Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Making Your Business Idea Successful

It’s no secret! Now more than ever, entrepreneurship is changing the world. Young entrepreneurs are realizing significant gaps in the market and are seizing the opportunities.

Take Evans Wadongo, Chairman of Sustainable Development for All (SDFA). The 27 year-old Kenyan engineer designed a solar-powered LED lantern called MwangaBora. Wadongo’s invention has quickly replaced smoky kerosene lamps and firelight in rural Kenya. Wadongo has been distributing thousands of these lanterns throughout rural Kenya where there is little or no electricity.

So is there a given formula to making your business idea work?

Of course not. A quick look into the career paths of successful entrepreneurs and you’ll see that the direction they take is as different as their product or service offering. But although their behaviours are different, their way of thinking may not have necessarily been any different.

The “formula” you need to follow to be successful simply lies in figuring out what you really want to do. Once you’ve worked that out, who’s to say the same approach won’t work for you?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Figure out what it is that you really want to do – with no passion you won’t give your best efforts.
  2. Start-off by taking a small step toward your goal. Any entrepreneur will tell you that establishing your own business is a risky business. Therefore, taking it step-by-step will stop you from moving too far too quickly.
  3. After the small step, stop to see what you’ve learned so far. A committed entrepreneur gives himself time to consider everything. This way he’ll find out what works and what doesn’t.
  4. Take another small step once you understand what you’ve learned. Then repeat the whole cycle again.

Just remember… The best entrepreneurs didn’t wait for their ideas to be perfect before they launched their products or services. Instead they changed them as they progressed along the way.

Time to recognise Kenya’s Rising Stars

The CfC Stanbic Rising Star Awards aim to recognise aspirational young individuals who show an unshakable persistence in achieving their goals. In association with Engen, Airtel and Who’s Who in Kenya, the Rising Star Program will return in 2015 to promote Kenya’s most talented young leaders.

Originating in South Africa in 2012, the Rising Star Program was launched in Kenya in June 2014 as an engine to recognise, celebrate and connect Kenya’s young talented people. By raising awareness and creating opportunities to grow and nurture Kenya’s talent, the Rising Star Awards have become a significant vehicle for organisations to identify their exceptional individuals. These notables are then encouraged to become tomorrow’s opinion leaders, and an inspiration to their peers.

With 2015 only a stone’s throw away, the time has come again for you to have your say – let us know who you think deserves to be recognised. Whether they are a colleague, friend, a family member, now’s the time to nominate Kenya’s next Rising Star. Do you think you have what it takes? Why not nominate yourself?

Nominations are open for individuals aged between 28 and 40. To participate, visit the Kenya Rising Star website and complete the “Enter a Rising Star” form. Nominations will close at the end of January 2015, so don’t delay!

Follow Who’s Who in Kenya on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date with the CfC Stanbic Rising Star Awards.

Profiting from Ideas and Innovation

Many great inventions started off with a small idea. To be innovative one must think out of the box. But what if we do the opposite?

We can remain in that same box of existing ideas and reach innovation through simplicity. We can’t do without brainstorming sessions during office meetings and as a collective, we can amplify each idea, making it easier to reach innovation.

Gathering minds

The Happy Spotting Network is a great example of how people share their discoveries. Members of this network keep an eye out for new trends and innovation; findings are shared with a large global network. Every individual must realise that innovation profits the common good; therefore one mustn’t be triggered by rewards but by the idea that innovation will benefit us all in many different ways.

How do we profit?

Innovative technology allows us to generate sustainable energy. Medically, we’re getting closer to eradication of diseases. This results in an increase of our life expectancy. Economically, there will be a great shift from real workers to automatised employees to minimise inefficiency subsequently leading to a different demand in future jobs.
There’s no need to say that these developments are of great importance for us humans. One can assume that we’re speedily moving forward and we will profit by having a safer environment, an increase of leisure time and better health conditions.

How can we profit even more?

It could be believed that if we can get rid of the competitiveness amongst our innovators who are desperately needed, we can achieve much more in a shorter time frame. Access to information is a critical matter when it comes to sustainable development. Innovative ideas often come with intellectual property rights or patents.  These are supposed to protect innovators from infringement and stimulate innovation, but the opposite seems to be happening. Given the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention, trying to imagine how the pace of innovation would accelerate if knowledge were more free flowing, is an extremely enticing thought.

If you’re interested in offline interaction, try visiting several innovative events.

Author: Asmeret Wolderkidan, International Intern at Who’s Who SA