Thursday, June 27, 2013

12 interesting facts about entrepreneurs that will surprise you

In my head this is what I think an average entrepreneur is like.  Pretty young (think Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) living the red beans and rice lifestyle and working 80+ hours a week and sleeping under their desk.  On some parts, I’m probably right — but on many, I’m flat-out wrong.  This is demonstrated by a recent report from the Kauffman foundation for entrepreneurship.  The report is titled “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur”.  It’s based on a survey of 549 company founders across a variety of industries.OnStartups Human Brain

Here are some of the points from the report that I found the most interesting. 
1. The average and median age of company founders when they started their current companies was 40.
2. 95.1 percent of respondents themselves had earned bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent had more advanced degrees.
3. Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds
4. 15.2% of founders had a sibling that previously started a business.
5. 69.9 percent of respondents indicated they were married when they launched their first business. An additional 5.2 percent were divorced, separated, or widowed.
6. 59.7 percent of respondents indicated they had at least one child when they launched their first business, and 43.5 percent had two or more children.
7. The majority of the entrepreneurs in the sample were serial entrepreneurs. The average number of businesses launched by respondents was approximately 2.3.
8. 74.8 percent indicated desire to build wealth as an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur.
9. Only 4.5 percent said the inability to find traditional employment was an important factor in starting a business.
10. Entrepreneurs are usually better educated than their parents.
11. Entrepreneurship doesn’t always run in the family. More than half (51.9 percent) of respondents were the first in their families to launch a business.
12. The majority of respondents (75.4 percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.
Is there any from the above that alters what you think of entrepreneurs? 








Creating Economic Possibilities

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

15 Major Reasons Youth Shun Careers in Agriculture

I asked myself why most youth in Kenya, and youth in general, do not like agriculture as a career? Why do youth hate agriculture so much? Here are below are some reasons:
1.    Young people perceive agriculture as a profession of intense labor, not profitable and unable to support their livelihood compared to white collar jobs offer. They think agriculture would not afford them to enjoy the pleasures of owning a beautiful home, posh cars, the latest gadgets and mobile phones like what their colleagues in white collar jobs have access to.

2.    When one talks about agriculture or farming, in the minds of young people, they think of someone far down in a village living in a shack, who wakes up very early every morning to go dig coming back home at sunset. This farmer in their minds, is so far away detached from civilization, and barely wears any clothes and is the typical person who lives on less than a 100bob a week.

3.    There is a very high drive towards industrialization as a way to get Africa out of poverty neglecting agriculture. For instance most governments in Africa place great emphasis for students to study subjects that lead to careers in medicine, oil, IT, neglecting and diminishing the importance of agriculture.

4.    African agriculture or farming is mostly of hoe and machete which makes it very energy and labor intensive. This is the most common example of farmer that almost every young person knows. From an early stage, every young person detests and tries to avoid this sort of life. As a child, if any of us did not want to go to school our parents would intimidate us with words like “ok, you are going to end up as a farmer…living a very hard life and getting infected with lice and no one is going to want to be near you”

5.    In Africa, parents always encourage their children to study to become doctors, accountants, in other-words professionals in white collar jobs. From the onset, farming or a career in agriculture is frowned upon as a poor man’s business.

6.    In primary and high-school, cultivation of food in the school garden has been used as a punishment for every offence committed at school by the children, which has made many young people hate agriculture. For failing to get an exam pass mark, you would be made to slash a bush every evening for a week or dig half an acre of potatoes. This punishment often attracted a lot of humiliation from peers, often being laughed at, jeered at and called all sorts of names such as “failures”; “mentally disabled”.

7.    In school, students in the faculty of agriculture are often treated as of little importance by almost everyone while their peers in management sciences, law, computer and medical school are appreciated and held with high esteem. This diminishes the morale to study agriculture, let alone practice it upon graduation.

8.    Admission of students into the faculties of agriculture and food sciences is often by authorization, after being considered to have not enough grades for the subjects they had initially applied for. Students, who enroll in agricultural courses, do it as a fallback plan, not something they are passionate about. They study agriculture because it is an easier alternative and for the sake of having a paper degree.
9.    Youth in farming, often complain that agriculture is not attractive enough in terms of compensation and conditions of service compared to what other professions like law, medicine, or banking offer. In Kenya, there is nothing like compensation apart from your wage or salary.

