EIT Spotlight: Gloria KaguoThis year, we welcomed EITs from 12 different countries to form the MEST Class of 2019 - our most Pan-African cohort yet. Several members of the new class are among the first entrepreneurs from their home countries to come to MEST. We took the opportunity to get to know the EITs from these new countries and learn more about why they chose MEST.
This week we heard from Gloria Kaguo, one of the first EITs from Tanzania, and why she believes entrepreneurship is the answer to many of the world’s problems.
What made you decide to come to MEST?
To me MEST is a rare opportunity to meet many intelligent people from diverse ethnicities. Meeting these exceptional individuals at MEST increases my network and raises my chances to come up with a successful company. With the skills and support MEST can offer to me, there is no better place for me to learn all the essentials to establish a great successful tech startup.
Why do you believe tech entrepreneurship in Africa is important?
In our ever-changing and diverse world, strategies are changing in different environments. I see tech entrepreneurship as the only way to solve Africa’s biggest problems. Within all these problems lie a lot of opportunities. Through the use of digital solutions, we can improve at a fast and steady pace, and tackle even the smallest problems in our communities.
Tell me a bit about the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in your country. What are your hopes for the future of that ecosystem?
In Tanzania, people have started realizing the importance of entrepreneurship. Most people have decided to invest in food security, agriculture, and fashion. But due to the rapid growth of technology, people are now trying to modify their businesses and use digital solutions to find markets for themselves and run their own businesses.
There are many rising tech startups, though most are non-profit organizations dealing with the agricultural and education sectors. In terms of software companies, most are focused on graphic design as well as web and mobile app design. The competition is not extreme, but the environment for such startups is promising and so is the future.
Who/what inspires you?
Wilhelm Oddo, the founder and CEO for NLAB academy. He quit his jobs to start a coding lab in his sitting room. He was and still is my life coach. He introduced me to the tech world and always reminded me of how capable I am. Today, he has opened a university in Tanzania that trains youth in entrepreneurship, innovation, and computer skills. Through his institution and university, he also helps train youth on employable skills to reduce unemployment.
What would you like most to gain from this next year at MEST?
One of the things I am looking forward to gaining from MEST is technical and communications skills. With these skills by the end of the year, in case I do not get funded I can still be able to create a successful company. Another thing I hope to gain is funding, but more important is the network I’ll gain between my fellow EITs. MEST is a place for me to find and build a great and trustworthy team.
Are you interested in becoming an EIT at MEST like Gloria? Applications for the Class of 2020 are now open. Apply here!
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Due to COVID-19, MEST postpones training program to next year and doubles down on growing portfolio companies
At MEST, we continue to be deeply concerned about COVID-19 and have been closely monitoring developments locally and globally. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community and we will continue to follow local authority and health official guidelines.
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty that the future of travel holds, we have been unable to conduct in-person interviews and host recruitment around Africa for our next cohort. For this reason, we have taken the decision to postpone the Training Program to next year.
While these circumstances are indeed unfortunate, we see this as an exciting opportunity at MEST to double down on providing support and mentorship to our existing portfolio companies and the African ecosystem.
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