In the recent years, Kenya has seen an increase in innovative and scalable ideas which offer a much-needed solution to the challenges we face today. Much of these innovations stemming up from the innovative hubs located in the various parts of the country. These hubs have in return formed an ecosystem better known as the silicon savannah.
Dorcas Owinoh is the founding member of Lakehub and has worked as a full-time community manager for the past four years. She has collaborated with a distributed team on a self-directed work schedule. This in return has built and strengthened a technology ecosystem in Kisumu county. She is currently the director of programs and ensures the goals align with the hubs objectives of decentralizing access to technology, growing entrepreneurship, and social innovation.
“Our core business is to connect and inspire young technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs. This is achieved through training, mentorship, provision of co-working space, networking and partnerships. The youths team up to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to societal challenges. Lake Hub has created an open and supportive space for young and talented developers, creatives, entrepreneurs and social innovators in western Kenya.” Says Dorcas.
Over the past four years, Lake Hub has been able to run various programs, bootcamps and hackathons with an intention of building a community of young social innovators, technologist, and entrepreneurs such as:
- Technovation challenge a program that offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Nearly 250 girls have gone through the program in the last three years in western Kenya. One of the success stories of technovation is the restorers.
- Through the Next Economy program over 200 youths have been reached and the goal is to facilitate 300 youths launch a successful business or better still secure employment and hence assist them in creating sustainable income generating activities.
- DaLABs program is a one-stop open space for creatives to share ideas, experience, stories and exhibit creative works. The project has received immense support from Hivo International East Africa. As an initiative of lake hub, the program was successfully implemented targeting creative community in western Kenya between July and December 2016.
- This year they launched a new program; Fashion Makers, its overall vision is to combine technology and fashion. It is aided by the resource of open mind initiative. The fashion makers is a cultural training workshop that cumulates the beneficiaries to design their own clothes/accessories as a way of promoting local textile and Fashion Industry. The workshop will target 30 trainees, Aged 20-30, fifteen men and women with previous experience in tailoring or selling of mitumba.
Through its years of existence, LakeHub has done a lot around technology. This year Dorcas Owinoh was among those that received the African of the Year award at Abuja. The award reaffirmed her belief that the African girls are also key global players in the fourth industrial revolution, that is the digital revolution.
“Youth account for 60% of all African unemployed, according to the World Bank. This is a ticking time bomb. Young women feel the sting of unemployment even more sharply. That is why I am passionate about training young girls how to create solutions for their own challenges especially using technology. We are in the fourth industrial revolution and women and girls can’t miss out on being part of this revolution”. She concluded.