10.  Morale of professionals in the agricultural field is low let alone the level of education in this field. This discourages  many young graduates who opt to change careers immediately after graduation to other lucrative areas such as banking

11.  Agriculture loans are often siphoned by politicians who channel this money meant for genuine farmers into their private accounts to buy new cars, buy huge swathes of land, and buy votes and expenses for running for public offices.

12.  There is also the possibility that banks chosen by the government to administer agricultural loans often connive with politicians and put all sorts of impossible obstacles on the paths of these youths in order to frustrate them from getting the loans.

13.  Banks want quick returns on the loans meant for agricultural projects that they have to give out youth in farming, but instead they lend out the money out to non-agriculture sectors that would bring in quicker and more lucrative returns. This often means many applications for these agricultural loans especially from young farmers are unfortunately rejected.

14.  There is a shortage of individuals who are successfully running agricultural businesses, such as in other professions. Youth should be connected to many individuals doing well in Agriculture to act as mentors, counselors and provide career guidance advice to youth considering a career in agriculture.

15.  Lastly, youth complain that it takes much longer time to achieve success in the field of agriculture than it would normally take for these politics, oil, and banking. Since most youth want money fast, very few are willing to take a field like agriculture



Monday, June 17, 2013

Sh10m online venture built by Kenyan Enterprenuer


As a student at Virginia Tech in the United States, Mogaka Mwencha would stock up on local Kenyan crafts while on holiday, and display them proudly in his room. His friends would gape over the artefacts and in the spirit of entrepreneurship, Mogaka sold selected pieces at a tidy profit.

Little did he know that his passion for Kenyan art would culminate 12 years later in a business worth over Sh10 million.
The first venture that the budding entrepreneur embarked upon was in 2000 with college mates from Zambia and Malawi. Through a website called ezuri, they sold African art to the Western market.

However, the challenges of importing items, trade restrictions, packaging and transport prevented ezuri from growing. “But the opportunity was there; that was clear,” said Mogaka.

Seven years later, he returned to Kenya with his eye keenly trained on online business opportunities.

Internet-based

“When I returned, I found a few guys setting up Internet-based businesses to facilitate trade. One of them was Tips online,” said Mogaka. An online business directory, it collected information on businesses and presented it in an accessible format.

Around the same time, he discovered Online Duka, which catalogued products online.

“I thought why don’t we combine these two ideas,” he said.
Eventually an idea was created that offered value that could be charged, Mogaka explained, adding that one of the biggest problems facing Internet businesses in Kenya was they didn’t operate according to a business model that included an income stream.

At this time, Kenya’s infrastructure was fast developing and the days of dial up modems had been replaced by fibre optic technology.

This strengthened the avenues open to businesses, and set the stage for an online platform that traded products and services.

In 2010, Mzoori was launched. The genesis of the name grew from Mogaka’s first business, ezuri.

In addition to being founded on the Swahili word mzuri meaning good or beautiful, the double ‘o’ was a throwback to the web 2.0 style of business which relies on user generated content and is typified by Google, Facebook and Yahoo - all of which incorporate the double o in their brand name.

When Mzoori first entered the market, it depended on numbers; getting as many products and services online as possible in order to attract eyeballs, and in turn draw advertising from large corporates.

“Then we discovered that Kenyans are not comfortable clicking ‘Buy.’ They want to see the thing and hold it,” said Mogaka. “And it’s not yet part of our culture where if you’re shopping for something you check online. People would look online and then go away.”

In short, the business model was not what the Kenyan market required. 

He and his partners agreed a change of approach was needed and spent 18 months aggressively researching and developing a website that would answer the needs of Kenyans.

“We asked ourselves; what is it people are doing that they are comfortable with, that we can take advantage of?’’
We noticed that shoppers would come online, look for products or services that they’re interested in, and contact the person selling it.

So we thought, what if we make money connecting the buyer and the seller? And that’s what we do now,” explained the 34-year-old CEO.

In September, Mzoori was launched as a lead generation system.

A seller lists his products and when a buyer interested in his particular product visits the website, the seller is alerted through an SMS that shares the buyer’s particulars.

This innovation which Mogaka and his team developed is called ‘outcry,’ and it puts a seller in direct contact with his target market, offering distinct advantages vis a vis a mass media campaign. While the seller is currently charged Sh10 per SMS, Mogaka is confident that the SMS cost will reduce as the business attracts volumes.

Countrywide expansion

“Every time someone is shopping for what you are selling, we tell you,” said Mogaka.

He added: “Most people do not spend time on their computers, or on the Internet waiting for an order but they always have their phone. And if you get an SMS with an order, you react.”

