Friday, 30 May 2014

The degree!!! Is it a friend or a foe of entrepreneurship

Its a dream of every parent to see his/her child pursue a degree believing that a college education is our ticket to a happy, comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately in this 21st century having a degree is not an assurance of getting the dream job and living the comfy life. Statistics show that only about 40% of the kenyan graduates manage to get a white collar job. The remaining 60% start business,join blue collars jobs or engage in some funny "hustles".

A while a go I happened to share with Jane,a 2nd hand clothes vendor and Erick,a tailor in Gikomba . Jane makes between 90k and 150K profit from her business every month while Erick makes an average of 50K per month. Jane has never gone beyond form 4 while Erick did a tailoring course for 6 months after high school. Jane owns several plots in the city and she plans to start constructing rental houses in the next few years. Truth be told these two are earning well compared to most of their peers in the white collar jobs.

On the other side, I have still met young successful graduate entrepreneurs with investment ranking in millions. Some are still employed while others quit employment to concentrate on their businesses.

So the big question Every one asks is "Do people without degree make better entrepreneurs than those without?" Personally I think its one of the toughest questions to answer because each got its strength and weakness. 
 The degree as a friend
  • Networking : College gives you an opportunity to connect with people who might turn out to be your most valuable customers or even business partners. Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo are an example of business that were were conceived in college.
  • Exposure: College gives you adequate exposure in terms of current trends emerging, unique ideas that have a potential to be the next big thing
  • Knowledge : The best thing about getting a degree is that you have got enough information on what it takes to start and run a business. Some causes like are all rounded meaning that you can serve the position of a marketer,the accountant,the supplier etc in the initial stages of the business
The degree as an enemy
  • Kills creativity : This we can all agree is the biggest effect of a college degree. It kills creativity in that it encourages the employee mentality. You will find that 90% off all graduates want to be employed and those who start business mostly do so after failing to get a Job.
  • Ego: I think a degree certificate is an EGO stamp. Most of graduates cannot do certain types of job despite good pay because they afraid of what their friends will say. Some prefer to protect their ego and remain poor rather than bruising their Ego and make money. Ego prevents one from seeing the bigger dream. In business you have to shed off the Ego because humbleness is key to succeed
  • Closed/specialized mind : It tends to limit one to a particular filed meaning that its hard to recognize an opportunity that is outside the area of specialization. On other hand people without college education are open to any idea across all sectors.
    Here are some quotes to challenge you...

“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year”

In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee. - See more at:
"In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee."

"Too much education or experience can actually kill your entrepreneurial spirit. I have worked with many people whose post-secondary degrees cost them the ability to take a risk. If they couldn’t model a business idea or see it tangibly working, they were afraid to jump"-Eric V. Holtzclaw

My Take
I have met successful entrepreneurs on the both sides that is: with and without college degree. So no matter the side you belong ,you have got no reason to be a successful entrepreneur.

Whats your opinion? Lets engage on twitter  @GitongaMunene

In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee. - See more at:

“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year - See more at:
“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year - See more at:

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Are you ready for event of the month?

This Saturday The Elegance Affair will be going down at the Nairobi Railway Museum to celebrate Kenya @50. To me this is the event of the month to the fashion lovers because with a ticket that goes for Ksh 500 you will be able to attend the daytime event at Railways that will run from 10am-6pm and will be followed by an after party at Skylux lounge in Westlands from 9pm till dawn. You will still get a free movie ticket at Imax

This is a fashion party with utmost creativity!! Designers are going to show-case, display and sell their designs and accessories at very discounted rates. There will be other fun activities like real fashion photo shoots, performances, deejaying, karaoke, trampolines, sheesha bars, and interviews for the fashion lovers.

The designers line up is led by Shenu Hooda and the deejaying team is led by Dj Slick. The emcee is Nick Mutuma.

