Through its partnership with the Aspen Institute's Diaspora Investment Alliance, the Hub, was part of the recently held Aspen DIAspora Investment Forum for East Africa in Boston, MA. The Forum was part of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) EXPANDING HORIZONS: A Workshop for Small Businesses Entering International Markets. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that seeks to promote global development through private enterprise.
OPIC announced at the conference that they will be setting up a Nairobi office by the end of 2015. Other key outcomes at the event were the launch of an investment fund targeted at Kenyan diaspora by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in collaboration with the Aspen Network and a (separate) $10 million seed fund for SMEs in East Africa by KCB.
The Hub's Director of Investment, Ms Kanini Mutooni, planned, coordinated, and participated in two panel discussions: 'Agri-business opportunities for SMEs' and 'Youth, impact investment and social enterprises'. Both panels were well attended. The Hub also made key connections with, among others, the OPIC Small Business Financing team, U.S. Department of Commerce representatives and EAC diaspora networks. These connections will go along way towards achieving the mission of attracting capital to SMEs in the East Africa region.