Items listed include clothing, shoes, handbags and books, and larger assets like furniture, electronics, kitchen appliances and cars.

In three months, Mzoori has registered 500 shoppers and 10,000 products through 50 sellers including Text Book Centre who delivers across the country.

Mzoori is initially focusing on Nairobi, but plans to be countrywide in 2013, and Mogaka is hopeful that once the website gains the trust of Kenyans, it will facilitate online transactions by reintroducing the ‘Buy’ button.

To assuage concerns that shoppers have about online commerce, Mzoori also verifies the authenticity of sellers, and this has helped build credibility.

With eight employees based at the View Park Towers in central Nairobi, the young company boasts a strong corporate governance structure with a board that includes a former managing director of Kenya Airways, a leading IT consultant, and the project financier.

- Business Daily Africa







Creating Economic Responsibilities

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tomatoe success for young Kenyan enterprenuers

A student shows off his tomato plants
Young people in Kenya have taken up agriculture to heart, boosting their income and setting themselves up with the skills they need to make a living from agriculture. Receiving training from Farm Africa, these young entrepreneurs improve the quality of their produce and learn how to grow high value crops, such as tomatoes. The training also ensures that the young entrepreneurs tomatoes are packaged and well marketed.



Greenhouse technology
One of the young entrepreneurs learn about greenhouse technology, and improvised a greenhouse using locally available material and successfully established 700 stems of tomatoes. The harvest received brought in good income, and bettered livelihood.

The school's greenhouseBoosting families’ income
Ezekiel, a form three student receiving training, is growing 400 stems of tomatoes in his family’s garden. Obviously proud of his hard work, Ezekiel said: “I hope to sell off my produce very soon so the earnings will supplement my family’s income.” His father said: “We are very happy about what Ezekiel is doing. He is completely occupied with his farming. I allowed him to farm on my small piece of land if he showed seriousness in his farm work!”The greenhouse attendant Joel Matundura planted 400 stems, and has already sold off the produce and reinvested the money to establish another crop. Asked about how the previous crop fared, Joel simply said: “Not bad at all!” “I hope to do even more now that the business has taken off. I am very thankful to Farm Africa for introducing this technology to us”
 Read more about farming opportunities for young peopleFind out more about farming in Kenya









Creating Economic Opportunities

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Forbes names 7 Kenyans in the Forbes 30 Africa's Best Young Entrepreneurs Under 30

Young entrepreneurs are changing the face of Africa. Below is a list of the 30 Africans under 30 years old who are making the most dramatic impact across the continent. Cut across Real Estate, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Media, Tech, Green tech, Healthcare, Agriculture and Fashion, the 30 young African entrepreneurs, disruptors and innovators featured on this list are impatient to change Africa. Together, they represent the entrepreneurial, innovative and intellectual best of their generation.

They’re solving problems like healthcare and electricity shortages, proffering innovative solutions to waste management, building virtual and physical communities and creating lots of jobs. A few of them are manufacturing the foods we love, designing exquisite clothing for our women and some are developing some cool apps for mobile phones across Africa.
 Not an exhaustive or official list , but closest to a definitive list
Drumroll please.....and the best of Africa’s 30 Under 30 – the continent’s best young entrepreneurs, today’s disruptors and tomorrow’s brightest stars are:


Jonathan Liebmann, South African

Real Estate developer, CEO of Propertuity

Liebmann, 28, is the Managing Director of Propertuity, a South African Real Estate development company and the brains behind the construction of the Maboneng Precinct, a thriving cultural district in the east side of Johannesburg’s CBD. Once a neglected and deteriorating neighborhood housing abandoned industrial complexes, Liebmann transformed Maboneng into a vibrant urban mixed-use community complete with Art galleries, artist studios, retail spaces, offices and artist studios.

Patrick Ngowi, Tanzanian

CEO, Helvetic Solar Contractors

Nine years ago, Patrick Ngowi, 28, received a small loan from his mother to start off a business. He started off selling Chinese mobile phones, but when he discovered that a tiny fraction of Tanzanians enjoyed any access to stable and reliable electricity, he knew he had to rectify that problem. Ngowi set up Helvetic Solar Contractors Limited, a company that is a pioneer in the supply, installation and maintenance of solar systems throughout the Northern Circuit of Tanzania. Helvetic Solar Contractors is the first company in the Northern Circuit to cater for Solar needs. The company did about $3 million in revenues last year.

