There is a growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs in Kenya who have been motivated to build a company through a search for change based on a clear vision and contagious passion.
It is the vision of Duma Works that in a society with such high unemployment rates, no job opportunity should be lost. It is this vision that has led us to create a job matching platform to help match people more quickly, a screening system to make sure people are matched more accurately, and a mobile platform to make sure Duma Works is accessible to everyone.
Duma Works participated in an event with Ashoka Innovators for the Public last week that drew social entrepreneurs from across the globe. Walking around the rooftop of Pawa254 you could overhear pieces of conversations that ranged from how to increase the number of disabled people in the workforce, to sustainable bee keeping.
The one common thread throughout each conversation was the vision. Vision is the guiding force behind all decisions an entrepreneur makes. At Duma Works, we prefer to call social entrepreneurship “vision-driven entrepreneurship,” because it is the clear vision that determines the outcome of the venture. Passion and vision combine to yield a focused, driven entrepreneur.
Every entrepreneur in Kenya (and everywhere) should make sure to find and clarify their passion before they start their venture. So many entrepreneurs know they want to do something, but they don’t know what. This leads to a startup, or a social enterprise, without a clear vision.
If you haven’t yet figured out your vision to make change in society, take some more time to think about it before starting your venture. If you don’t have a clear idea of your goals, how are you going to convey them to your team, stakeholders, or anyone at all?
Some other great tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur include:
1- Dreaming big, but starting simple – The most important thing to building a venture is creating a solid foundation. Keep this foundation in line with your vision, and don’t get distracted by building too many new “features,” especially at the beginning.
2- Don’t get distracted by promises of profits – No one knows your vision better than you. Don’t let a client paying big money change your focus in a way that is impossible or too costly for you to realign with your vision.
3- Don’t be afraid of change (as long as it is in line with your vision!) – At the beginning, your venture will experience many changes, especially with your business model. Understand those changes are you getting closer to what people really need, and make adjustments accordingly, keeping your overall vision in mind. A way of understanding this point – I want to eat a candy bar – that is my vision. But there are many different ways for me to actually eat it.
Stay focused and good luck!