What We Do
Gritcube started in the summer of 2015 by a group of individuals who have a shared passion to contribute to the economic growth of African countries through the development and diversification of its private sectors.
Gritcube is a virtual startup accelerator that builds startups through direct business support, access to educational resources, and connections to global networks. We connect high-growth entrepreneurs with volunteer business consultants with strategy and operations experience, and the ambition to use their skills to contribute to social good. We engage startups with a structured business development and educational program designed to prepare startups for operations and seeking investment.
Our vision is to create an entrepreneurial Africa with scalable and robust businesses that will create employment and stimulate economic growth.
Gritcube collaborates and strategizes with technology-enhanced startups in Africa, equipping them with the tools and networks to start operations, seek funding, and scale.
Jen Shen is an interdisciplinary social science researcher with a passion for connecting people across disciplines, groups, and continents to work on projects that promote social good. During her time at Duke University while working on a PhD in public policy and economics, she helped start the Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators, which creates interdisciplinary graduate student teams that consult for nonprofits around the world. She co-founded Gritcube because of her impatient optimism in the power of locally-founded startups to increase income and employment in Africa.
Indiana Baseden is a development professional, with a passion for social innovation and a belief in the potential of young people. Indi has a background in Environment & Development and previously worked in the youth sector in the UK, managing a global volunteering programme. Currently working as a consultant in agri-business development services in Zambia, Indi co-founded Gritcube because it offered a platform to work with inspiring young entrepreneurs who have the ambition to change the business landscape in Zambia.
Jessica Shen is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, and is passionate about using the power of technology to create productive relationships, expand capacity, and increase learning and information. She co-founded Gritcube because she is dedicated to help people and bring positive change to the world. She is currently an Account Development Representative at Mulesoft in San Francisco.
Christine Yip is an analyst and programmer with an insatiable curiosity for anything and everything. She previously worked for Mathematica Policy Research, the Institute for Environment and Development, Boston Public Schools. She co-founded Gritcube because it offered a new challenge as well as connecting aspiring individuals from different continents.
Director of Business Development and Advisory
Jay describes himself as a entrepreneur, athlete, mountaineer and retiring vagabond. Jay is passionate about startup enterprise and currently applies his trade as a business development consultant working with SME's, business incubators, angel investors and enterprise development initiatives in Zambia and the US. He joined the Gritcube team because he believes the Gritcube model introduces an innovative and scale-able approach to incubation in Africa.
Shiela comes from a background in civil engineering and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Urban Sustainability and Resilience, at University College London, England. She is passionate about all facets of sustainable development, and previously worked as a volunteer Business Consultant for an NGO in Lusaka, which provides business support services to SMEs and also aims to tackle youth unemployment and skill development. Shiela joined the Gritcube team to pursue her passion to contribute to the uncovering and maximising the potential of grass root entrepreneurship to deliver sustainable social and economic development in Africa.
With experience in PR, marketing and community engagement, Mweshi has focused on using her passion to excel professionally and to create an impact in her local community. Her BA in International Relations and Criminology reflects her passion for people, traveling, social justice and equality. Mweshi is a Global Shaper (a World Economic Forum initiative) and alumna of the Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership Center (YALI RLC) for Southern Africa and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS). She is one of the founders of an upcoming NGO, focused on engaging youth to uplift underprivileged and at risk children within her community and is also currently developing a social enterprise focused on event management and youth empowerment. She has used her skills to mentor, give leadership talks and mobilize resources to assist various shelters for children, orphanages and schools.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about getting involved with the Gritcube team!