Lorna Rutto, Kenyan

Green Tech Entrepreneur, Founder, EcoPost

Lorna Rutto, 28 is the founder of EcoPost, a profitable social enterprise which manufactures aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts using plastic waste, a more environmentally friendly alternative to timber. EcoPost collects this plastic waste (such as polypropylene and polyethylene) and manufactures fencing posts from it. Rutto has earned international acclaim for her efforts in providing an alternative waste management solution to Kenya’s plastic menace.

Justin Stanford, South African

Founder & CEO, 4Di Group

Stanford, 28, is a software entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Seven years ago, he cornered the exclusive and lucrative distribution rights for ESET, a Slovakian anti-virus software package. Today, Stanford’s ESET Southern Africa operates the ESET brand in the region and sells ESET’s range of internet security products in about 20 sub-Saharan countries, recording over $10 million in annual turnover.  He controls about 5% of the anti-virus market in Southern Africa. Stanford is also the founder of 4Di Capital, a Cape Town-based venture capital fund.

Rapelang Rabana, South African

Founder, Yeigo Communications


Rapelang Rabana, 28 is the CEO and founder of Yeigo Communications, an innovative Cape Town-based company which develops software for telecoms-related services including Voice over IP, Instant messaging, SMS messaging and push email services. In 2008, Telfree, a Swiss mobile telecommunications firm acquired a 51% stake in Yeigo.

Kimiti Wanjaria & Ian Kahara, Kenyan

Founders, Serene Valley Properties

Both in their late 20s, Kimiti Wanjaria and Ian Kahara are part of a group of four co-founders of Serene Valley Properties (SVP), a Real Estate development company in Nairobi that constructs and sells residential properties to Kenya’s ever-growing middle class. SVP is behind the development of Sigona Valley project, a KSh350m (US$4.2m) gated residential community outside Nairobi.

Evans Wadongo, Kenyan

Chairman, SDFA Kenya

Wadongo, a 26 year-old Kenyan engineer designed a solar-powered LED lantern called MwangaBora (Swahili for “Good Light”), an invention which is fast replacing 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. His organization, Sustainable Development For All (SDFA) sponsors an empowerment initiative that teaches poor Kenyans how to reproduce these solar lanterns and sell for profit.

Ludwick Phofane Marishane, South African

Founder, Headboy Industries

Marishane, 21, is the founder of Headboy Industries, a South African company which developed and owns the patent for Drybath, the world’s first germicidal bath-substituting skin lotion/gel.

Cosmas Ochieng, Kenyan

Founder, Ecofuels Kenya

Cosmas Ochieng, a 26 year-old Kenyan entrepreneur runs Ecofuels Kenya, an East Africa firm which produces environmentally friendly, green biofuels and organic fertilizers from renewable indigenous sources such as the croton nut.

Eric Muthomi, Kenyan

Founder, Stawi Foods & Fruits

The 26 year-old Kenyan entrepreneur is the founder of Stawi Foods and Fruits, an innovative start-up which procures bananas from smallholder farmers in rural Kenya and processes them into banana flour.

Joel Mwale, Kenyan

Founder, Skydrop Enterprises

Mwale who is 20 years old runs SkyDrop Enterprises, a rainwater filtration and bottling company which produces low-cost purified drinking water, milk and other dairy products in Kenya. Mwale founded Skydrop in December 2009 and the company now employs over 20 people.

Verone Mankou, Congolese

Tech Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO, VMK

Verone Mankou is the founder of VMK, a tech company focused on mobile technologies, specifically in the design, in Africa, of Tablet PCs & Smartphones.  In 2011 VMK presented the Way-C, its first Android Tablet PC. The Way-C retails at USD $300 and is available in the Congo and France. VMK also manufactures an African-themed Android smartphone called Elikia. Mankou is 26.

Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude & Ayodeji Adewunmi, Nigerian

Founders, Jobberman

The trio founded Jobberman, Nigeria’s biggest job search engine and aggregator. Jobberman went live in August 2009, and today the site attracts over 50,000 unique users each day. Through simple, yet cutting-edge technology, Jobberman helps link qualified personnel to the right job opportunities. Jobberman is one of the few companies in Nigeria’s tech space that enjoy venture capital backing.

Oluwaseun Osewa, Nigerian

Founder, Nairaland

Nigerian geek Oluwaseun Osewa is the founder of Nairaland, Africa’s largest online forum. He founded the site in March 2005 as a general purpose discussion forum with a bias towards issues of interest to Nigerians. The site took off. Nairaland now has close to 1 million registered users and is the most popular Nigerian website today. For perspective: In Nigeria, Nairaland gets more visits than Wikipedia. Nairaland earns its revenue through its ad inventory.

