We select an exclusive group of 10-15 businesses for each of our 10-month programs. The entrepreneurs behind these businesses are innovative industry pioneers who observe the status quo, but envision something better. They recognise the space for transformation; they are makers, doers, and shakers. We work closely in partnership to support them to create the world they imagine.
Our team and network of experts have either built their own businesses, or have specific experience and expertise in multiple areas related to building a successful business. This includes – but is not limited to! – strategic planning, raising investment, building efficient & effective operations, sales, marketing and team building.
During our 10-month programs, we focus on several key aspects of your business:
While we work outside these categories, we use them as a guiding framework for how to support you to grow your business.
Diagnostics. We work alongside you to review your company’s business models, analyze strengths and weaknesses and draft key documents and tools. Most of this happens virtually, but we also visit you and your team at your offices for what we call a “site visit.”
Boot camps. We run two boot camps during the 10-month program in Kampala, Uganda. We all live within the same space while working on your business with our team, mentors, investors and your peers. At this point in the program, entrepreneurs travel to Kampala to live together with the Unreasonable team and our network to benefit from practical, hands-on support to build their business capacity.
Implementation Support. Between the two boot camps we have 5 months of implementation support. We want to ensure that you and your team are in the best position to grow your company over the next several months before the second boot camp. This phase is all about supporting you and providing you the tools you need to be successful. This includes tangible tools, like a fundraising plan and pitch deck, as well as access to experts and mentors who know how to navigate your industry and advise you on how to best grow your company. During this period we will have an “Implementation Site Visit,” when one of two members of our team will travel to your offices for a day of in-depth work on a particular business challenge.
We cannot and do not guarantee that our Fellows will receive funding during the Unreasonable East Africa Institute. However, we do guarantee unprecedented exposure to funders and world-class relationships with hundreds of capital sources. In past years we have had about 20 funders live at the Institute (including representatives from Eleos Foundation, Intellecap, Kiva, Novastar Ventures, Unreasonable Capital, OPES Impact Fund, Segal Family Foundation, Mango Fund, Pearl Capital Partners, LGTVP) and more come to our Investor events.
Truth be told, we never know just how funders will participate in the Institute and/or interact with Unreasonable Ventures – be it living at the house for a few days, coming to our Investor Days events, or having separate meetings with entrepreneurs. What we do know is we work with the ventures we select to help find and build relationships with funders that are right for their venture. We have personal relationships with 50+ (and growing) angels, foundations, institutional investors, and access to Unreasonable Institute Global’s network of has 550+. Fundamentally, our goal is to do everything we can to get you the resources you need to rocket ahead and scale your business. Because of all this, our fellows have so far raised a combined total of over $5 million so far.
We typically work with high potential companies that:
Additionally, we look for high potential entrepreneurs who are:
A selected company must be able to send a CEO or co-founder with significant decision making power in the company to attend our program. This is because real time decisions will be made over the course of the boot camp and it would be unproductive and ineffective for you, your company and our experts to come to a decision which could not be immediately implemented due to chain of command.
The opportunity to learn how to develop, scale and potentially fund your business. Additionally, following the 10 month program, you transition to our alumni support program to join the UEA network for life! As a part of this community, you will be able to continue to access support individually as a leader and entrepreneur as well as for your business’ long term growth.
We are an East African company founded by East Africans who are entrepreneurs themselves and we exist to unlock the potential of East Africa’s economies. We grow high-impact companies that have immense potential to contribute to the growth of East Africa’s emerging market economies. The entrepreneurs behind these businesses are creative minds and/or industry pioneers who observe the status quo, but envision something much better. They recognise the space for transformation and are not afraid to light the first match. They are makers, doers, and shakers. We work closely in partnership to support them to successfully create the world they imagine.
We see high-impact companies as catalysts in at least one of the following ways:
It is essential that all businesses that we work with are operated as “good businesses,” – driven by revenue growth and with the ability to create benefit for all the stakeholders – customers, employees, the community, suppliers and the environment – not just the owners.
We select 10-15 high potential companies to attend each of our 10-month programs and surround them with the knowledge, mentorship, tools, capital and connections they need to grow a successful business.
The name “Unreasonable” was inspired by a quote from George Bernard Shaw, a celebrated Irish playwright who won both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Academy Award and co-founded of the London School of Economics.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.
The entrepreneurs we work with look at the massive challenges we face as great opportunities, leveraging the power of business to combat them while meeting the needs of people and our planet. To do this, they must innovate new technologies, transform systems and pioneer new ways of thinking… This is why we call them unreasonable. Because we work with UNREASONABLE entrepreneurs in East Africa, we are called Unreasonable East Africa.