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Turnup.Travel: An Innovative Travel Company Creating Bespoke Travel Experiences

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By 2027, Travel & Tourism is expected to support more than 380 million jobs globally, which equates to 1 in 9 of all jobs in the world and the sector is expected to contribute around 23% of total global net job creation over the next decade. Thus, we are using travel and film to address negative perceptions, create opportunities for content creators and businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry and contribute to the new Africa narrative and development of the continent. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, Muthuri Kinyamu, a co-founder of Turnup.Travel speaks on how they are using travel to create opportunities and connect people to what they care most about across Africa. Excerpt.

 

 

Tell us about yourselves and Turnup.Travel

Muthuri Kinyamu is a marketer by training, publicist and traveller turned tour operator, travel designer and a host. Previously, led a social media takeover campaign for Kenya Tourism Board to promote the Great Migration and domestic tourism and was part of the Nest.vc Africa journey since Day 1, building an Asian Venture Brand and community from scratch into the continent and Nest.vc is now synonymous with VC and entrepreneurship in Africa.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/muthurikinyamu/

My co-founder Brian Gatimu graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Oregon State University in the US but decided the only way to truly enact change was to go back home and develop his passion in photography by changing perceptions about Kenya and Africa armed with a Canon 700D.

Turnup.Travel is an inbound and outbound tour operator, a holiday concierge and a production arm that delivers stunning visual content, digital campaigns and stories. Turnup.Travel has a digital marketing arm called Turnup in Motion with a dedicated professional crew of photographers, filmmakers, writers, producers and licensed drone pilots. We also have Turnup for Good, which is a storytelling agency where we organize  themed tours and craft campaigns to amplify sustainable tourism, fundraising and CSR initiatives.

 

How much did you need to start your business and how were you able to raise that capital?

We are a self funded enterprise so we used our savings to fund the operation using customer revenue and reserves. Turnup.Travel was conceptualized at Voyager Beach Resort when two guys met during one of the KTB Social Media Takeover Campaign trips and decided to start something. You’ve probably heard modern travellers are looking for unique experiences and so we started Turnup.Travel to serve this demographic and we are already

changing how Kenyans travel.

 

What are the challenges you face in your business and how do you overcome those challenges?

My co-founder and I come from very different backgrounds which weren’t tourism but since he is people-centric while I am process driven we make a great team always learning and improving. We had to learn first and fast the intricacies of running a travel business and then built an experienced team to deliver. We invest in people first, tools and then seek collaborations to make things happen.

We are exposed to seasonality and cyclical nature of tourism but we are changing the behavioural aspects of this to inspire travel all year round. Besides that, we have a production and digital marketing side of the business that serves the hospitality industry thus we are busy all year round. Besides that, we are affected by things beyond our control like taxes, visas, incentives, infrastructure, security and safety concerns that hinder or facilitate the movement of people, our competitiveness of a destination and uptake of our packages.

  

 

What inspires you and keep you going?

Everyday hustle. ‌Every so often in a generation, disruption happens to ‘norms’, bringing trends and changes in thinking. Business leaders who thrive are always at the forefront of these disruptions; they’re quick to sniff the next big thing and connect with discerning audiences so for me it’d be the people who say yes to our crazy ideas, methodical madness and out of the box approach. Turnup.Travel stands out as an innovative travel company, creating bespoke travel experiences and opening hidden gems and thus we have been at the forefront of introducing new and unique products.

Our customers and partners keep us going and we are forever grateful. Besides that, we get to see in real life the resilience, appreciate diversity and inclusion through our travels. Each person is on their journey and pretty much inspires us to keep at it. So here’s to rebels and misfits – the courageous ones who continue to reject the norms and choose to be among the first. May the odds be in your favour.

 

Where do you see your business in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?

We are a digital first, content-driven and customer-centric business with a huge focus on new age travellers like millenials but we also serve other demographics. We are expanding our technical capabilities to sustain growth and scale beyond boarders. We also use travel to connect people to what they care most about thus we see ourselves as enablers and a lifestyle concierge to help transform your dreams into memories beyond getting you from point A to B thus we can expand across verticals and different passion points.

