Eight entrepreneurs joined the first Entrepreneur Cafe meeting in Bogota on 22nd Jan.
The interests were varied. Cristina is interested in starting her own business. Fabio who is looking for an opportunity to make impact. Mauricio and Lina who are starting their own business in training for entrepreneurship and business ideas generation. Miguel and Lorena, who already started their own adventure tourism company: Escape (www.escapeco.co). Finally, Sofia our dynamic City Mayor of Bogota, interested in starting a social venture.
We realized that there are lots of information available online for entrepreneurs, which is great, but this information is disperserd among different institutions and sources making it difficult for entrepreneurs to find it. In contrast, people who have little or no access to internet experience difficulties to be kept informed of opportunities for their entrepreneurial projects. How can we overcome these barriers?
Entrepreneur Cafe aims to avoid duplicated efforts to access information, knowledge, opportunities and contacts by connecting entrepreneurs in physical meetings where they can exchange ideas, experiences, contacts and resources for their projects. During the meeting we shared more than 20 resources for entrepreneurs, such as e-learning platforms, learning networks, funding sources, technological tools, co-working spaces and others. We also identified Entrepreneur .
Cafe as a space for testing our business ideas, practising how to sell them and providing feedback to the ideas of other entrepreneurs. We are glad to have started this journey in Bogota and we know that this is going to be an entrepreneurial family!
What you need to be an entrepreneur. Not only in Nairobi, Kenya
The first Entrepreneur Café meeting in Nairobi is over. Despite us coming from different parts of town and backgrounds, there are certain features we all have in common or need as entrepreneurs.
“It starts here,” says Stephen, and points at his head.
“That is the common thing among all entrepreneurs,” Lawrence had explained earlier: an idea they are burning for, which they want to see get out of their heads and into the real world. And they are willing to invest time and resources to make it happen and see it through.
What you need next is community. Entrepreneurs can never make it alone. Stephen and Aaron have gathered friends they trusted around themselves for their entrepreneurial venture. They were already meeting in a separate association. It was time to take their meetings to a new level and tap this sense of community and togetherness for benefits.
Lastly, you need to be unique. You need to be a purple cow and fulfil a need of a market in a very special and specific way. Lawrence, for example, works for a health facility in the middle of the slum. Residents had to walk to the big hospitals outside the slum, but when the first clinic inside the slum opened and offered its services for affordable prices, it picked up very quickly and became successfull. The facility founders had seen a need and are now serving it in a very unique way.
Four: Information and Resources
What Nairobi entrepreneurs are lacking is information. During the Entrepreneur Café meeting we heard about organisations and funds that exist to help young motivated people like us getting started. There are a lot of resources and opportunities designed to help. We just don't know about it. That is partly because the metropolis of Nairobi stretches across a wide area. People move around quite a bit, but in circles which rarely collide.
The Entrepreneur Café meeting managed to bring four people together and make their circles collide. We met in the middle of town and brought our different interests, knowledge and motivation together. Everybody can make a contribution, everybody knows a person or an entitiy that can provide further help, advice and inspiration.
We left the meeting with some actual tasks and more inspiration to keep up struggling, to put our ideas out of our heads and into action.
An example of Roadside Entrepreneurship.
Having started with one kettle, few of these young minds have now established these small setups everywhere around the area supplying the people in market with tea at every 10 meters or so...
Not only tea but collaboration of food stalls as well, doing business together.
This guy shows us how portable it is to make and supply tea anywhere in the market.
Technically speaking this is basically the whole mechanism and concept. A huge steel kettle with coal burning beneath, attached to it.
These tea stalls are giving serious competition to starbucks which is selling tea/coffee for Rs 150 upwards. But these tea stalls sells tea for Rs 10 (just 7% of the starbuck value).
The photos shoot is done by Pulkit and text done by Rishie. All photos were taken outside of Starbucks Inner circle, New Delhi
Despite the fact that the meeting was promoted less than a week beforehand, there were five great local entrepreneurs in attendance! The discussion section of the meeting was extremely popular and some very helpful ideas were shared. A number of the entrepreneurs have arranged to meet up and explore collaboration further before the next meeting on the 12th of February takes place which is fantastic.