Models looking lovely as usual Ready for the Elegance Affairs

Grab your ticket at Imax, 20th Century, Mama Ngina Street or call 0724 675 545/ 0715 724 410

 Check more details at The BowTie Events or

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Why you should start a business before you are 25 years old

There is nothing better than making it big when you are young. Unfortunately as things stand entrepreneurship or talent utilization-think of Wanyama,are the easiest avenue for youths to make it big.Employment is good but the bitter truth is that it is very hard to become a young millionaire when working for someone unless you do some shoddy deals. There is never an appropriate period or time to start a business,but to me starting a business before you are 25 years old is very exciting. 
Here are some of reasons as to why you should start

 1. You have little to lose

The best thing about starting a business at this age is that you have little to lose,rather you have so much to gain. By basically starting a business you will be able to practically apply things you learnt in college. That is things like preparing a realistic business plan,a balance sheet,customer relationship among other things.Furthermore if your business fails you will have learnt some valuable lessons i.e mistakes to avoid in any future business pursuit.

2.  There are many mentors who are willing to help

The beauty about starting at this age is the availability and willingness of experienced people to help. When you are hardworking and passionate about your business,it will be hard for the successful entrepreneurs to shy away from helping you.Furthermore nobody hates being associated with the Next Big Thing.  As they say success has a thousand fathers but failure has none. These mentors will guide you from making the 1st step to accomplishing your goals and visions.

3. You can take risks

At this age your family probably supports you to some extend,this means that you can take more risks without having to worry about your  food,rent among others.If a young person starts a business, it's not because they need to money to feed their family,pay school pays because your family caters for that. This means that you have more freedom to take any business risk that may arise in the course of the business without worrying about bills.

4. Explore your creativity

It is hard for old people to come up with new ways of doing things but for teens innovation is part of their day to day activity.Adults have often learned and heard of many different ideas and they find it harder to solve problems in a creative and innovative way. The old people have a clue about what will fail or succeed because they have seen businesses fail and succeed. For under 25 they are willing to try out something new to see if it will work out .

Here are are tips to help you on starting your business

  •  Do thorough research on your business idea
It is very important that before going to investors the young entrepreneurs should ensure they know everything about  their business i.e the product or service,the industry etc.You need to have thought of every possible question that may be ask and a good answer in that matter.

  •  Determine exactly who your customers are with great specificity 
You should pinpoint your targeted client so that you focus your marketing efforts to ensure you reach them. This means you will be able to ask for the right referrals and you know who and what to search for

  • Surround yourself with people who are good at what they do 
The success of a business depends largely on the abilities and professionalism of the team as a whole. It is important to remember you are only as good as the people you work with. This means if you create a weak team, you will have a weak product, but if you have a great team you will have unlimited potential.
  •  Align your business to your interest
Don't just start a business because so and so is doing it or because your friend told you there is good profit margin rather start a business in a field that you are passionate about. Find out what you love doing then research on a business that you can start on that field.

"Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman 

Make sure you don't miss my next interview with 23 years old; Nelson Kirimi, the Founder of the Next Big thing in the fashion industry- SwagRepublic

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Aspiring to be a young entrepreneur? Here are thing you should know


In the current world,education alone does not guarantee survival rather it is a world for the smart and innovative individuals. Being smart and innovative means that one is able to notice a gap and come up with a unique product or service to fill the gap. In our country unemployment is like cancer ,where the supply of human labor is higher than the demand. The solution lies from within that is encouraging the youths to change from employment mindset to entrepreneurship mindset.

Being a young entrepreneur I will share with you few things that have kept me going and that have made my entrepreneurship journey exciting.

1. Follow your passion  
The greatest mistake people make is doing something they are not passionate about just because of money. These are people who will always have excuses about their failures and why they are not performing to their potential. If you want to start a business,start something that you love. Last Friday I happened to attend the Launch of the monthly Passion Profit Network by Frida Owinga. This was an eye opening session that made me realise the benefits of pursuing opportunities from my passions.  

