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AfrikaZiara: Connecting African Tourism To The World – Cavendish Mwangi

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AfrikaZiara is a travel tech software startup from MEST Africa  based in East legon, Accra Ghana with the vision of innovating the African tourism industry with an innovative software for tour operators and in the future, a data- driven online marketplace for tourists to access  African tourism  servicesIn this e-Interview, Cavendish Mwangi the co-founder and CEO  speaks with Alaba Ayinuola, on how her company is disrupting Africa’s tourism industry with the use of technology and her experience being an African entrepreneur. Excerpts.

 

Tell us about AfrikaZiara and the role you play?

AfrikaZiara is a platform that enables tour operators with little online presence to sell their authentic experiences on multiple Online Travel Agencies thus increasing number of bookings made and making it easier to track and manage their listings. I am the Team Lead and my role mainly entails creating various strategies to help achieve our goals and managing the team and the flow of day to day operations.

 

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

We used our owns savings to start and run the business.

 

What are the challenges, competition and how are you overcoming them?

The challenges we mainly face are financial constraints since we are new in the market and are using our own savings. To overcome this, we are bootstrapping and only spend money on the necessary requirements.

  

What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa?
Take time and do aggressive market research to ensure you understand the market that you intend to approach. Opportunities are plenty.All you need is the creativity and the zeal to tap into it. Know your number as this will greatly influence the outcome and vision of your business.

 

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

We envision to be the go-to marketing avenue for tourism service providers in Kenya and East Africa. To achieve this, we are continuously engaging the relevant stakeholders and creating strategic partnerships in the tourism industry.

 

How is your business contributing to the development of the tourism sector in Africa?
We have provided tour operators access to a bigger market and potential to grow their businesses due to increased revenue and increased market-reach. We are making them aware that there are more than 7.5 million potential tourists they can sell their tourism products and services to online. In all, we are providing tourism enterprises economic growth for their families and those of their employees by helping them to grow their businesses.

 

What’s your view on the development of Africa business ecosystem?
The business ecosystem in Africa has the potential to grow even bigger and faster than it is currently. As a continent, we need to build business that will last even beyond our lifetime. We need to build businesses that are bigger than the individuals who start them. Most businesses in Africa are established the traditional way where one starts a business even before they understand the market and highly bench on the fact that someone else started it and is doing okay. Entrepreneurs and business people alike needs to learn and understand their customers and market dynamics before they fully run their businesses.

 

What inspires you and keeps you going?

My passions and fears to bring about innovation and reinvention for the purpose of job creation and value addition in my community and the society as a whole.The knowledge and the skills i have acquired so far open doors of opportunity for me to create a positive impact.
How do you relax and what books do you read?

I relax by listening to music and watching films. I am a huge MARVEL movies fan. I mainly read business-related books.

-Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson,

-Lean Analytics by Benjamin Yoskovitz and Alistair Croll

-Product Book by Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia and Josh Anon

-The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

 

 

Cavendish Mwangi with her co-founders, Everlyne Njeri Kaberere and Elkana Kipng’etich Rop

 

Short Bio

My name is Cavendish Mwangi, co-founder and CEO of AfrikaZiara. I am a graduate in the field of Computer Security and Forensics. I ventured into entrepreneurship back in 2014 upon starting a family business and since then, I have gained skills in marketing, customer relations and product development.

 

Kindly visit us todayhttps://www.afrikaziara.com/

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bright oleka

    December 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    They are set of smart and hardworking young people, proud of what you guys are doing! See you all at the top.

  2. Mohamed

    December 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    very good idea that revolutionizes the tourism industry in Africa

  3. Kabbiz Editor

    January 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Africa is ripe for the picking and it is those who understand the unique selling points of the continent that continue to leverage it and use it to their advantage. Funny enough, and truly, entrepreneurs who take their time to understand their target market and target user demographic tend to hit the ground running when they finally start up and key into the startup space. Furthermore, understanding that businesses should be bigger than, and grow better than the owners is a key factor in planning Succession. Good work, guys!

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Afripreneur

Healthpoint: Providing Innovative Healthcare And Health Finance Solutions In Africa

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Kemi Ayinde is the Chief Executive Officer at Healthpoint and a startup engineer promoting inclusion health in Africa. She feels hurt and crushed for every human being that dies of common ailments like malaria. But believes everyone from every class of life deserves easy access to quality healthcare, so more lives should be saved, and life expectancy should be on the increase. In this exclusive interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, Kemi shares how her startup is providing health financial intermediation, promoting and achieving Health Inclusiveness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole with some of their CSR projects. Excerpt.

