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SEZ BUSINESS

Philipp Keil meets James Shikwati in Kenya

Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ), met James Shikwati, Director of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) in Kenya.

Keil also took part during his visit IRISH Small and Medium Enterprises Forum (SME). part. The Kenyan think tank IREN focuses on developing political and economic strategies that help move Africa forward.

The connection between SEZ and IREN has existed for a long time. James Shikwati visited Stuttgart in 2018 and attended, among other things, the Fair Trade trade fair, where he also spoke to a larger audience as a keynote speaker.

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SCHOOL AND GLOBAL LEARNING SEZ

In conversation: SEZ board member Philipp Keil at WG West

“Phillip Keil's explanations have made what we have learned so far appear in a completely different light,” summarizes Felix Heck, a student in grade 2 at WG West, at the end of the two school hours.

“This has significantly encouraged us to look beyond school education.”

Sustainable action in a globalized world, cooperation between non-governmental organizations in the development sector and the creation of an economic community that benefits everyone: these topics were the focus of the timetable for grades 2 of the Wirtschaftsgymnasium West (WG West) at Feuersee over the past six months of the school year. The conclusion of this curriculum unit was an expert discussion with Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ).

A team of students consisting of Felix Heck and Philipp Krüger was invited to the expert interview. The two high school graduates had previously obtained in-depth information about non-governmental organizations in development cooperation as part of a presentation in the Global Studies minor, which uses a bilingual structure to address global problems in politics, economics and geography. Equipped with a fair amount of expert knowledge, they invited Philipp Keil to a one-and-a-half-hour conversation in the rooms of the Business High School West on Rotebühlstrasse as the final exam component.

In his role as executive director of the SEZ, Keil focused in particular on the work of his own organization, but also repeatedly ventured a broader look into related subject areas. So it wasn't just the SEZ and its foundation's mission that were the focus of interest: the activities of the SEZ's many cooperation partners, today's problems with effective cooperation and the creation of responsible consumer behavior in general also made it onto the packed agenda of the first two lessons.

The practitioner's visit to WG West ended after 90 minutes with a lively discussion and question session.

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SEZ BUSINESS

SEZ at start-up bw summit 2019

The Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) invited start-ups with a connection to Africa to exhibit in the “international corner” for the first time at this year’s start-up bw summit.

In doing so, it offered young social entrepreneurs with products from Africa the opportunity to present their company and at the same time contributed to the international networking of the Baden-Württemberg scene.

Three young entrepreneurs with a connection to Africa seized the opportunity. Kizito Odhiambo from Kenya offers with his company agriBORA Geo-information services for small farmers, with which harvest results are calculated and recommendations for cultivation are given. The day was very successful for Odhiambo. “I had a lot of exciting technical discussions about our idea and our offer,” he says. “I actually found an investor and someone who wants to support us in software development.”

The day also went well for Victor Thien and his company afringa, based in South Africa. “I was able to add new specialists to the database. It remains to be seen whether I have also gained customers for our service,” says the young entrepreneur. afringa is the first online business and career platform specializing exclusively in the African continent.

“The interest in my initiative was greater than I expected,” reports Babatunde Ogboru from Nigeria. He is the founder of Rethink Lagos – Institute of Entrepreneurship. The aim of the start-up is to create better conditions and sustainable growth in the Nigerian metropolis. “Companies and other social start-ups in particular have been interested in me and my business idea.” After successful networking, he sees the need to have his own To establish a network in Lagos and to bring innovative start-ups there into contact with one another. Babatunde Ogboru and his institute would like to promote partnerships between German and Nigerian companies. Rethink Lagos is ideally supported by the SEZ.

“I am thrilled at how many visitors to the summit came to our stand and the social entrepreneurs specifically because of their interest in the African continent,” says SEZ employee Lena Wimmer. “We see partnerships between social entrepreneurs from Baden-Württemberg and African countries as a great opportunity for both sides.”

The SEZ made contact with the social entrepreneurs represented at the start-up BW Summit 2019 in autumn 2018 during the ASA Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, which she carried out in cooperation with Engagement Global.

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