Ashley Uys, South African

Founder, Medical Diagnostech

Ashley Uys’ company, Medical Diagnostech develops and markets affordable and reliable medical test kits for malaria, pregnancy, syphilis, malaria, HIV/ Aids for South Africa’s rural poor. The company’s Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test kit can reportedly detect all strains of malaria and indicate within 30 minutes whether the malaria treatment provided is effective. Last November, Medical Diagnostech won $120,000 in prize money at the SAB Foundation 2nd Annual Social Innovation Awards. Uys is 29.

Sizwe Nzima, South African

Founder, Iyeza Express

The 21 year-old South African entrepreneur runs Iyeza Express, an innovative enterprise which helps reduce overcrowding at public health facilities by collecting and delivering medication from public clinics and hospitals on bicycles to residents of the Western Cape who are on protracted medication.

William Kamkwamba, Malawian

Inventor

Meet the boy who harnessed the wind. Born in Malawi, William was only 14 years old when he built an electricity-producing windmill from junkyard scraps in order to provide a steady source of water for his family’s farm and village in Masitala Village, Wimbe. With a bicycle dynamo and chain ring, tractor fan, rubber belts and bamboo poles, William succeeded in building a functioning windmill that provided energy for two radios and four light bulbs. Fuelled by the modest success of the initial windmill, William set out to build a larger windmill to help with irrigation for his entire village. Kamkwamba is currently studying for a degree in Environmental studies and Engineering at Dartmouth College in the USA.

Sandra Appiah and Isaac Boateng, Ghanaian

Co-founder, Face2Face Africa

Sandra Appiah, 23 and Isaac Boateng, 28, both Ghanaian nationals are the founders of Face2Face Africa (F2FA), a New York city-based new media company with a mandate to restore Africa’s image within the global community. The company has three divisions: an outfit that publishes a magazine which explores African development, culture, entertainment and fashion, an events business and a thriving website.

Ola Orekunrin, Nigerian

Medical Doctor, Founder, Flying Doctors

A Nigerian healthcare entrepreneur and medical doctor, Orekunrin, 25, is the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first Air Ambulance Service. Flying Doctors Nigeria provides urgent helicopter, airplane ambulance and evacuation services in Nigeria and other countries across West Africa.

Andrew Mupuya, Ugandan

Founder, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI)

In 2008 Andrew raised $18 from family and friends and started making paper bags on a small scale. In 2010 he registered his company, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI), which is now the first locally registered paper bag and Envelope-producing Company in Uganda. The company now employs about 15 Ugandans and YELI is a leading supplier of paper bags and envelopes to local hospitals, retail outlets, roadside sellers and local flour manufacturers. Between 2008 and now, YELI has produced more than half a million paper bags. Andrew Mupunya is 20.

Chude Jideonwo & Adebola Williams, Nigerian

Founders, Red Media/ The Future Project

Jideonwo and Williams are co-founders and Partners of Red Nigeria- a leading full service media-content, communication and Development Company in Nigeria. The firm also owns The Future Project (TFP) – a strategic social enterprise/change communications firm which hosts theannual Future Awards, Nigeria’s most important awards for outstanding young Nigerians.

Mark Kaigwa, Kenyan

Partner, Afrinnovator

Mark Kaigwa, 25 is a multi-talented creative director, filmmaker, digital marketer and entrepreneur. Kaigwa is a co-founder and partner at Afrinnovator, a venture which aims to put Africa on the map by publishing exploits across African innovation, technology and start-ups. He is also Partner at African Digital Art – the web’s leading resource for creative inspiration in animation, illustration, photography and design from Africa.

Arthur Zang, Cameroonian

Inventor

Last year, Arthur Zang, a 25 year-old Cameroonian engineer invented the Cardiopad, a touch screen medical tablet. With the Cardiopad, heart examinations such as the electrocardiogram (ECG) can be performed at remote, rural locations while the results of the test are transferred wirelessly to specialists who can interpret them. The device spares African patients living in remote areas the trouble of having to travel to urban centers to seek medical examinations. The Cardiopad is expected to become commercially available in 2013.

Thula Sindi, South African

Fashion Entrepreneur, Founder, Thula Sindi

The 28 year-old is one of Southern Africa’s best-known young fashion designers.  After completing his studies at the London International School of Fashion he landed his first job as head designer at Vlisco, a Dutch textile company. He quit shortly afterwards to launch his eponymous self-titled clothing label which designs, manufactures, and markets delicately crafted women’s clothing.

