Western and Nyanza regions are growing rapidly in all sectors, Kisumu city is one of the best for technological related products and services. With many innovation hubs mushrooming, Kisumu and entire western region is lucrative. I had a chance to interact with George Abwajo Founder&CEO of Gulfhub
- What is your name?
George Abwajo CEO Gulfhub
- Where is Gulfhub located?
Located in Kisumu City, along Busia Road and adjacent to St.John Manor Hotel
- Tell us about Gulfhub.
Gulfhub is a social enterprise hub, promoting and working with enterprises that are in need of incubation and escalation with a bias towards trade, finance and economic development. Our community consists of young entrepreneurs and staffs who work on different sectors for economic solutions. Our main focus is to spearhead development in the Lake and Western Region. This involves providing solutions in various fields as agri-business, energy, trade expansion, and technological assistance. As a community, our co-working spaces are available for all people and organizations for use as an income streams.
- What gap is Gulfhub company filling in the society, what are you solving?
Our projection in the next 5-10 years is for this region to offer the fastest growth potential. This requires preparation on the part of government and private sector. While government comes with bureaucracy, a reliable private sector player is needed.
Hence our set up;
- We are filling the gap of lack of a reliable investment and economic advisory. Because we know the terrain of our region, including our nature of soft lobbying, we are there to catalyse this economic growth by working with small businesses to expand and big companies to be established here.
- With the presence of many talented and skilled youths, our space is being used by Theatre groups at minimal cost in a short term and medium term plan to promote the local talents and skills.
- Lastly, most young entrepreneurs lack offices, the entrepreneurial environment networks and mentors hence that’s what we are offering around the Lake Region.
- Why is Gulfhub Unique?
We are the first company with a mixture of the 3 arms, providing offices and co-working space to entrepreneurs, promoting art, creatives and talent and working on business and economic solutions of our region with an aim of consolidating these to be a leading advisory body.
- What transformation is Gulfhub making in Nyanza and Western Kenya?
We have worked with many young people which involves advisory and research on new businesses that are setting up in this region from outside the Region and outside Kenya. We have offered solutions by offering consultancies to various partners on how best they can productively utilize their spaces to do meaningful work. We have helped local small SACCOs to access funds and credit for asset purchase which they would not have gotten. We have also become a centre for dissemination of information to individuals, investors and county governments by providing reliable and accurate data and lastly, our innovations which we have supported in a space of 6 months are in mostly escalation stages ready to be rolled out for pilot programs.
- What is your take on Technology and Innovation in Nyanza region?
Technology is a driver of solutions and should be employed in almost all spheres of economy. The region has been slow to adopt the new changes and what would be helpful at this stage is more funding for various initiatives undertaken by entrepreneurs. We are largely a rural and agricultural economy with a big SME Sector but these sectors have not benefited much from the increased innovations around. There is an opportunity for governments and private players like GulfHub to offer capital support through such things as fundraisings.
- What is the future of technology and innovation in Nyanza?
The future is both exciting and prospects good. With new IT centres cropping up in Constituencies and Kisumu County developing the Innovation and Incubation hub, it is a good progress and the region should get support to contain the increasing youthful population.
- What are the new trends and opportunities for technology and innovation in Nyanza region?
There have been innovations on the aquaculture sectors by consolidating markets and producers. Health has also gotten a boost with regards to telemedicine. Transport Sector innovation is continuously easing mobility and contact tracing. The bodaboda sector innovation revolution is on the pilot phase to encourage order and growth for the sector. Agri-business innovations are currently being used by farmers on predicting weather patterns, crop and livestock insurance and ease of post harvest procedures.
- How can people reach you?