7 lessons achieved as a broke entrepreneur in 2017

7 lessons achieved as a broke entrepreneur in 2017

Our journeys will always be hard/different, but they lead to one destination – success & impact. If I had the option, I would choose to become a hopeless youth in this highly political country. But… alas! I decided to face the fears, without a salary, as a volunteer, in my own company! God used people, sent voices & created ways that forced me to loosen the comfort. Feeling muziki 🎶 Haha 💃

I enjoy every moment 😄 This series is about what I purposed to learn & do…

 
Genuine Focus… no retreat, no surrender
After six straight months of reasoning, researching, & calculating in my first job, I decided. I went to the company MD and broke the news, even before writing a resignation letter. “You are very ambitious,” he advised, “Grace, I noticed this from the beginning at the interview, but you have to be willing to focus on your biggest strengths.” I smiled. I was grateful. Then I wrote the letter and spared one month to effectively hand-over. I moved on. To what had been my vision from the very beginning. It was a hard start, without a clear plan, without money, just enough to set up a website and emails. I had to move out. I lived with my aunts because I could neither afford rent, nor pay a single insurance… hata NHIF 😀

 
100% positive att (attention) on AblePursuit
I finally accepted that it is a calling. It’s not just about being an entrepreneur, but an inspiration. That’s why it takes time for many people to understand that AblePursuit is not just a company. The name itself would convince you that we are an NGO, but we’re an enterprise set up for society, not just individuals. I wrote the concept back in campo; at the final year, as an assignment in one of my favorite courses on Communication & Edutainment. Moving on 2017, 2018… we are grinding. We spent the year developing & testing this media App 👉 Custolive, as well as, collaborating with Everizone to design an online talent assessment called PEM 7 to match the industry needs based on the new curriculum by the Kenya -Ministry of Education. Our products are ready for the world!

 
Join those in the Game
When our late mum finally agreed that I am a very social person, she blessed me 😇 “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”, says an African proverb, on the value of team work. This adage teaches me that creating shared value is based on our different talents and how we ought to use them, to create impact. In 2017, I joined more organizations… Everizone, TheirWorld, Street Love Family, Youth in Business, SDSN Youth, 1Million Startups, BizHub Community. All of which share the same goal of creating social sustainable impact. AIESEC & the iHub have initially been one of the greatest opportunities in life too. Through them, I learnt the value of working together; despite the religious, political, regional, racial, tribal, and gender differences. I have even made friends out of these communities ☺ The keyword here is ‘togetherness’.

 
Conceptualize & Give it to them
As one of the avenues to create awareness about your work, events come in handy. Kenyans like to meet up, hangout and party once in a while. At AblePursuit, it has become a priority to work with event organizers, to develop concepts that matter to the Kenya mwananchi. Even so, to the African people. We teamed up with Youth in Business, and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to host the Tax 101 training. It was an accomplishment. We also teamed up with Boyani Fashion, Velour Models, Lintons Beauty, Lens Afrik, Tribeless Youth, Hyve Media, Zene Naturals, Abaki Simba Band, to host #PaintPeaceKE that witnessed an array of Kenyan designers, musicians, poets, photographers, and the launch of Boyani Fashion. We are now bringing #PeertoPeer to the 47+1 counties in partnership with Everizone + an amazing team of creatives & event organizers.

 
Establish Partnerships
AblePursuit is a startup. Like a person, the company needs the right associates to achieve the goal of being a global voice for sustainable development. The main objective is to upgrade MSMEs, by nurturing young talents, creating stories & providing effective communication avenues for them. While discussing the progress in plans to establish Everizone in East & West Africa, the Founder (Anthonie Torré) offered… “Why not have a partnership between Everizone and AblePursuit?” It was one of the lightest moments 🙌 We are aiming to nurture AblePursuit, together with Everizone and 1Million Startups. There are also young entrepreneurs from other African countries that we’re looking to engage in 2018. Time to make vision a reality in Africa 👌

 
Be Socially Responsible
We’re a young company. In fact, we’re not yet generating much revenue. Nevertheless, we have committed 2% of net profit earned every month towards social impact initiatives on: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health, Quality Education, Inclusivity & Equality, and Climate Action. The main objective is to help reduce the barriers for personal growth and business growth. No business can excel without the well-being of the people. Some of the initiatives we have joined are by the Street Love Family for less privileged children/youth, #KirinyagaCarbons for small-scale farmers, and Dbegotin Educational Foundation for learners & drop outs.

 
Be Resilient & Take Encouragement from People
The lightest moments have been the encouragement from my aunties, uncles and shosho (grandma) not to give up. They have supported me and trusted my capability. Even so, I am grateful to those friends, family & mentors who cheer me on! Cheers to friends, family & mentors who have positively criticized my mistakes, just to make me a better person. Cheers to those who have been an inspiration to me, my role models ☺ There are friends & acquaintances whom I’ve seen grow, as entrepreneurs or as employees. They are never afraid to share their stories on social media. I have seen some win awards & recognitions. You know yourselves 😉 This has been enough evidence that… with God, everything is possible! Indeed, God speaks to us through other people. Cheers mi genté 🙌

 

Majaliwa, let’s make 2018 greater!

 

 

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(Cosy) Grace Jayo is a daughter, friend, kipenzi & Princess of Africa.
An Entrepreneur & Youth Advocate for Sustainable Development.
Founder, AblePursuit
Mantra: Live. Love. Learn. Timeless being. Trust in God.