Catalyzing the growth of the Kenya tech community

The rise of the lady "techpreneur" at IPO48

By Jessica Colaço
iHub
  Published 01 Nov 2010
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The beginnings... 52 days after the launch of the iHub in Nairobi, a group called AkiraChix was born at the *iHub_. Akira is a Japanese word that means ‘energy’ and ‘Intelligence’, those are the two words that aptly describe this group of young ladies, who have channeled their energy and intelligence in various ways within the tech community through projects such as Akishika which gives girls in poor urban communitiesIT and life skills. These ladies have proved to be hardcore developers and budding entrepreneurs giving rise to what we call the :"the lady techpreneur!"

The journey... Two AkiraChix members embarked on an entrepreneurial journey when they learnt about IPO48 organized by HumanIPO and Garage48.org. HumanIPO is a startup platform founded in 2009 and focuses on bringing together small investors with entrepreneurs and startups by collaborating and networking via a social media platform. More in the video snippet below:

There were 18 ideas developed over the 48 hours and M-Farm developed by Jamila Amin and Susan Eve who are interns at the iHub and members of AkiraChix, scooped the Ksh.1,000,000 (10,000 EUR) cash prize award to catalyze M-Farm further.

M-Farm is a mobile Information Resource Center that focuses on delivering real time information to the farmers on current market prices,weather alerts and agro-supplies within the location, and bringing farmers together in a collaborative forum via the mobile phone.

These young ladies have a long journey ahead of them as there are a million people out there with a million great ideas, and their all trying to be entrepreneurs. They all want a piece of that yummy pie as they try to build a makeshift company. With so much competition and the hardships of the economy, most of them are going to fail. So what sets the winners apart? Passion.  So I’ll ask you again, are you passionate about what your doing?

You have to be passionate about what your doing to be successful in this world, it’s a must. You cant just like it, you gotta love it! Because if you dont, someone who does love it will come along and do the same thing your doing. And they will do it better. So seriously reflect and think about: What am I truly passionate about? And if what your doing comes to mind, then proceed to the next question.

If your unsure about what you should be doing then maybe you should re-evaluate your priorities. Go look in the mirror, do you see an entrepreneur staring back at you? Or are you sure its not just an idea person? Some people are very good at coming up with ideas, but not very good at carrying them through to fruition. Just being an idea person does not make you an entrepreneur, instead you have to have the ability to take that idea to reality.

Part of being an entrepreneur is not so much asking will there be setbacks, because there will be setbacks, but more so asking yourself do I have the determination and drive to get through those setbacks. You never know if the next time you try something that will be the time you succeed so you should never stop until you are a success. If you fail along the way then you learn from your mistakes and try again at something else. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.

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