Kenya proposes Startup Bill to support local entrepreneurs

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Kenya joins several other African countries, (such as Rwanda and Ethiopia) in creating legislation aimed at boosting the local startup ecosystem.

The Startup Bill 2020 was tabled by Nairobi Senator, Johnson Sakaja. It has been backed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Most of its implementation will be tasked to the Kenya National Innovation Agency.

The main aim of the bill is to “provide a framework to encourage growth and sustainable technological development and new entrepreneurship employment; to create a more favourable environment for innovation; to attract Kenyan talents and capital; and for connected purposes.”

The bill will go through both houses of the Kenyan parliament and a public participation stage before being signed into law.

The legistlation will allow for the “the establishment of incubation facilities at the National and county levels of government”.

It also empowers Kenia and county executive committee members to establish a national and county incubation policy framework for the development of the business incubation sector and startup system.

The Bill continues to state that the National and County governments shall promote innovation, facilitate the transfer of technology innovation, and create and develop a sustainable, globally competitive technology innovation sector that contributes towards the accelerated growth of the economy.

Startups will have to be a registered company, and majority-owned by at least one Kenyan citizen to benefit from the proposed legislation.

In addition to this, at least 15% of the startups expenses should comprise Research & Development activities.

The founder of the startup in question should be a licensed patent holder.