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Showing posts with the label business idea

Screw Textbook Publishers

I feel very fortunate in the time I have spent as an entrepreneur. Not only have I gotten to meet a great number of different people: partners, suppliers, clients, proteges, employees but I've also provided products and businesses of utility AND made money. I like think of myself as an innovator as most of my ventures have been firsts: 1st person to publish the laws of Kenya online , 1st person to launch a low cost business centre , 1st person to automate the company registration person ; but I do not naively believe that I was the first one to come up with these ideas. Rather I was the first one to move from conceptual stage to actual implementation. As any real entrepreneur knows, implementation is 80% of the work. If you regularly read this blog, you'll therefore know that when I get a new business idea I usually share it freely. No need hoarding an idea, get it out to there and then make it a race to see who can make it work first. It is with this same spirit that I'd

We will send the auctioneers tomorrow

My friend Roger clearly remembers those particular words from the telephone call. After many days anxiously spent waiting for it the bank had called him that sweltering December afternoon. The call effectively put a nail in the coffin for Rogers’ fledgling insurance agency. Twelve months earlier, Roger had started his business with unbridled and unstoppable optimism. He quit his well-paying but stressful job as a marketer in a large company, much to the distress of his pregnant wife.  But Roger quit because he had a dream. He dreamed of giving his unborn son everything he ever wanted. He dreamed of an end to the despondent dependancy on his pay cheque. He dreamed of hours of relaxed recreational family time. Driven by a lucid, Technicolor vision of his dream Roger took a one million shillings loan from the bank to start his agency, only to have the bank take it from him one short year later. The auctioneer came the next day, a greasy-faced, pot-bellied, squinty eyed man wearing a

Speed Networking...is it like speed dating?

Am a great advocate of networking to get new business. Its the best way especially for small and medium sized businesses to meet the people they need to meet to get business in an inexpensive way. The question is however, how do you choose what networking event to attend. Some of them are downright useless and with my goldfish concentration span most tend to be very boring. The other day though, I went for a speed networking event organised by AFRI Business Development. The first time i heard about it I was a bit skeptic. We all know about speed dating so speed networking sounded a bit off key in relation to business. Questions going through my mind included..."is it like speed dating where you are able to get a date"?...Ok I know that's a bit simplistic thinking but really it was hard for me to conjure up what speed networking would be all about before I attended. So i went, not with a business objective in mind but if i am to be honest, out of curiosity. I have to say

Internet in the village

One of my most exciting projects last October/November 2006 was setting up cyber cafes in rural areas. It all started like a joke. A friend of mine wanted to start a business in Njoro (a large shopping centre in the Rift Valley about 25 km from Nakuru town) and he was asking for ideas on the kind of business. Being a self-confessed techie, I spewed out technology dependent business ideas. He politely pointed out that my ideas though good were not viable in Njoro as they needed email/internet facilities to work. We got to discuss how the internet could stir economic activity in Njoro, an area depressed of economic activity after the government ban on forest logging. (Njoro lived of the timber industry pre 2004). My friend then threw down the gauntlet. "Hey Harry, you claim you're an entrepreneur and a techie, why not setup the internet infrastructure in Njoro?" I started to protest but then held off as I thought about it. Could it really be done? What were the challenge