Just a few of the positive excerpts from the meeting are below:
- Gerry Honan of ‘BodyByVi’ connected with a likeminded network marketer at the meeting and they are sure they can help each other achieve more success. Gerry also saw potential in making connections with other Entrepreneur Cafe members worldwide as his company wants to launch their products in Spain, Portugal, Italy and even further afield.
- Joan Power www.skillsulike.com discovered that one of the other members could help her populate her website with more contractors (her target market)
- Katja Quilty ‘Coco Bella Skin Care’ has a very successful range of skin care products and also saw potential to promote her products to a global audience via Entrepreneur Cafe. She is also looking for a good retail location in Waterford for her products. The ‘team’ eCafe Waterford are now looking at helping with this.
- Rita Akinfenwa and Ifeoma Nwali are just about to launch and exciting new energy recycling company here in Ireland. There is huge potential with this opportunity as it solves some major environmental issues while generating clean energy and reducing costs for businesses.
The meeting was very positive and some excellent ideas were generated from it.
City Mayor, Waterford
Why the ‘Toilet Entrepreneur’ could be the next big initiative
Article published in Economic Times http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/why-the-toilet-entrepreneur-could-be-the-next-big-initiative/
I was at recently concluded 14th World Toilet Summit (WTS) hosted in New Delhi on 19th – 20th Jan 2015. The summit is organised by World Toilet Organisation (WTO). UN has announced 19th Nov as World Toilet Day, the foundation day of WTO that India has adopted with full zeal and motivation.
There are two versions of WTO that we understand – for economists WTO means World Trade Organisations and for others WTO means World Toilet Organisation. Why the other WTO is more important for India? UNICEF estimates around 600 million i.e. half of the India population defecate in open. Open defecation is a gender neutral issue – men, women, children, old age people, all of them defecate in in both rural and urban areas. Railway tracks and open field are usual places where we must have witnessed open defecation while traveling by trains or elsewhere. It is quite evident, open defecation leads to unhealthy surroundings, diseases and malnutrition. It is a crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Prime Minister Modi has called for elimination of open defecation in his Independence Day address. He has made it as mission mode activity under Ministry of Urban Development. Under the ‘swatch bharat abhiyaan’ PM has taken a personal agenda to build over 100 million toilets in India in next five years. World Toilet Summit reinforced the need to build toilets in India. Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organisation (also known as Mr Toilet) said, “Toilet should be a sexy subject of discussion rather than a taboo; toilet should shown as the way we show our Luis Vuitton handbag. Toilet owners should have bragging rights.”
As a strategy consultant, in my opinion, 100 million toilets is a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs. To build these many toilets, we need to develop a huge supply chain that can service the demand & supply all over India. Imagine to setup a toilet in one home – one need to build a room, water supply, maintenance, soaps/cleaners, disposal mechanism …. the list is endless. There are 543 Lok Sabha constituencies (or 676 districts) in India. Every district will need approx 500 new entrepreneurs who can supply/manufacture sanitary hardware for the new toilets. The Toilet revolution itself would generate around 25,000 new entrepreneurs and further provides 1 million jobs for plumbing, maintenance etc.
The Ministry of Urban Development should setup a “Toilet Entrepreneur Training Centre” where grassroots entrepreneurs from urban and rural areas can be trained on how to setup and maintain toilets around the country. The training centre can also become the facilitation centre to expand the knowledge about toilets. This way, not only we will solve the problem of sanitation and open defecation; we will provide employment opportunities to hundreds and thousands of people.
India is on the historic cusp of ending open defecation. Behavioural changes are required for people to adopt the toilet. Let me reiterate the slogan of ‘Toilets before Temples’ given by Mr Modi. We need clean toilets in our temples, our homes, our offices, our school and everywhere else we go. We need to proudly adopt the next generation Toilet Entrepreneur.
