Jacobs Ladder Africa

The Twists and Turns of an Incubatee

Imagine being dared to change the world. Gutsy, right? That’s the challenge I faced when Carlijn Nouwen, a pioneering entrepreneur, who also happened to be my climate mentor during the 2022 Tech for Climate Action hackathon, uttered the words, “With that IDEA, it is either you go BIG or go home.”

Talk about pressure! Yet, that single sentence ignited a spark within me, propelling me headfirst into the dynamic world of green entrepreneurship. It was a paradox; a simple yet so complex an idea: creating an African carbon credit platform!

A word to describe the journey itself? Transformative. While some may understand, others might not, but for a young person like myself, being accepted into an incubation program felt like winning the ultimate prize. Remember “Tumetoka kwa block”? It signifies achieving success, and I naively felt I had reached the summit, unaware of the true demands of entrepreneurship. Without a doubt, that was about to change, but what I appreciate more was the boldness and the hunger. My headfirst dive into this was undoubtedly the best decision I made in 2023!

The initial weeks were pure gold. Imagine being mentored by brilliant minds who could reshape your entire perspective. It was a mental rebirth and I saw myself transition from “impossible” to “watch me!”, fromlacking resources” to living in “a world of possibilities,” and from “job scarcity” to “job creation.” The program has offered an efficient knowledge transfer, distilling years of learning into readily digestible units. I got to intricately explore the importance of problem analysis and solutions analysis in building a startup. 

Forget leisurely strolls in the park, for me, being a founder is more like sprinting through a marathon at night. Between the late nights fueled by coffee (and maybe a few tears), the ever-growing mountain of unread emails, and that first nerve-wracking business meeting…well, looking back, it’s like staring into a time capsule of my own transformation into a founder. Every sleepless night, every unanswered message, every conquered meeting – all add up to the person I am today. This program opened a door, I discovered my tribe, my unwavering support system through triumphs and tribulations. My mentors, Karen Chelangat and Louis Wajeiya, weren’t just knowledge reservoirs; their unwavering patience and wisdom served as a constant source of encouragement, reminding me of my inherent purpose. 

The Munene of 2022 and the Munene of today are vastly different individuals, a testament to the transformative power of this journey. So, let me share a message with my fellow youth: a sea of opportunities awaits you. But remember, success requires grit, accountability, and a reliable partner like Jacob’s Ladder Africa (JLA) to navigate the sophisticated pathways that you encounter. Don’t let fear hinder you – this is your chance to be the change you envision, to rewrite the narrative and build something remarkable. Remember, the only limitations exist within your mind. Dream big, aim high, and let’s collectively reshape the world, one green initiative at a time. This is our moment to shine, block by block, green dream by green dream. What are you waiting for? Let’s embark on this green hustle together!


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