The Association of Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) in partnership with Pangea Accelerator and ICT Norway have launched a code of conduct to level the ground for tech entrepreneurs in the country.
The code will define the way SMEs, StartUps, enablers, development partners, private sector, and government agencies relate with each other. This framework will be referred to as the Innovation ecosystem Code of conduct.
According to Bernard Chiira the Chairperson at ASSEK and founder of the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDIH), “For the innovation ecosystem to thrive there needs to be an environment of trust and honesty among players to ensure there is no exploitation in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. As an association, we need to look at how we can create an environment of trust to prevent cannibalizing ideas which will be provided through this framework.”
Last year, ASSEK conducted consultative forums with stakeholders from different regions such as Western, Rift Valley, Nairobi, and Coastal regions to collect views that informed the creation of the code of conduct.
With Kenya’s innovation index ranking second in the Sub-Saharan region and 98th globally (GDI 2020) collaborative partnerships between SMEs, StartUps, enablers, development partners, private sector, and government agencies are increasingly becoming essential. Hence, there is increased demand for regulatory frameworks and policies that will govern these interactions to enable fairness, although these frameworks are existent bureaucracy is still eminent in the relations among entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders.
The Code of Conduct will go a long way in giving all stakeholders a reference point for arm length engagement especially stakeholders such as startups who have less bargaining power.
Deepened collaboration models have been successful in other countries such as Norway which has led to data exchange, access to talent, access to robot automation across value chains, as well as access to foreign and capital investments.
Drawing from this successful framework, Kenya stands to benefit from the code of conduct which will transform the entrepreneurship innovation ecosystem.