Turnup.Travel is launching an app where you can find, book, plan and pay in instalments for our signature experiences. It’s an experience marketplace with a financial management component to help you check what’s available (discovery), budget and book.

Visit https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.turnup

At Turnup.Travel, we combine the power of photography, film and storytelling as we leverage on social media platforms to reach our clients. We are thus combining film and tourism being at the intersection of travel, film and media we are well placed to fulfil the intense global demand for live travel experiences and content that resonates on a deeper emotional level so hopefully we should have our own travel TV show to inspire a new generation towards their path of self-discovery. At the moment, we are posting our videos on YouTube but we hope to bring that to your living room or device in your pocket or screen at your workplace

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2uKvoTBgiD9L4p4ovlhCtg

 

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to start a business or invest in Africa?

I think first there is no one way around this so chart your path and find your way around. There is a lot of literature around things to do, lessons and guides but some of these things do not apply in the continent where we have unique underlying challenges. We have immense problems which would thus give any curious mind a canvas to think of solutions. I would say do not be narrative driven but look out and analyse opportunities.

Always remember if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you are a failure so rise and get on to the next thing. If you cannot build it from scratch, you need to figure out how to bring a minimum viable product to the market to start with what you have and can do then figure out the rest as you go. People are willing to support what’s already in motion not to push or restart what has stalled so you got to start and keep moving no matter what. Good luck!

 

How is your business participating to the development of Africa?

By 2027, Travel & Tourism is expected to support more than 380 million jobs globally, which equates to 1 in 9 of all jobs in the world and the sector is expected to contribute around 23% of total global net job creation over the next decade. As a travel and production business, we create direct jobs and income-generating opportunities along our value chain, we source from locals and small businesses and impact communities around the destinations we visit.

We always pursue a triple bottom line in everything. It must be fun for participants, must bring ROI/ value to our trade partners/sponsors and be impactful and socially conscious to the community. In the past, for example, we have donated proceeds to Homeless of Nairobi children’s home and we have an upcoming Heritage Tour specifically aimed at fundraising for the kids education and rehabilitation of street children. Through Turnup for Good, we seek to highlight good social initiatives by showcasing their work to bring their stories to our audiences and help them with fundraising or direct donation.

We are thus using travel and film to address negative perceptions, create opportunities for content creators and businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry and contribute to the new Africa narrative and development of the continent. Getting people to travel opens borders, brings foreign exchange and boosts trade. Every month we directly engage content creators through our Instagram tours thus creating an opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate and showcase which thus contributes to skills development, opens new places for consideration and opens doors to more income-generating opportunities for young creators on the continent.

We started in Kenya because charity begins at home, but we have a pan African vision and global mindset. This is the last frontier and we are excited about what the future looks like for the continent. Join us!

 

How do you relax and what books do you read?

Our business is travel so I am lucky enough to mix business with leisure. I am an introvert so a good conversation indoors or outdoors with someone and maybe a picturesque view with Turnup. Travel family helps me unwind. In my line of work, I get to meet lots of interesting and fascinating people from all walks of life who inspire, challenge me and give me unique perspectives. I take most from these interactions in everyday Africa.

 

Afripreneur

Uko Sokoni is bringing East Africans closer to the global marketplace for goods – Munwangari Cynthia

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Munwangari Cynthia is the founding member and Director of Marketing of Ukosokoni. A Ugandan logistics & supply chain company, specializing in e-logistics (ecommerce) and retail arbitrage. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, she speaks on how her brand is working towards being the number one e-commerce player in Uganda with a foot Print In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. And bringing East Africans closer and closer to the global marketplace for goods. Excerpts.

 

Tell us about your business and the role you play?

