20 Quotes on Business, Leadership & Social Innovation from #AcumenEAF12
We recently covered Acumen Fund’s East Africa Fellows Innovation Conference through our live blog. The innovation conference, which focused on social entrepreneurship and the need for new leadership, captured the zeitgeist of the current dialogue around development in East Africa. The event brought some of the most renowned minds in the space together at the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. It was also the graduation ceremony of the inaugural class of East Africa Fellows with Acumen Fund CEO Jacquline Novogratz present.
We picked up some key lessons that can be spread out and applied across the rest of the continent.
The Future of East Africa
“The East Africa we want – don’t agonise, but organise.” – Sarah Mitaru. You can download her single Make Way here.
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the 2nd best time to plant a tree is right now.” – Laila Macharia of Scion Real.
“As elections come, let’s seek the public office, and be the leader of the people. Hiding in the private sector won’t benefit Kenya and the East African Community as a whole.” – Dr. Julius Kipng’etich of the Kenya Wildlife Service.
“I have news for you, there is no Superman (it’s up to us.)” – Tom Mboya of Inuka Trust.
Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship
“There’s a very thin line between social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship.” – Erik Hersman of the iHub and Ushahidi.
“Innovation comes from the edges, so it comes as no surprise that innovators are found in the margins.” – Erik Hersman of the iHub and Ushahidi.
“Imagination without execution is hallucination” – frequently quoted by Biju Mohandas of Acumen Fund East Africa.
“Markets are the most powerful listening devices. We believe in choice, not charity.” – Suraj Sudhakar of Acumen Fund East Africa.
“When it comes to policy execution: Persist, Persist, Persist.” – Aleke Dondo of K-Rep Development Agency.
“If only the East African Community could commit to supporting one policy to start, it’d be a step in the right direction.” – Dr. Manu Chandaria of Comcraft Group of Companies.
“You do not sip from the well of cynicism when working on the future of Africa.” – Laila Macharia of Scion Real.
Business in East Africa
“Question everything, Embrace Innovation, Dislike bureaucracy, Take risks boldly.” – The ways Erik Hersman says he and his team run Ushahidi.
“70% of the people generate 26% of the GDP. Clearly, there’s something not right here.” – Aleke Dondo of K-Rep Development Agency.
“The reason why venture capitalists haven’t flooded this space yet is they haven’t seen the exit strategy yet.” – Soha Ehsani of Grassroots Business Fund.
“Risk capital is a better approach than VC to finance early stage innovation for the poor.” – Eme Essien of the Rockefeller Foundation.
“Kenya is the #1 exporter of cut flowers to Europe. 1 in 3 roses bought in Europe come from Kenya.” – Dr. Julius Kipng’etich of the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Ethics & Leadership
What are the 3 things that will outlive Dr. Julius Kipng’etich at the Kenya Wildlife Service: Leadership, Governance and “How to” guides in every leadership angle from a ranger to a director.
“Once you take the decision to get involved with something you must be prepared to face the consequences.” – Martin Ojara the youngest elected public official 2011 in Uganda speaking on his journey to paying Joseph Kony a visit in his early leadership days.
“Quitting is leadership too, you need to know when you have done your best!” – Julie Gichuru fof Royal Media Services speaking on public sector service in East Africa.
“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price for them to come through” – the late Dr. Griffin, head of Starehe Boys School as quoted by Dr. Julius Kipng’etich of the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Overall, we can say it was a brilliant event that if you meet the qualifications, we’d recommend you have a look at and consider applying. for their program and take part in the next class of 2012/2013 Acumen Fund East Africa Fellows.
April 26, 2013
April 15, 2013
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