Nairobi has been chosen as the host of a new institute that would train local start-ups on negotiation skills to help them tap an influx of foreign investment capital and linkage with US investors.
The African Negotiation Institute and the Chartered Academy of Negotiators (ANICAN) will seek to offer entrepreneurs soft skills to handle a variety of important tasks with confidence and solve each problem with expedience.
ANICAN Group President Prof Alexander Moses told a forum in Nairobi on Monday the Institute will mentor, train, coach and guide both emerging and existing African entrepreneurs to be better negotiators and deal closers.
“We all negotiate and one of the skills that is lacking in Africa and among African professionals as well as entrepreneurs with emphasis to Kenya is that we have several passionate startups that never survive the first 3 years,” Moses said.
The institution targets young entrepreneurial students, retired civil servants as well as women and young startups.
“Lack of effective negotiation skills has been identified as one of the main reasons that have affected the growth of such individuals,” he told the forum.
He spoke on the sidelines of ANICAN’s maiden launch of chief executives forum in Africa, in collaboration with Harvard University.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) report 2015 shows Africa has attracted investment from industrialized countries, with Kenya recording US$1.9 billion by the end of 2015.
Some of these foreign direct investments come from France, Britain and the United States and emerging economies such as China, India, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.
The CEOs Seminar enables the institute get vital business information like potential investors contacts, teaching participants to pitch and get funded or win international partnerships and most importantly sponsor those who will attend an executive education program at the Harvard University this year.
State Corporation, Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) estimates the country has 12.6 million entrepreneurs that employs 80 percent Kenyans contributing 20 percent of economic growth.
Most of these start-ups are however unable to take their innovation to the next level of growth largely due to lack of cash, with most concerned over losing property rights to wealthy investors.