What is the Unreasonable East Africa Institute?
The Unreasonable East Africa Institute gives an “unreasonable advantage” to entrepreneurs creating solutions to the East Africa’s biggest social and environmental problems. These entrepreneurs aim to make an outsized impact, often with a tiny amount of resources. They have bold visions, but they face tough odds — as we know most startups fail within a year or two. To give them an unreasonable advantage to beat these odds, we bring these entrepreneurs together to live under the same roof for 5 weeks, where they connect with world class mentors, are surrounded by a dense concentration of capital sources and are backed by lasting global network of support.
Our goal: Help each of these ventures grow faster so they can eventually scale to meaningfully impact the lives of over 1 million people.
Unreasonable East Africa is a part of the global Unreasonable Institute movement that currently has three distinct programs and with a big bold vision of creating 100 Institutes in 100 countries across the world. Please click each of the programs to learn more about them:
Why are we “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(and woman).
We work with entrepreneurs that are working on solving massive social and environmental problems like poverty, inequality, global warming, lack of access to health care and education and many others. These entrepreneurs look at these massive challenges as great opportunities, leveraging the power of business to combat them while meeting the needs of our planet and its people. To do this, they must innovate new technologies, transform systems and pioneer new ways of thinking. They will 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.
Our job is to match these entrepreneurs with the knowledge, resources and tools they need to maximise and scale their impact. Because we work with unreasonable entrepreneurs in East Africa, we 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.