2.  Networking
Connections...connections...connections,networking is a life skill, not just something you do when you want something. You should invest time and resources to make friends with people in different  cultures, ages,occupations, social statues etc. Ensure you have a business card and a business card holder. Every time you have an idea check out the contacts you have,that can help turn your idea to reality. Make sure you attend Networking events and if possible avoid the free ones, because there is high probability that most of the attendees will not be serious professionals.Social networking platforms, like LinkedIn,twitter among others provide a great way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones.Here is more information on  Networking process .

3. Technology
Successful entrepreneurs that is those who have a clear concept of what they are trying to accomplish leverage technology in order to help them achieve their goals more quickly. All  aspiring entrepreneurs must be incredibly tech-savvy,it doesnt necessary mean that they know how to code but must understand the language and the trends of technology. Starting or investing in technology related startups or companies is among the hottest areas at the moment. Social media has provided an easier way for entrepreneurs to interact with other entrepreneurs and customers. Aspiring entrepreneurs should ensure that they have a strong social media presence

4. Mentorship

Every entrepreneur should have a mentor that is someone who's been down that road before and can share their wisdom on an ongoing basis. Mentors can provide tailored guidance, general best practises, and an example of a successful business that the protege can learn from. The report by the Danish Embassy, Nairobi and Inoorero University noted that mentorship programmes would impact positively on new business ventures if entrepreneurs are given proper guidelines on how to invest and manage their resources. You can join the Professional Business Mentors Association of Kenya to be able to connect with professional mentors. Personally i have started an initiative to mentor and empower young upcoming studentpreneurs, Check out more info about Young Students Empowerment and support this noble initiative.

5.Taking Risks
We as a society are very risk averse; and that holds back the entrepreneurial potential to unfold itself fully. The bitter truth is that most successful entrepreneurs have sacrificed one thing or other that is dear to them in order to be successful. Most entrepreneurs aren't more risk ophilic than anyone else — they just define risk differently.

is is the bitter truth
This is the bitter truth, every successful people take risks. Every successful people have to sacrifice one thing or the other that is most dear to them at one point or the - See more at:
This is the bitter truth, every successful people take risks. Every successful people have to sacrifice one thing or the other that is most dear to them at one point or the - See more at:

Monday, 29 July 2013


A 6 Step Process To Turning Your Idea Into A Business 

I have met young people who ask me what to do, how to set up a business, where to start and basically how to turn their ideas into a company/business that will offer a certain product or service to fulfill a certain need targeted at  a certain market. Here's a few tips;
1.        Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are truly ready to go into a business
Before you venture out and start a business, you need to ask yourself whether you're set for the rough terrain that awaits you. Don't quit your job because it's a 7am to 7pm job to go into business! Don't also go into business thinking clients will walk in the first day you open your office or after the launch! It's tough in business but you always get paid for it! Better still you are always building your future day by day! So if you put in 15 hours a day in future you'll have more time for kids, wife, travel and leisure in future. Business always pays you back the time you invested in it in folds! Don’t deceive yourself.

2. Identify your strengths & Passion
This is a self analysis! Don't lie to yourself. If you can't do reports, accounts, sales or marketing, handle social media etc you need to put that down because you'll need to hire people to complement your skills. Look at the past, how you performed on role X in company Y, you may also ask your genuine friends what they think you're good at. Better still haters and critics will always tell you lame stuff so use their feedback too to understand yourself better. 

3. Create a niche market out of your strength
Don’t be a general merchant, at least when you're starting out! Most of us want to do as many things, provide many services to tap into a wider client base but for start-ups don't do it this way! Clients want to work with experts and specialists so establish yourself & business as one in a certain area. It's tempting to add more services to your list for short term financial gains but that doesn't develop or grow your brand as a company. Simply ask yourself "What do I want to be known for?" Finally do ensure you also work on your personal brand, remember you'll be the face of the company! Never start a business just because you think there's money in that industry (Many Kenyans do that by the way: What
Conrad Akunga calls your M-vitus) but set up a business you understand well! If you love cakes, enjoy doing pastry and most important ensure you know how to do it nicely then go into the business of making cakes.