Professor Nikhil Agarwal is President of Cambridge Global Partners and Founder of Entrepreneur Café www.entrepreneurcafe.org
“ Entrepreneur Café ” encourages young entrepreneurs to join the entrepreneurship world, which is certainly hard at the beginning, but hard work pays.
Some of the participants shared their business ideas with the group as follow:
Ibrahim Bennouna is the founder of Twiyar.com - Improving city life, a concept that allows citizens of the city, to report problems, aggression, criticism ... and the website is responsible to contact the institutions that are in charge. A picture is enough to report any incident you encounter and Twiyar will still intermediate citizens and the structure concerned. The purpose of this project is, as its name implies, to improve the quality of life of the city and highlight the persistent problems that citizens encounter every day in order to eradicate them, to make the city a pleasant place living together. Some in the meeting asked about the cooperation of government and business ... Stay tuned and good luck to Ibrahim for the realization and development of his project.
For more information, see: http://signup.twiyar.com
Oussama El Karkouri presented his project. He is the CEO of Mercantilia Agency, an advertising and event agency. This is a society specialized in commercial management and project management. They take care of the business cycle of the market study from prospecting until recovery. Beyond the managerial side, it's also a communication, advertising, sponsorship and partnership agency, which is responsible for the organization of events. Thanks to the extensive network of this society, they give the opportunity to realize ideas that fall within the same framework of their activities and expertise. We wish that Oussama would persevere in the development of his agency and career.
For more information, see: http://mercantiliaagency.com
Omaïma El Kabili, student in the final year of Bachelor in Engineering Economic at IUP IE Grenoble, shared his entrepreneurship project; a cosmopolitan lounge bar that mixes coffee culinary journey and cultural sharing. The focus of this project is DISCOVERY. This coffee has the distinction of representing the 5 continents and offering consumers the best-known international drinks and making the characteristic of each country. The concept titled World Embassy will allow consumers to discover rare drinks, exclusive and good quality products they may not know and that will allow them to travel through flavours from the Peruvian to the Moroccan coffee. This coffee will bring together different cultures; beyond the taste side, it is a place of exchange and sharing between peoples. Each month one country will be honoured and cultural projects will be implemented in connection with the country of the month. This project is in preparation.
Ayoub Aouzal, 22 years old, is studying civil engineering at the EHTPs. He is working on a project shot on ecology with the association "Douar In" where he is responsible for logistics. The principle is simple: collect coffee waste, the coffee grounds, and use it as compost to develop ecological agriculture. Coffee waste will be collected directly from the coffee shops in the city. The recipient of this city project is not yet known but Marrakech seems to be the city where the project will be located. This recycling cycle will help farmers in remote areas to benefit from a boost in their business. This associative project is currently being implemented in the hope that it will be implemented in the coming months.
Imane Naji is the founder of the website Brikoule.ma, a micro-jobs platform for managing the relationship between the provider and the customer from start to finish and from order to delivery. It is positioned as an intermediary between people in search of opportunities that highlight their skills and know-how through the publication of tenders and entrepreneurs and SMEs looking for local expertise where they can meet and choose the benefits, without barriers and budget. An offer published on Brikoule.ma corresponds to a task that a provider can achieve from 100 DH and within a specified period. The categories of proposed services on the platform are: graphics & design, writing & translation, advertising, business, videos & animations, web marketing, programming & technology, audio & music. For more information, see:http://www.brikoule.ma
Ashraf Bourachid is the founder of the website Cote.ma, an independent and impartial insurance comparator. The mission of the site is to bring more transparency and simplicity in insurance and thus to find the most suitable insurance for your needs at the best price among those offered by the partners. This comparison will give you the opportunity to save on your next insurance policy.
For more information, see: http://www.cote.ma
Mohamed Reffadi told us about You & Me Consulting, a training firm for professionals and students with new pedagogical and anagogical trends. This is a reference firm's development of education and training for students and professionals in Morocco. Its mission is to contribute to the development of training and competence among students and professionals.