Uko Sokoni, founded in 2018, is an ecommerce platform that brings online shopping to Ugandans. Ukosokoni.com makes available for purchase in and delivery to Uganda those products available on the International market but that the likes of Amazon and eBay do not deliver to most African Countries. Ukosokoni.com also curates and displays the best of African Products, whether they be African Garb, Ornaments or Arts and crafts for purchase by the rest of the world.

I am a founding member of Ukosokoni and Director of Marketing.

 

What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

Our Start Up capital was 100,000$ which we raised from the savings of the three founding members.

 

What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

There does not seem to be much of a place for runners up in the market of Tech based companies. Our biggest challenge is to place ourselves in the number one spot.  The Key Success Factors in the e-commerce industry can be found to be embedded in Logistics, Marketing and Technology.  Luckily for us, we have an edge over the players who had the first mover advantage; two of our founder’s have successful international Logistics businesses and the marketing strategy that I drive, is yielding very good results. We may just be on our way to that number one spot sooner than later.

 

Where do you see your business in 5 years and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

We intend to be, in 5 Years, the number one e-commerce player in Uganda with a foot Print In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. We have no doubt that our value proposition will sooner than later help us achieve our goals in Uganda.  We are aggressively seeking Local partners in the markets (of Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda) who share our values and vision whom we can work with to achieve our goal of diversifying geographically.

 

How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?

We believe that Ukosokoni.com is helping deepen African Markets for goods and services and further connect Africans to the rest of the world. Moreover by assimilating into Africa new technologies from the western world, we are helping fasten the economic convergence forces however small our contribution.

 

What’s your view on the development of Africa business ecosystem?

I believe that Africa is the next frontier of economic development driven by the migration of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) fleeing the rising cost of labour in South East Asia. The African business Ecosystem will continue to grow in size and deepen in complexity as wealthy countries continue to see Africa as a viable alternative to East Asian countries in terms of outsourcing their production and manufacturing.

 

What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa.

Opportunities abound; do and dare!

 

What inspires you and keeps you going?

Knowing that Ukosokoni will be the best online shopping company in the region in the next five years!

 

How do you relax and what books do you read?

I meditate and talk to myself! I read everything related to politics.

 

Visit: https:ukosokoni.com

 

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Afripreneur

Sahara Foundation Empowers 30 Entrepreneurs To Mark World Entrepreneurship Month

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Beneficiaries of #StartUpNation photographed with the organizers in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

November is celebrated globally every year as the Entrepreneurship Month. It is a period to celebrate men and women who brave all odds to take smart risks in business – an informed leap in the dark if you will – to create value.

StartUps are gaining traction across the globe as more people continue to embrace the challenge of carving a niche for their business ideas. Particularly noteworthy and deserving of commendation are the young people who have taken the bull by the horns by starting, running and sustaining businesses in climes with peculiar economic challenges.

Sahara Group is delighted to celebrate these heroes who would ultimately emerge as icons and business leaders.

Having spent the month of November showcasing innovative business solutions by entrepreneurs across various sectors, Sahara Foundation organized an Entrepreneurship Workshop to help beneficiaries lay a solid foundation for their businesses.

Themed StartUp Nation, the one day workshop hosted 30 young entrepreneurs to five transformative sessions with accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs as facilitators. The entrepreneurs who were selected via the Foundation’s digital platform for young innovators and entrepreneurs – www.saharahub.com – were exposed to business rudiments as well as knowledge and information for growing their businesses.

Olumuyiwa Adebayo, CFA Head, Group Finance,  Sahara Group during a session at #StartUpNation
Olumuyiwa Adebayo, CFA Head, Group Finance, Sahara Group leading a session at #StartUpNation

The workshop sessions included topics on finance, business funding, branding, social media use for business and starting and growing a business with currently available resources.

Ivie Imasogie- Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group set the tone for the workshop with a thought-provoking opening remark. “Entrepreneurs are people who pursue their dreams passionately and are never afraid to fail. This tenacity ultimately equips them for the journey ahead, paving the way for success as long as they remain focused, innovative and determined. This is a path we have been through and continue to develop at Sahara Group and we are delighted to support young people to realise their dreams,” she counselled.

