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Tar Heel, Blue Devil team up to support startups in Kenya

February 10, 2020 • Brandon Bieltz • No Comments

Story by Brandon Bieltz,

Over the past decade, it’s become more commonplace for Carolina and Duke University students to launch a start-up in the Triangle. Resources and mentors from both universities and the surrounding communities help make the task easier.

That supportive environment doesn’t exist everywhere, but a Carolina student has partnered with a student at Duke to try to recreate that entrepreneurship environment in one part of the world.

Carolina sophomore Wali Khan and Duke University junior Ahmed Salat recently launched a project to support business development in rural Wajir County in Northern Kenya. The project will provide a mentorship network and startup funding.

“We spotted a trend where you have individuals that go to technical schools or vocational schools and succeed in higher education, but they have no means to implement the skills they have learned,” Khan said. “We’re providing kits for businesses to apply for a startup grant from our organization as well as a mentorship program to ensure they are successful.”

Their project recently received funding from the Kenan-Biddle Partnership, which promotes collaborations between Carolina and Duke students that address social or environmental needs. The partnership, which is funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and run out of the Campus Y, awards $55,000 annually for student projects.


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