Jacobs Ladder Africa

Graduation Story: What it means graduating from the greenLabs Incubation Program

Two certificates and a sisal skirt

For the past year, I have had the fortune of interacting with the team at greenLabs. Throughout this time, I have experienced many instances of unlearning, relearning and learning. One constant realization has been that the world is one big stage, and I have the privilege of choosing how to dance on it. So, dear DJ, allow me to get my certificate of incorporation, certificate of participation for the incubation, and a sisal skirt to dance and celebrate.

Reflecting on my time in the incubation program, I’ve gathered invaluable insights. Here, I present my top four lessons, offering a glimpse into the richness of my journey.

Lesson One: Meet Mr Danger and Ms Danger-ress

With a team that has experience in founding businesses and understanding what a “proper” startup is made up of, one standout aspect of the program is the quality of mentors. These are individuals who are willing to walk alongside you, aiding in the further development of your idea. They help you to find your niche and ask critical questions, even those you may be hesitant to ask yourself. In doing so, they provide a second perspective, enriching your understanding and refining your approach.

Lesson two: Have you had a look within you?

At times, what individuals require isn’t merely a binary response or a rigid set of directives to adhere to. Embracing self-exploration can prove immensely advantageous for both the mentee and the mentor alike. While direct answers to my inquiries were not always forthcoming, I consistently unearthed solutions through my personal exploration, augmented by the mentor’s guidance, self-reflection, and diligent research. This process allowed for deeper understanding to form and an overall more enriching learning experience.

Lesson three: So why are you building?

One of the most impactful lessons that has remained ingrained in my mind for quite some time occurred during a particular phase when Mr. Louis posed a poignant question: “Why are you building?” This query led to a profound exploration into Simon Sinek’s golden circle, which delves deeply into the purpose behind the existence of one’s business. Is it merely another venture aimed solely at generating profit, or do you aspire to generate profit while simultaneously making a meaningful impact in the communities where you operate? As I look ahead to the post-graduation phase and contemplate potential future business endeavours, this introspective examination continues to guide my aspirations and decisions.

Lesson four: What next, Mokua?

Building Methagen Organics! As I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to engage more deeply with my users, my focus extends to integrating our waste disposal solution into their lives and conversing with farmers in their natural environments to promote organic farming. In developing the foundations of our business I aim to gain valuable insights into their needs and preferences. I aspire to create greater value for them, ensuring that our product not only meets their needs but also enhances their lives and fosters a positive impact within their communities.

Erick Mokua making a presentation of his enterprise during graduation.
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