For more information, see: http://www.youandme-consulting.com
**Entrepreneur Cafe in Casablanca is generously supported by CasaEducation**
“We cannot eradicate poverty in one go, but we can reduce it. The best way is to start the economic activity” – Nikhil Agarwal, Founder, Entrepreneur Café
Over 100 million people a year are added to the world(four times of the population of Australia). Increasingly, our world is becoming a crowded, poor place to live, where 80% of the global population merely lives on less than $10 a day. We need breakthrough ideas, innovations and simple methods to improve lives of the citizens. Charity is not a mechanism to unravel the problem of poverty & hunger; the answer is ‘Entrepreneurship’. Through entrepreneurship we can build businesses, organisations, institutions that can provide more opportunity for people. Whether it is agriculture, manufacturing, education, health or sanitation – we need entrepreneur everywhere.
Entrepreneur café is a humble channel to propagate entrepreneurship in every nook and corner of the world. Entrepreneur café was conceived in the famous romantic city of Casablanca in Morocco, when Dr Nikhil Agarwal met a group of entrepreneurs over coffee. The nascent idea since then has taken the wings, spread out globally in a very short period of time. The idea is simple & easy to adopt and involves negligible cost – the group of entrepreneurs meet at a local café on 2nd and 4th Thursday every month at 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm. ‘City Mayor’, a local coordinator who is responsible for providing basic guidance and support for the meeting, hosts the meetings.
Entrepreneurs Cafe is now a global movement where entrepreneurs meet to discuss ideas, get feedback or criticism, make friends, build relationship, get inspired or just have a cup of coffee to share the laugh. Entrepreneurship Cafe is now operating in 27 global cities in 5 continents Bangkok, Baroda, London, Jaipur, Edinburgh, Boston, New Delhi, Guwahati, Bahrain, Nairobi, Casablanca, Bogota, Marrakech, Manchester, Santa Barbara, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kiev, Nagpur, Paris, Dubai, Waterford, Trento, Gainesville and many more added every week. The aim is to reach in over 100 cities by end of 2015.
- See more at: http://blog.yes.be/entrepreneur-cafe-a-fun-way-to-meet-and-connect-with-fellow-entrepreneurs/#sthash.4Lxjz4jg.dpuf
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. Bangkok being the capital of Thailand is bustling business destination, an entrepreneurial hub. Bangkok is famous for thai food, thai massage and excellent shopping. You all are welcome to visit Bangkok.
Bangkok (BKK) e'cafe starts with small group of strong entrepreneur network who made their efforts in passing the special heavy traffic (after raining) in BKK for this meeting. A lots of energy and enthusiasm were flown during this great coffee discussion. Hope this would be a good starting step for E'cafe in Thailand.
Those who wish to attend the Bangkok meeting, please contact me, my information is on City Mayor page.
Chayanant (City Mayor Bangkok)
"Power of Networking" - Testimonial Abderrahim khalid, Vice president, junior chamber International, CasablancaRead Now
This message was given in French. The English translation is below.
C'est l'occasion de retrouver des amis, se faire de nouvelles connaissances, mais surtout de passer un mot sur la Jeune chambre internationale de casablanca ( JCI Casablanca ) qui regroupe également des entrepreneurs et des jeunes citoyens actifs. Notre principale mission est d’offrir des opportunités de développement aux jeunes en leur donnant la capacité de créer des changements positifs.
Pour finir je remercie Sara de CasaEducation pour cette initiative et je souligne que le networking permet de construire une carrière évolutive et permet également de booster votre entreprise et votre personal branding.
Restez donc branchés, une formation dans ce sens sera bientôt programmée « Le pouvoir du networking »
This (Entrepreneur Cafe) is the opportunity to meet friends, creating new knowledge, but especially to spread a word among the Junior Chamber International in Casablanca ( JCI Casablanca ) which includes also Entrepreneurs and youth active citizens. Our main mission is to provide development opportunities to young people by giving them the ability to create Positive change.
Finally i would like to thank Sara and CasaEducation for this initiative (Entrepreneur Cafe) and I point out that the networking allows Build a career evolving and also helps to boost your business and your personal branding.
Stay so connected, training in this sense will soon be programmed into 'the power of the networking'