Entrepreneurship Is a Journey in 5 Stages. Enjoy The Ride.
Written by Joan Orina, a Lapid Leader
I joined Lapid Leaders Africa mainly because of the entrepreneurship aspect. On my vision board entrepreneurship was on top of my professional goals meant to be achieved in 5 years but, I didn’t know how to go about it. Everyone I confided in about my endeavors had an opinion but not a suitable piece of advice hence, when I joined Lapid I finally got the answers I was looking for.
Kenya has been experiencing a major growth in entrepreneurship because of a rise in the use of technology, easier access to information and the world becoming a global village. Unfortunately, most of these startups fail within their first year of productivity because of mistakes that can be avoided if we are educated on the ideologies of entrepreneurship and that is where Lapid leaders comes in.
What have I learnt from the entrepreneurship class? Entrepreneurship is not as easy as starting a business and making money, it is more intricate than that – it is a process – as it involves various steps.
Identify the needs in society; what is lacking in the society? Is there an existing business idea addressing the need? What are these businesses missing? This can be achieved through brainstorming as a team, looking at the trends in the society such as Real estate, Technology and Large scale agriculture or even sourcing information from business blogs and newspapers. We conducted an extensive SWOT analysis of the Education sector so as to narrow down on the business that we would work on. Find your unique selling proposition, a catchy idea that differentiates you from all the other businesses providing the same solution. Consider the size of opportunity presented by your idea, is the business opportunity worth the effort?
Design your business model; A business model explains the particulars of your business idea in a nutshell showing how your business will operate identifying the customer base, sources of revenue, product e.t.c. There are several tools that can be used during this process such as a Business Model canvas (BMC). The BMC will change as you keep refining your business idea.
Research; this is a vital part of product development, through research you can determine the feasibility of the solution you are providing. Research can be tasking therefore be willing to put in the hours and be ready for rejection depending on your research base. During our research, we faced rejection from some institutions and parents because of privacy reasons and we almost gave up on our business idea. A solution can change based on the feedback you receive from the customers, one of the mentors mentioned that a product should be customer centric to generate revenue otherwise it is just a hobby. Through research you are also able to have a better understanding of the market such as the market size and the different market segments, empathize with the user find out their current situation and identify ways you can add value to it. Do not get comfortable with just the feedback from your customer base, keep an eye on your competitors, do a research on them and use the findings to offer a better solution.
Product development is the process of bringing your business idea to life, apply critical thinking to evaluate and analyze your solution to come up with a prototype of the business idea. Go back to your customers, mentors or peers and get feedback on the design, refine it until the final product is suitable for your customer segment. Once the product is ready, market and sale it!
Sustainability; a business is only sustainable through growth and growth can be achieved through reinvention and innovation. Be bold, take risks and venture into areas that haven’t been explored the most successful entrepreneurs are risk takers. Keep track of the changes in the global economy to avoid being caught by surprise. Take advantage of the systems that have been put in place such as mobile money in Kenya. Through passion, commitment and hard work your business will flourish.
Our business summary; Autism Expert is an android based mobile application that aims at providing a knowledge base for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) parents, children and care givers. The application has essential information required in raising a child with ASD such as everything there is to know about ASD, diet as well as restaurants that offer these foods on their menu, best schools that provide education for children with ASD, hospitals that have personnel trained to handle ASD children and many more. We are planning to roll out the second phase of Autism Expert e-learning platform with the curriculum for children with ASD.
Our aim is to make the parents and the caregivers life a little bit easier, create a community for the parents whereby they can chat, share knowledge as well as ask each other questions and finally create awareness on Autism Spectrum disorder and other developmental disorder in Africa.