Canary Wharf entrepreneurs give up high-flying jobs to help start-ups in Africa

Baobab Network founders Toby Hanington and Tom Fairburn. Picture: Baobab Network

Baobab Network founders Toby Hanington and Tom Fairburn. Picture: Baobab Network - Credit: Baobab Network

Two City entrepreneurs helping Canary Wharf companies have given up their high-pay jobs to help fledgling businesses in Africa.

Baobab Network founders Toby Hanington and Tom Fairburn. Picture: Baobab Network

Baobab Network founders Toby Hanington and Tom Fairburn. Picture: Baobab Network - Credit: Baobab Network

University friends Tom Fairburn, 25, and Toby Hanington, 26, have set up the Baobab Network which links “socially conscious” brands with start-up businesses in sub-Saharan Africa to give them the tools to expand their trading.

“The ‘start-ups’ in countries like Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda face challenging conditions,” Tom explained. “But they could one day be global leaders in their business sectors. Our aim is to unlock this potential.”

The two have raised £150,000 through crowdfunding to run programmes in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with business consultants from Canary Wharf and City companies like Credit Suisse, UBS, Dell, Barclay’s and PWC.

But they acknowledge facing big challenges, as traditional political instability has led to a lack of business confidence in African innovation.

For more information visit thebaobabnetwork.com.


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