders continue to support our entrepreneurs for the life of their company and beyond.
Our goal: Help each of these companies grow faster and scale to eventually meet the needs of over 1 million people each.
Unreasonable East Africa is one of three distinct programs running the successful 6-year old Unreasonable Institute model. Please click each of the programs to learn more about them:
Why we are “UNREASONABLE”.
The name Unreasonable was inspired by a quote from George Bernard Shaw, a celebrated Irish playwright (who won both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Academy Award!) and the co-founder of the London School of Economics:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.
The entrepreneurs we work with look at the massive challenges we face as great opportunities, leveraging the power of business to combat them while meeting the needs of people and our planet. To do this, they must innovate new technologies, transform systems and pioneer new ways of thinking. They do not settle for the status quo, for acres of forest wasted or for unnecessary lives lost; they are adapting the world to themselves, and in doing so changing the world for the better… this is why we call them unreasonable. Because we work with UNREASONABLE entrepreneurs in East Africa, we are called Unreasonable East Africa.
A few examples of Unreasonable entrepreneurs that we have worked with so far:
An entrepreneur providing access to safe, clean drinking water in low-income communities by equipping entrepreneurs to set up water franchises. They currently have three locations in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, each selling an average of over 1,200 litres of water per day.
An entrepreneur that is reducing the rate of deforestation by producing an alternative type of fuel and briquettes made from agricultural waste on a massive scale. In addition, they produce energy efficient stoves that improve fuel efficiency by reducing the amount of fuel needed to make a meal.
An entrepreneur seeking to improve the reading culture among Kenyans by setting up a chain of libraries that provide age appropriate books and tutoring to young kids. The grades of the children they work with have improved 25% in comparison to children not utilizing the libraries.
Treat others like the Messiah (Humility)
Be militantly transparent (Truthfulness)
Lean into fear (Courage)
Be agile (Experiment)
Do what works (Impact)
Get shit done (Execute)
Remember to Dance (Celebrate)