4. Research into the field 
This is basically the SWOT analysis – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat, Competitors etc of the business. This is critical, check out for your strengths as a company (internal) Weakness; be honest with yourself.  Threats are external, so check that out too and so are competitors. Just do this research to know what you're up to.

5. Map out your strategy
This is basically where you want to be and how you'll get there; basically planning. Do a long term strategic plan,(over 5 years), Midterm (3 to 5 years) and a short term strategic plan for 1 to 2 years. This is critical; never launch a company without a plan! You need to have a mission, vision, core values, objectives and all that to ensure you stick to your game plan in future! Having a mission ensures you understand why you exist as a company, having a vision ensures you know where you're going or where you want to be. Core values guide you, create the corporate culture of the entity and such. Having your strategy broken down into SMART objectives ensures your day to day activities tie into the overall strategy of the firm.

6. Execute your action plan.
This is the hardest bit for most of us! We just don't do what we have been planning! Could be procrastination, fear of failure, lack of funds etc. Reasons vary from one person to the other but most of them are excuses. Start with the essentials, what you can't do without! START, EXECUTE....JUST DO IT! You'll learn on the way! Go into the market with the mind of rendering service, not making money. Don’t be scared to hurt your fingers – Yes, this is business. Some things would go wrong along the line, try to sort them out instead of quitting and don't bite more than you can chew!

If you found this post helpful please sign up for Passion to Profit by Frida Owinga on Aug 9th at Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi. Registration is ongoing.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

5 things every student should do

Life at college is one one of the most beautiful but crucial phases of life, from minimal parental restrictions,assured pocket money,party life and to many books come last.Still this is the a stage that you can shape your dreams and aspirations.Unfortunately the rate of unemployment is soaring up and jobs are becoming scarce day.Sadly this is a situation that is here to stay,universities and colleges are blossoming at such a high rate and the few jobs available cannot cater for the number of graduates being shunned out every year.This is a practicable scenario of Darwin theory "struggle for the fittest" that those who get the few available jobs are the finest
So as a student
How can you fine-tune yourself to be the fittest?
How can you have that competitive advantage over the rest? 
How can you stand out?
Below are some of the ways of which I have personally tried most of them,and trust me they work

1.Establish your presence in the internet

 A blog can be a very nice ay to market yourself to potential employeers,it helps you to showcase your passion and potential. You can also contribute to other blogs especially if you have a tight timetable.Your social media accounts especially linked in should be 100% complete.Start a group/page about something that you love. Follow companies that you are intrested to work for and people that you share same traits with. A blog is free to start,it wont cost a penny only your time

2.Create connections
Participate in seminars and conferences,this a nice oportunity to interact with potential employeers.Srike conversations with c.e.o,managers and employees and during conversations inquire what it entails for one to work in those organizations.This will help you have an idea of how the corporate world works. Again use social media to your advantage by participating in online discussion.

3.Start your own company

 It should not be about 'I cant wait to complete my studies and get a job" rather it should be"I cant wait to start my own company". The beauty of starting your own company as a student you have a room to fail and so many people are willing to help you if you truly believe in your ideas. I am a glad I am part of social edge africa a Social edge Africa which is behind the establishment of SocialPROclubs

When you volunter to do something it doesn't only show that you are committed and passionate about something but that you also care about others.It helps you bring out your personality and character.  However the secret about voluntary is that you should volunteer to an activity that is in line with your career because will improve your knowledge about your career field.

5.Brand yourself

 Why does muiltinationals like coca-cola maintain their market share?? above all things they have a strong brand where they spend million of shillings to maitain it.Likewise ensure that you have a strong personal brand,know whoyou are,what you want to achieve in life and how to achieve it.Basically develop your  personal brand and let people know about it.This will enable potential employers understand you,your strengths and weakness easily.My next article will be about Personal branding.
 Lets keep the conversation @nairobiguruh