New HuffPost Piece: Why Nairobi Attract’s America’s Young Social Entrepreneurs
(Originally appeared on The Huffington Post/IMPACT Section, on September 20th, 2011)
They flock from America’s top universities, grad programs and consulting firms to the pulsing heart of a new Africa. From glass towers and Ivied halls to cramped garages, cooperative work hubs, and overflowing makeshift live/workspaces, these young, talented and driven entrepreneurs are riding a new wave of social enterprises, crash landing into a rapidly rising east African capital.
The most populated city in east Africa, and one of the fastest growing, Nairobi, Kenya has become an extremely strategic regional center for business, banking, development, and politics. A destination hosting a diverse mingling of foreign inhabitants, from emissaries, ambassadors and development agencies to mobile innovators, technologists and consultants, Nairobi has just recently to crept into the international market as a city to keep an eye on.
Yet economic potential and business prospects are only part of the reason why Nairobi’s become a bustling hub for young social innovators and social entrepreneurs from Brown, Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, who give up jobs at McKinsey, Bain, and Goldman Sachs to be here. So what is it?
It’s what I’ve come to dub as the four P’s — Potential, Poverty, Politics, and Parties -- a unique blend that draws a distinct class of Gen-y ers looking to make money, make a name for themselves, and make a difference….