East Africa

Kevin Thiong’o

Kevin has worked across East and Central Africa supporting the growth of scalable enterprises through acceleration programs, investment-readiness support and access to investments. He is a Growth Catalyst at GrowthAfrica, East Africa’s premier accelerator program that has supported over 1,500 across Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia. Kevin is SPRING’s Uganda Country Manager, assisting the companies in the transformation of the lives of adolescent girls. He is also a Facilitator of the Malawi Growth Accelerator program, an initiative of UNDP supporting the growth and scale of Malawian ventures. He has extensively worked with both early and growth stage businesses to develop innovative business models for renewed competitiveness.

Kevin has years of experience in management consulting, and is a a co-founder at Bloom Insight Ltd, a consulting firm that assists businesses boost their performance, improve key processes, and increase efficiencies. He worked with C4D Lab, the University of Nairobi’s business incubator for early-stage tech startups, focusing on attainment of product-market fit and optimum utilization of resources available.

Kevin holds an MBA (Strategic Management), a Bachelor’s Degree in Land Economics from the University of Nairobi, and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Sylvie Richard Kinabo

Country Manager, Kenya and Ethiopia

Sylvie holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from The University of Manchester and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from United States International University (USIU). She worked as SPRING’s Uganda Country Manager from 2014 – 2016 Having successfully established programme activities in Uganda, from April 2017 her role evolved to Country Manager for Ethiopia and Kenya, working closely in ensuring smooth operations within three departments: programme recruitment, programme events and logistics. Her overall experience prior to GrowthAfrica has been with UK based Law Firms from 2006 to 2010. She then joined United Nations Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Hague from 2010 – 2012 and worked on the defence teams for the re-trial of the former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Idris Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj. She has been involved with the general recruitment, selection, interviews and coordination of various programme activities ensuring top success for each programme. She is passionate about social justice, social change and entrepreneurship

Richard Obuobi

Investment Readiness Manager - East Africa

Richard has an inquiring mind with years of experience in analysing simple to complex deal structures, developing capital markets, supporting and leading policy initiatives by Governments, providing pricing guidance for multi-million dollar transactions and providing business advisory services to SMEs and large corporates across West, East and Southern Africa.

An international development professional with expertise in economics, investment, risk, development finance and private sector engagement, a Part Qualified Actuary and Risk Professional (Certified Financial Risk Manager, Certified Energy Risk Professional), Richard remains a generalist at heart, curious about all business issues and very open to sharing ideas and his experience. His international experience spans more than 20 countries in Africa and Europe. He’s also an entrepreneur who has set up businesses in Kenya and Ghana including Africa Risk Institute and Impact Risk Analytics.


Co-Regional Lead, East Africa (Kenya)

Patricia has worked across Africa and Europe building international partnerships to help East African startups flourish. She is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica, which has helped more than 1500 East African businesses scale through mentorship, training, and patient capital. She is an Acumen Fund East Africa Fellow and earned her BBA-Marketing from Makerere University in Uganda and her MBA from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Patricia leads and manages all Kenyan SPRING staff, operations, networks, and activities.


Co-Regional Lead, East Africa (Rwanda)

Sara Leedom is the COO of African Entrepreneur Collective with 15 years experience growing and managing social impact organisations, providing operations and fundraising strategy to growing nonprofits and social enterprises. Sara’s funded early stage tech startups in Ghana via SBS Venture Fund, and has developed affordable housing throughout the US. Former positions include: Interim Executive Director and Director of Strategy for the Level Playing Field Institute in California, MD of Inkomoko Accelerator in Rwanda, and co-chair of the Oxford Business Network for Africa. She has a BA in English with an emphasis on African literature, and an MBA from Oxford University.