Esther MwikaliProject Catalyst at Growth Africa – Accelerator Manager; JICA NINJA Kenya Accelerator (Founding Team Member of Baraza Media Lab)
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Esther is passionate about social impact, entrepreneurship and innovation. Helping spur change in the Kenyan and regional ecosystem, one startup at a time as a Project Catalyst at GrowthAfrica working as the Acceleration Manager for the first innovation program by JICA in Kenya dubbed NINJA (Next in Innovation Japan). GrowthAfrica grows local and international entrepreneurs and businesses into exceptional, impactful enterprises through acceleration activities, strategic advice and facilitated access to investments. It supports the development of leadership among the next generation of Africa’s entrepreneurs.
Esther has vast experience leading innovation programs in Kenya & Africa. With a reputation for ecosystem and community building through bringing together startups, investors (angels, VCs, PE), foundations and development partners (British Council, DfID, UK TechHub, German development bank GIZ, the World Bank, AMREF, HIVOS, WWF) and private sector (Merck, Microsoft, Google, Safaricom) to support entrepreneurs. Passionate about social impact, Esther led the development of Baraza Media Lab, supporting content creators, media & journalism under a $1M grant from Luminate (Omidyar foundation).
Before working with GrowthAfrica, Esther worked at Mettā for close to 4 years as the Head of Community and Operations. In her final year at Mettā, she was promoted to the General Manager, spearheading and leading the Africa office to having built a 5000+ community, over 200 events and 15 innovation programs. Prior to Mettā, she worked in the creative academia space, investment advisory, and public sector. She currently sits on the Board of ASSEK (The Association of Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya). She was also chosen as one of the two Kenyans for the inaugural Facebook Community Accelerator Program 2020 due to the work she has done building entrepreneurial communities. Breathing and loving the innovation & tech space, Esther is at the front championing for GrowthAfrica, the value for entrepreneurs and startups.