Sheilah Birgen

Innovation Ecosystem builder

“As African Women, we get cultured to: be comfortable, stabilise, a routine, be in the backend, be ‘Yes’ people (or no with an apology), be seen and not heard be invisible, be strong and avoid building a community to support us. Because that is the norm! Disrupt those standards, by joining a community of other women entrepreneurs in Africa!”

Sheilah is an ecosystem builder, Startup and SME growth coach, community convener, and innovation and Strategy Specialist. She has 13+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in Africa.
Currently, she is the Kenya Country Lead of IUK KTN Global Alliance Africa. A part-time Managing Director of Founder’s Institute Nairobi and a mentor to several startups across Africa.

She developed and executed mLab and iHub developer training, incubation, and acceleration programmes for East African entrepreneurs, iHub Fellows, and mLab incubated startups. Mentored 1,000+ entrepreneurs across the continent. She was named by Root magazine among the top six black women in leading the charge to grow the technology sector across the African continent. Under her leadership in 2015, m: Lab was listed in the top 10 best accelerators 2015-2017 in the World by UBI Global Benchmark, the only accelerator from a developing country.

Sheilah is also a Guest Lecturer on Entrepreneurship. Has spoken on African Startup Support, Digital transformation, and community building in Africa in 50+ International Conferences. She has also worked with 20+ international organizations as partners; including World Bank, Spider, USAID, Hivos, Intel, Samsung, Nokia, Google, Facebook, and Governments (Kenya, Finland) to mention a few. She holds an MBA in Global Business & Sustainability: Impact Entrepreneurship and a Master’s Degree in Management.

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