Is your business model sustainable?
A research consultant and senior business professional based in Nairobi , Kenya, Wemo is passionate about finding sustainable solutions to the gender disparity problem that faces many women in rural Kenya as a result of cultural misconceptions. She believes in the “Teach a Man to Fish” mantra to pioneer change through entrepreneurship.
At MAMA Ventures, Wemo works with women and girls, from under privileged backgrounds who are victims of gender based violence. By leading through practical mentoring, she works with experienced curators to equip the beneficiaries with business and entrepreneurial skills. She also works with experienced psychologists to offer emotional support to the women and girls. She believes in a holistic approach towards finding solutions for the problems the women are faced with.
Why is it important for women entrepreneurs to know and understand their business model?
As a female entrepreneur, it is important to master and understand your business model because women are different thinkers who are programmed to fix solutions and drive change as an extension of who they are emotionally and in life. We love thinking about the now and future as well as the past at the same time. I think this is a gift that we possess when we stop looking at this as negative. When a woman loves, she inspires. Understanding your business model has to be a passionate journey that you should commit to undertake. The law of attraction lies within how a woman business leader engages everyone around them, and it has to be guided by your love for your idea.
How does one know whether their business model is sustainable?
A sustainable business model bypasses and surpasses trends but is able ascertain that change is inevitable. With MAMA, my business venture is more than meeting market needs and the jargon of business, it is a wholesome life journey. Business is sustainable when it is about understanding your dream as a part of you. A work lifebalance for women is not easy because life expects us to deliver in all its facets. I always encourage the women I work with in business to generate a virtual timeline and become an observer of your business. It is important to understand where you are in the present, acknowledge your downfalls in the past and use these derivatives as an extrapolation towards what the future of your business looks like. In the same way that we are able to anticipate and mould our day to day lives, should we purpose to mirror a business to become sustainable.
Tell us more about the inspiration behind the entrepreneurship toolkit you designed.
When I initially started MAMA, I failed to get off the ground. This happened because I had what everyone would deem as crazy ideas and I could never really control the ideas my mind kept firing at me. I was a brilliant scatter brain and I lacked structure, believing that everything I dreamed of was possible in the language of RIGHT NOW. I decided to positively embrace my failures and those of other entrepreneurs to breakdown what it means to set up a successful business. The toolkit encompasses business, soft and leadership skills. It has helped start up owners save time when it all comes down to getting their ideas off the ground.
Why is it important for female entrepreneurs to have business models which are specific to them?
For women, it is not only about delivering at a certain role of leadership or driving towards a cause, it is about how we mould and move with the people we impact in leadership roles. It is about the emotional impact that we inflict on the next person and towards a common goal. Our compassion as women is a great attribute when we manage it in the right way. We possess such power to grow generations and build legacies. It is for this reason that I address breaking through the glass ceiling as a different topic altogether. A business model pioneered by a woman needs to address personality engagement as well as the moral implications towards a cause. I look at a woman in business leadership as a river and if there are obstacles, with time, they move in its rhythm and mould in her direction. As long as we keep feeding the positivity that drives this river, it will be the source of life to everything around it.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs to help them develop their business models?
The primary step I undertook in developing my business model was to understand what my life map looked like and venturing deeper to understand what my leadership personality was. By understanding what drives me and acknowledging other personalities within my organization, I have been able to master synergy and drive passion towards the common ultimate goal. Once you are able to do this, design a scrum guide for your organization to distribute your energies and skill forces in the right areas. The final take away is to ensure that you should keep revisiting your idea, your business model and match it with your scrum guide with goals that keep evolving.