 

 

Alaba: Kindly tell us about Healthpoint, the gap it is filling and the strategic role you play?

Kemi: Healthpoint is a holistic health management solution aimed at promoting universal health coverage in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. We are a health tech startup providing telehealth and health insurance plans at affordable monthly subscriptions.

Healthpoint is propelled towards achieving global health inclusiveness by making healthcare most easily accessible to everyone; whether young or old, male or female, sick or healthy; regardless of their socio-economic status. Our goal is to ensure that every human being has easy access to healthcare and medical attention when needed in such a way as not to deplete their finances. People should be able to access vaccinations, preventive care, medical treatment, medical advice, health tips, updates and information relevant to their lives and environment.

Our mission is to reduce to the barest minimum every excuse to being unable to access quality healthcare in our society. With this, we would achieve reduced mortality rate, and increase life expectancy.

One of our core solutions is health financial intermediation wherein we buy bulk health cover plans from HMOs and Health insurance underwriters and offer them to people at very affordable monthly subscription fees.

 

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

Kemi: We are only a few months old and we needed to perfect our product and market fit which we have done successfully. We are at a point where we are ready to scale and are open to investment from venture capitalists and other investors. We have since been running on our personal seed capital.

 

Alaba: How is Healthpoint different from other Health Startups in Africa?

Kemi: Healthpoint is born out of the passion and the calling to make healthcare most easily accessible to everyone, young or old, rich or poor. We not only provide telehealth solutions to bring healthcare right in your fingertips, but we also do financial intermediation for people and organizations who wish to acquire health cover plans for themselves, their families, and their teams but do not have the funds to, by buying these health plans in bulk and providing it to them at affordable monthly rates that are very friendly to their pockets and work well with their cash flows.

 

Alaba: What are the challenges, competitions and how are you overcoming them?

Kemi: The health needs in Nigeria alone is very huge and can very much accommodate and absorb every innovative and relevant health solutions so I believe we have a very large market and we would very much welcome every contribution towards achieving universal health coverage for Africa.

Also Read: SMEs: Legal Tips For Office Space Acquisition | Morenike Okebu

Alaba: What’s the future for Healthpoint and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

Kemi: Like I mentioned earlier, Healthpoint is aimed at promoting and achieving Health Inclusiveness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. So we are looking forward to a point where we implement our innovative healthcare and health finance solutions that accommodates everyone from all social strata across the African continent to be able to easily access healthcare without having to deal with financial risks as a result.

We are a team of very innovative, creative young and vibrant minds that are dedicated and committed to actualizing our goals and objectives per time.  We are a tech savvy and proactive team that rides on technology to drive our goals and vision with no holds barred.

 

Alaba: How is your business contributing to the development of Africa health ecosystem?

Kemi: The African health ecosystem is very vast and still green, and so we have very huge plans to impact the health space significantly with different activities and solutions. We run an annual program that provides Free Health Insurance Cover for Widows, Orphans and less privileged every year. This year, our beneficiaries sprang from four orphanage and vulnerable children care homes as well as widows in Nigeria.

 

Healthpoint is providing them free health insurance cover for a period of one year to cater for their medical consultations, treatments, tests, prescriptions and drugs and so much more. When we listened to their stories and saw how difficult it was for them to afford healthcare, it was very touching and they were indeed very grateful that Healthpoint could think of something as this to help them with.

 

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

Kemi: For budding entrepreneurs in Africa, I would say always maintain the passion, close your ears to all negatives, keep moving like a train, trust God and above all, let the vision keep driving you until you get to that point where you’ve always dream of. Africa is a hub of emerging markets waiting for you to pilot.

 

Alaba: How do you feel as an African entrepreneur?

Kemi: Being an African entrepreneur for me is a huge privilege that avails me the opportunity to contribute in solving some of Africa’s biggest challenges across different sectors of modern day living. It is a somewhat challenging business environment, but if I remain determined and very passionate about my overall goal, I am convinced that my impact will be felt and recognized in the African emerging markets.

 

Alaba: How do you relax and what books do you read?

Kemi: The saying is true that “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. As hardworking as I am, I am also a fun loving person and I particularly enjoy travelling and going for vacations. I love to listen to inspiring music and watch some comedy once a while.

Most of all, I enjoy being home with family. It is very fulfilling for me.

