Isaac Baraka's Insights from the Start-Up Academy - Nairobi 2021

My name is Isaac Baraka and I love entrepreneurship. Since high school, I had an interest to start and run my own business. I started noting down business ideas and doing research. The challenge I had was that I never accessed detailed information. Everyday seemed like I was starting all over again. My research was all in vain till I attended the Swiss Re Start Up Academy that was held in Nairobi. The academy has been of special benefit to me, since I have learnt all I wished to know, just within five days. This has revived my dream and brought it so close to reality. I have learnt how to write a business plan, how to pitch my business idea, importance of insurance, negotiation skills, book keeping, marketing and many more.

I am currently working on my business idea and am so happy to have received so much information from this academy. My favorite session during the academy was the coaching session. It was time to get corrected from errors we had made trying to implement what we had been taught. It was a moment to connect with international mentors and inquire from them the potential of our businesses growing internationally. It being my first virtual academy, I really thought it would be challenging. Fortunately, against my thoughts, the academy was so nice, fun and interactive. The one-on-one mentoring with a Swiss Re Mentor was so much a success. I interacted well with my mentor Anna Ziswiler who was so free and open with me. We shared a lot concerning entrepreneurship and later talked about other valuable life topics. I felt so much encouraged and would really wish to continue this mentoring relationship after the academy. I had many expectations when I was coming to the academy. My key expectations were to know how to pitch my business idea to attract funding and how to master the art of marketing and winning customers. My expectations were met and even exceeded.

It was indeed an amazing academy, I will never forget. I look up to Anzazi Kiti . She was an inspiration to me. Her outstanding passion and determination that even led to her quitting the job and embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, her experience as she was pitching her idea in various competitions and events and her vision to grow the business beyond where it is at the moment. She made me feel motivated to start my business soon. This academy has really opened my brain awareness to the space around me. I would recommend this academy to fellow Aidu Alumni.The academy has really kicked me out of my comfort zone.

GYLA is a platform am so proud to join. It can influence my entrepreneurial growth by availing information based on entrepreneurship and also keeping me updated of very many life-changing opportunities and events. I am so proud to be an alumnus of Aiducation.

Special appreciation to the Swiss Re Foundation, Aiducation International, Swiss Re mentors, local mentors, academy coordinators and everyone who contributed to making the Swiss Re Start Up Academy a success.

Writen by Isaac Baraka

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