In the past couple of years, Nairobi earned itself the nick name of Silicon Savannah due to a mushrooming start-up scene. Last year, Bloomberg Media estimated Nairobi’s tech scene could be worth as much as $1 billion by 2018. At the same time, social entrepreneurs are gaining ground with the first Impact Hub opening next year. Social entrepreneurs create innovative solutions to tackle society’s most pressing social problems.
International Team hosts Nairobi Entrepreneurs Camp
Magdalena Kloibhofer from the international program SEED and Jacob Opara from Nairobi-based MGI Consultants teamed up to organize an event to support young social entrepreneurs. The first Nairobi Entrepreneurs Camp will take place next weekend, October 7-9, 2016 at the renowned Strathmore University in the heart of Nairobi. Magdalena and Jacob gathered a team of around 10 facilitators from Kenya, Germany and France. I have the honor to participate in this good-will workshop and share my knowledge in PR, Marketing as well as non-violent communication.
Self-confidence is one key to entrepreneurial success
Yesterday we met with parts of the team to finalize the program. Our participants come from both urban and rural settings in Kenya. One focus will be on empowering the young entrepreneurs and supporting them in gaining more self-confidence and training them in diverse business tools.
Learning: Many people believe whites know everything
I was a bit shocked when I learned that a significant number of people in Africa find it difficult to talk to a white person on eye-level. They feel inferior, because of their African origin. Jacob explained it was an attitude dating back to colonial times when people were constantly told by white colonizers that they couldn’t do anything of quality by themselves. This attitude must have been passed on over generations since colonization ended in the 1960s. For me, this seems very odd and I am glad Jacob told me. I don’t think I would have figured out quickly that a person I am talking to feels inferior due to their origin or color of skin because that way of thinking is very far away from my own idea of the equality of all human beings.
Good ideas need strong, self-confident voices
It also makes me sad to think that many good ideas may never be carried out because people don’t believe in themselves. Even though this is a problem I also witness in Germany and in my own life, here it is not merely the problem of certain individuals but nearly of a whole continent. I am very excited to get to know these young entrepreneurs and see what they are working on and what ideas they have to improve social issues in Kenya.
Information on partner organizations:
SEED supports small-scale eco-inclusive entrepreneurs around the globe. Over ten years of working with hundreds of enterprises in African countries have resulted in a proven and tested business development toolbox for tailored capacity building. www.seed.uno
Africa.NGO is an international network comprising of youthful actors committed to catalyzing social entrepreneurship opportunities and interventions in Africa. Africa.NGO has a presence in over 10 countries across the continent. https://www.facebook.com/www.africa.ngo/
MGI Consultants Kenya offer customized solutions for corporate development in Renewable Energy, ICT, and Business Development Solutions. MGI is involved in extensive social programs empowering local communities and youth. www.mgiconsultantskenya.com