Farai Gundan, Zimbawean

Founder, Farai Media

The Zimbabwean-born media personality and Internet entrepreneur is the founder of Farai Media, an Africa-focused online mobile and advertising platform. She is also a co-Founder of AfricaTripDeals, a global distribution system for travel to Africa.
*Forbes

Your never too old or too young to start!!
Creating Economic Possibilities

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Young Entrepreneur Who Refused to Look for a Job

A read I thought would be of interest:
LITTLE might be known about Imran Khosla, but not so for those who frequent courts or those in the information and communication technology industry. His is a story of a young entrepreneur who has refused to sit and just wait for jobs to come but has decided with the little cash he has to start off his own business that is now giving birth to new ventures beyond what he had imagined.
Now in his late twenties, Imran set up his first electronic shop which also sold computer accessories in 2008. “After hearing lots of stories about graduates who have had tormenting search for jobs to no avail, obviously that was not the route I wished to take. I wanted to create my own job, and be my own boss, this was the inspiration that threw me into the world of entrepreneurship, and four years on, I tell you all is well and you cannot believe it I have over ten employees, and whose turnover is running into fortunes now,” Imran says with a cheer.
His journey into business started when he realised there was no one to employ him as an interior designer after studying for the course since he had no experience in the sector. After completing school, Imran used to hold briefs backing up his father in local courts as an interpreter in most jurisdictions involving Indian Dogri speakers (speakers of Hindi, Urdu, Punjab, and Gujarat).
“The money used to go to my dad’s account directly but he often gave some percentage of the cash to me, and from the little savings, I started dreaming of starting an electronic business. So I could buy some few electronics like an Ipod or music players and sell to my friends and this become a tradition on a monthly basis that enabled me open up my first shop called Digidunia at Imenti House with about ten items,” he says.
Fear, self-doubt and unclear market at the beginning, Imran says, were almost driving his business to a wind up. He could barely make much sales and the financial resources at that time could not sustain paying up the bills.”Uncertainties and sometimes unsure of where to get the finances to fuel the business was the major hurdle and at this time I was almost contemplating to shutdown but a voice of holding on kept pushing me to persevere. After serious marketing of the few products I had, on its fourth month, the business went belly up and could stand on its own and i even hired three people to assist with its operations,” he says with a smile on his face adding that lack of self motivation and confidence and allowing the mind to listen to negative voices like ‘you won’t make it’ is the main reason many of his peers don’t see their businesses through to their first anniversary.
After one year, the business had expanded to the point that the premise could not contain it anymore. So he decided to open up an extra branch on the same building. At this time, he says he had gone into massive savings with less expenditures and opening up a new shop was not a big deal. With just one year experience, no mentor in business, he admits getting through the legal matters on company incorporation was not an easy task, but it served him a chance to test his courage and drive to push on.
“You know at this time, I was a young man who has just started making some money for himself and that feeling of contentness sets in coupled up with social pressure that faces many other youths and a compelling desire to burn up the money on entertainment is just one of the most difficult challenge to overcome,” he says. “But I realised youth was not a time of life and party, but a state of mind, not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees, though a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions and the freshness of the deep springs of life, that you must work now to have to enjoy later,” he advises, quoting Samuel Ullman, a former American businessman and poet.
Just a month ago, Imran has opened up a World Digital Electronics shop that he believes will help steer the government’s dream of digital migration.The Communications Commission of Kenya plan to move the country from analogue TV to digital broadcasting by 2013.
“We want to be part of this switch over to the digital edge, the reason we are specialising in selling quality fully giant digital LCDs, LED TVs, and the set top boxes which enables receive the digital signals. Apart from that, we are dealers in car stereos, home theatres, hi-fi systems, speakers and subwoofers and latest play stations. If you thinking about entertainment, we are offering that solution at unbelievable prices,” he explains citing marketing strategies of his products and penetrating the already saturated electronics business in Nairobi as his only major challenge.
In his parting shots he calls on the institutions of learning and government to encourage young people to start their own business and give incentives for innovation instead of only concentrating on equipping them with skills to land them a job. To avoid humiliation in life, he calls on youths to avoid being too ambitious but to set realistic goals as well as being enterprising instead of waiting for huge pay cheques through employment. “To those like me still staggering in business, financial discipline, hard work and valuing staff is key to succeeding in business,” he says.
 *Reference: The Star 

Creating Economic Opportunities