Passion. Care. Ubuntu

“Passion, Care (as the root of everything that I do) and Ubuntu” are the three words that describe me. Passion, because i’m passionate. Care, is the lense with which I look and measure my actions and those of others around me. Ubuntu, because it is the centre of my ethos, I believe in the African philosophy that we are all equal and interconnected – we are not fully human alone. This opinion is the absolute foundation of everything that I do in business.

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The Blue Ocean of Interior Design

When I was a kid I used to spend hours making furniture for my Barbies and setting up their home before I even got to the actual ‘playing’. As a teenager my mother would also quip that if you stood in one place in my room for too long, you would be painted and redecorated. The art of design has always been a part of me. This passion, God, family and friends is collectively the inspiration that allows me to overcome all the challenges I face in pursuing the dream: Sion Studios. Continue Reading →

The Business of Food

People in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face a range of challenges, sometimes caused by malnutrition. Adding to this, the country does little to invest in its local agriculture sector: it imports produce which grows in the region. Instead of importing; these products could be harvested, processed, then exported to international communities. To know that the DRC is one of the poorest countries both in Africa and the rest of the world, yet, 90% of its’ land is arable is the driving force behind my brand. It gives me the impetus to continue developing my brand – whether to eradicate poverty, or simply to try.

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Where have all the Russian entrepreneurs gone?

When I was 17 years old, then a nerdy high school student in Moscow, I created what the Russian government has been desperately trying to engineer — a start-up with some of that Silicon Valley–style magic. It was innovative, tech savvy, ahead of its’ time, cleverly marketed and could be run out of my parents’ apartment, to minimize costs. By the time I graduated from one of Moscow’s elite universities, the company was on its way to making me a millionaire. Being on the right track, you’d expect me to not want anything to change, right? Wrong. The company was also getting big enough to get the wrong kind of attention from officials. So I took no chances.

Trash can be Medicine

I heard the tragic story of Khaerunissa, the three-year-old daughter of a garbage collector who died in 2005 from chronic diarrhea because her father could not afford the medicine to treat her. As a doctor the story inspired me to create a change in the system, that there would not be any more Khaerunissas in Indonesia today.

Change Starts Now

For a nation that once boasted the likes of Sony, Toyota and Mitsubishi as its entrepreneurial heralds, Japan’s entrepreneurial record in the new millennium is surprisingly sparse. Entrepreneurs in Japan have become the exception rather than the norm. There are a range of issues that impede entrepreneurial activity. Common problems faced by aspiring entrepreneurs include the lack of venture capital, labyrinthine government regulations, and the dominance of large companies. Yet for all these factors, it takes two hands to clap – you need both an environment conducive to startups as well as people who aspire to be entrepreneurs. Thankfully, I am one of them.

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Rocking the boat through social enterprise

The largely open-plan concept 3,100-square-foot space includes a lounge area with views of the bustling Robert Sobukwe Road. There is a corner nook by the fireplace perfect for brainstorming sessions, with two meeting rooms and a seminar room for when privacy is needed. In designing the space, it was important to me to develop an environment where members are inspired to be innovate, are able to work collectively as a group as well as have the potential to bump into their next business partner.

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The sixth sense for the blind

The inspiration behind creating Mubser came from wanting to help a close friend who lost his eyesight in an accident at the age of 15. Initially it wasn’t about creating a business, but rather trying to figure out a way to help him. Mubser is a wearable belt fully equipped with Bluetooth and Microsoft Kinect, that guides visually impaired individuals to navigate safely around objects and obstacles using a system of vibration motors. Continue Reading →

Being the Outlier in IT

I decided to name my application after a fruit- Ffene, which means ‘jackfruit’ in Luganda. I didn’t have Apple in mind, although I am aware of the similarity, it wasn’t the biggest consideration. The name was about finding an object that was familiar, not technical and intimidating for users.

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The entrepreneurial tragedy

Without differentiation in the market, there is no growth. Without growth, there is no business. Its that simple! Continue Reading →

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School robotics: using robots to solve the African education problem

My name is Solomon King. I am 30, Ugandan, and believe that robotics can transform education across Africa.

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The Tea Lady

My name is Jessica, or as many know me, Lady Bonin. I am the Tea Lady

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Know your market!

What happens when you turn an experience into an online business and localize the content? You win every competition you enter! Continue Reading →

Doing business in the hood! Why not?

In every step of the journey I have had to prove myself. Initially, corporates would not touch me because I am black, young and have a small business.

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Started from the bottom … now I am here!

Second year of University my father died. His estate was frozen. Instantly, I became broke.

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Its ok to Burp … when you are making money from it!

We only care about the problems identified. That is the purpose of our business … to provide the solutions.  Continue Reading →

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Entrepreneurship 101: making lemonade from lemons

You have to work twice as hard; negotiate twice as much; and think “simplicity”at least half of the time. Continue Reading →