I got to chat with Wemo about MAMA Ventures . I wanted to understand why she is passionate about helping Businesses . MAMA Ventures is a women-led growth accelerator company that works with businesses to actualize business ideas towards profitability and sustainability. Read more about her and what she thinks are the challenges that face entrepreneurs in Kenya.
- Tell us about you :
This is usually the hardest part about any interview… how does one talk about themselves without sounding too self-obsessed? I am 27, born and raised in Kisumu, rebellious and unapologetic enough to dive into the deep end of entrepreneurship. I am the founder of MAMA Ventures, enjoy winning at Monopoly and a lover of travel, books, music and photography. I have a background in Public Health which was the foundation upon which I launched my corporation. http://www.mamaglobal.co.ke/
- Your best social media platform?
I have a huge preference for Twitter. The speed at which information is propagated and verified is amazing. It also gives me a great outlook on my interests, especially in business and global markets, in real time. It definitely gives me a good laugh when I need it.
- What do you use social media for mostly?
I mainly use social media to stay updated with changing trends, market research, meet and engage potential clients and partners. I also use social media to relax and recharge my mental cells.
- Tell us more about MAMA ventures:
MAMA Ventures is a B-Corp that works with responsible leaders, teams and organizations, in the business and academic sectors, to drive innovation, engage communities and promote social impact in Africa. I founded MAMA in 2016, equipping businesses with sustainable and profitable business models, and we have fully morphed to impact leadership through social change from the community level by the community. I also run entrepreneur meetups with relevant topics that we address to support business founders as they run their various ventures.
- What are some of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Kenya?
It is almost laughable that many are “misleading” youth to become entrepreneurs without streamlining the business processes that exist to support the ease of conducting businesses. Many entrepreneurs are faced with a hostile business environment that does not recognize these micro and small businesses as one’s daily bread but as an alternative income generating activity. The generational gap is partly to blame with youth affairs getting boxed to the cliché topics of drug awareness and sexual health matters. As long as the key stakeholders in the country’s economy do not engage with the entrepreneurs directly to build solutions that are relevant to the business environment, it will be almost impossible to support entrepreneurs. The truth is that the existing businesses need to have enough clout to meet the imminent challenge of a shrinking job market and a growing young population.
I work with businesses that are in either the idea stage or at the pilot phase. It has been my observation and experience that a number of business owners are not patient enough to understand their business model, invest in their capacity and strengthen the business foundation. This limits the shelf life of the business and kills the founder’s morale as well.
- Where do you love hanging out?
I love places with stable internet, good food and great music. I like quiet and obscure cafes such as River Café, Lava Latte and Charlie’s Bistro when in my own company. I enjoy board games at Bao Box when in the company of friends.
- How do you manage to keep your private life off social media?
At some point, one recognizes the need to separate social media from the routine life. The ability to switch off from the virtual life gives me peace of mind and that is one thing that I am extremely selfish about.
- Tell us something about Kitawa that would surprise us:
I bite my nails when nervous and cry when extremely angry. I also fall sick every time I ‘fight’… thus, I avoid confrontation.
- Who are the Top 5 female entrepreneurs you look up to?
Peggy Mativo Ochola, PACEMAKER International – Kenya
Gina Din Kariuki – Gina Din Group
Suzie Wokabi – Suzie Beauty
- What advice would you give young you?
Life always works out, so breath, smile and get out of bed!
- If you could be the president of Kenya what would you do differently in terms of employment creation and creating a thriving environment for businesses?
I would task my cabinet with drafting a bill on the ease of business for entrepreneurs, this would streamline processes to allow the businesses to support the growth of the country’s economy seamlessly, and reduce the unemployment gap. By making the process transparent and user friendly, it will create a ripple effect for entrepreneurs, including increase in wages.
- Kindly tell us your parting shot in regards to both life and work:
I think no ever achieves the work-life balance, be conscious on just how much you can bite, chew and swallow.