 

Kindly Visit: Healthpoint

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Afripreneur

Afripreneur Profile: Vumile Msweli, CEO At Hesed Consulting

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Vumile Msweli is the Chief Executive officer for Hesed consulting. A consulting firm specializing in commerce acceleration; career coaching; women empowerment; facilitation and training on the African continent, with presence in Nigeria and South Africa. She has previously worked for reputable multi-national institutions such as Barclays, Investec, Nedbank, First National Bank and Vodafone. Vumile is an Operations; Finance and Strategy executive with experience in both the telecommunications and finance sectors.

She has successfully led global teams in Africa (Nigeria; Kenya; Democratic Republic of Congo; Zambia; Lesotho; Ghana; Tanzania; Mozambique and South Africa); and Europe (Scotland; Isle of Man and England). These teams held various specialties such as Operations; Client Services; Strategy; Business Development and Risk Management. Vumile was most recently the Client Services Partner for Africa and the Middle East at Vodafone where she oversaw Service Strategy and Operations for Corporate Clients globally.

Vumile is an avid coach and international speaker having spoken in conferences; expos; workshops around the globe on topics such as leadership; women empowerment; finance matters and conducting business in Africa. She has spoken at the African Union in Ethiopia, Women’s Economic Forum in India USAID in Zambia and various organisations across the globe. She is the host of Vumi and Veuve host Women in Commerce as well as has her own regular weekly feature in Nigeria’s largest publication The Guardian.

Vumile has been featured in publications such as China’s Rare Birds(2018); The Guardian Nigeria (2018); True Love Magazine (2012); Destiny Magazine (2011; 2016 and 2017); Bona Magazine (2015); Essays of Africa Magazine (2016) as well as The Thinker magazine (2015). She has been featured on Ghana’s ETV, is regular contributor on SAFM (radio station) and was the business anchor for Voice of Wits (radio station). She’s a guest writer on business; finance issues and women empowerment for Essays of Africa and Destiny Connect.

 

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Commerce: Accounting Sciences (University of Pretoria)
  • Bachelor of Commerce: Finance Honours (University of Johannesburg)
  • Masters Business Administration (University of London, United Kingdom)
  • Executive Education (New York University, United States of America)
  • Executive Education (GIBS, South Africa and GIMPA, Ghana)
  • Doctorate Applied Leadership (UGSM, Switzerland currently studying)

 

Awards:

  • Women’s Economic Forum Woman of Excellence (2018)
  • Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador (2018)
  • Black Management Forum Young Professional of the Year (2018)
  • 34th Most Influential Young South African by Avance Media (2018)
  • Gauteng Premier Award for Excellence in Leadership (2017)
  • ABSIP Game Changer (2016)
  • Mail and Guardian Top 200 most influential Young South Africans (2016)
  • Elle Boss of the Year in the Corporate Category (2016)
  • Gordon Institute of Business Science: VAEP (2016)
  • Vodafone CEO Award (2016)
  • University of Witwatersrand Radio’s Brand New Heavy in Business (2016)

Visit: hesedconsulting.co.za

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Afripreneur

Cooking As A Calling | Chef Femi Aliu

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It is a world filled with different people having different interests. So, I’m not surprised at all that we all see cooking differently.

To someone, cooking might just be a necessity because the stomach has grumbled for the umpteenth time. To another, cooking is a responsibility, either as a wife, mother, the only girl in the block or the eldest person in the house.

To yet another, cooking is a “no go area” …LOL. Indeed, it is a world full of many people, and what makes the world interesting is actually this diversity.

So, while there is a crop of persons fleeing from cooking, here I am, embracing the art of cooking as a lifestyle —better put, a calling.

Yes! Cooking for me, is a calling, my calling that I have positively responded to and have been walking the journey since the past 15 years.

Also Read SMEs: Legal Tips For Office Space Acquisition | Morenike Okebu

Responding to cooking as a call has left me from a mediocre state to an expert level, adding the title “Chef” to my name, a badge of honor I wear on with pride, fulfilling its course.

Food is one of the basic social amenities for humans made cooking highly essential and Important, hence, the swam of food vendors.

I, for a while, nursed the burden of wanting to see people eat tasty and healthy meals, and not only that, eat it at their own convenience. This particularly fueled my passion and love for cooking.

I can say that I am living a purposeful life with Cooking, because cooking, for me is beyond a business venture. It is a solution to a problem I saw, a purpose wherein I am able to attend to an urgent need and it has enabled me to reach out to the busy professionals, recovering patients, family, couples and friends.

 

I Am Chef Femi Aliu

Personal Chef/ Founder Chef Femi Culinary Services

 

www.cheffemi.com

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