Beneficiary at #StartUpNation
Beneficiary at #StartUpNation

The Facilitators included Olumuyiwa Adebayo, Head, Sahara Group Finance; Oyindamola Johnson, an African Union Youth Champion; Omolabake Bode-Matthew, a successful entrepreneur; Adenike Bamigbade, Digital Marketing Expert; and Tunji Andrew, a serial entrepreneur, radio show host and investor. Their sessions were engaging, practical and resourceful.

In what could have easily passed for a mini-MBA, the participants were schooled and practically shown the way to navigate business terrains with particular reference to the Nigerian market.

 Oyindamola Johnson - Curator, Elevate Your Game
Oyindamola Johnson – Curator, Elevate Your Game at #StartUpNation

Citing the entrepreneurial trajectory of Sahara Group, Mrs. Pearl Uzokwe, Director of Governance & Sustainability, closed the session by assuring the entrepreneurs that they had the potential of becoming the next big businesses. “Sahara Group was founded by three entrepreneurs 22 years ago and today the business has become a global conglomerate operating in 38 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. We believe you are on the right path and Sahara Group will continue to support young entrepreneurs through the SaharaHub and similar initiatives. StartUps and small businesses are critical for economic growth and development and we remain committed to providing platforms for small businesses to thrive and grow.”

Sahara Foundation Manager, Oluseyi Ojurongbe stated that the empowerment project was the first of many more platforms to support young entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, networks, and funds needed to grow their businesses. “This is the thrust of Sahara Foundation’s Extrapreneurship drive,” he added.

 

SAHARA GROUP

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Afripreneur

Interview With CryptoBrokerage CEO and Founder, Sheriff Olujide

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Sheriff Olujide, CryptoBrokerage CEO and Founder is a fintech expert with experience gained in investment banking, financial crime compliance, quantitative analysis and alternative investments. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, he speaks on how his brand is providing cryptocurrency ecosystem the opportunity to access the global cryptocurrency exchanges and trade at the best available prices. Excerpts.

 

Tell us about CryptoCurrency Brokerage and the role you play?

CryptoBrokerage is a Fintech start-up and the owner of a trading platform called BestecX. Described as the Booking.com of the cryptocurrency market, CryptoBrokerage by BestecX  aggregates the prices from more than 200+ exchanges and allow users to compare and trade cryptocurrencies at the best available prices.

I am the CEO and founder of CryptoBrokerage

 

What is your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

50,000 GBP – Through Personal savings

 

Why is business different from other FinTechs or CryptoCurrency Startups?

BestecX is unique as it combines block-chain technology with a suite of algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Our platform and software targets all following customer segments globally; Retail investors (B2B), Institutional investors (B2B), Professional traders (B2C), OTC Brokerages (B2B), Cryptocurrency Potentials (B2C) and Cryptocurrency Newbies (B2C).

 

What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

As a Fintech, the most serious challenge we face is funding, however we continue to work hard within and outside of the team to develop our platform as we know the economic model of our business has been truly tested and its in our everyday life, from booking hotels to buying insurance and mortgages and flights.

 

Where do you see your business in 5 years and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

In 5 years, I believe our platform would be the number 1 best execution platform globally. We are putting together a strong team and building a platform that is safe secure and reliable as well as user friendly to everyone within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

 

How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?

I believe our platform would provide the cryptocurrency ecosystem the opportunity to access the global cryptocurrency exchanges and trade at the best available prices. Blockchain projects would also be able to raise capital to develop projects.

 

What’s your view on the development of Africa business ecosystem?

I believe its evolving, however we are still a long way from the successes you see across Europe however the spirit of entrepreneurship in Africa is unbelievable.

 

What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa.

My simple advice to any potential entrepreneur is that nothing worth having comes easy.

 

How do you relax and what books do you read?

I like going to the gym and watching football especially Arsenal. I love reading legal thrillers especially John Grisham and Sheldon Siegel. My girlfriend would also add I read and listen to too much news.

 

Visit https://crbkofficial.com/

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