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Interview with Peter Grewal on his experiences at the Swiss Re Startup Academy – Philippines December 2017

Posted on 03/16/2018 at 06:06PM

Interview: Andrew Vallejo-Sanderson

Peter Grewal, CRO Reinsurance, volunteered to be a mentor for Swiss Re Startup Academy. This interview will give you some of his insights and thoughts on his experience, startups, innovation, and how it can apply to business. He highly recommends that everyone apply to be a mentor because “it was one of the most rewarding weeks of my life.”

What is vision of the Swiss Re Startup Academy?

The Swiss Re Startup Academy is funded by the Swiss Re Foundation, organized by Reinsurance Finance, and facilitated by our partner Aiducation International (www.aiducation.org).

During a one-week course high-potential students in Kenya and the Philippines gain skills to develop a comprehensive business plan and become successful entrepreneurs. During each academy, Swiss Re mentors volunteer to deliver lectures, workshops, and 1 to 1 mentoring sessions with students.



COLLINS SUVA – “I PROMISED MYSELF TO NOT SUBJECT MYSELF TO THE MERCIES OF AN EMPLOYER”

Posted on 03/16/2018 at 05:40PM

Interview: Cynthia Brauchli and Florian Kapitza

Collins journey into entrepreneurship started with an Aiducation scholarship that financed Collin’s high school education from 2009 onwards. Now, eight years later he has successfully launched Moshua General Suppliers, a local Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) specializing in graphic designing, printing, branding and general supplies just as the name suggests. In an interview, he tells us more about how everything started and what role Aiducation played in the success of his business.

How did you come up with your business idea?
Just after high school, I went out to a shop to get a writing pad and I found the owner making calls looking for someone who could create a logo and brand his business. I was reminded of a friend I had taken a bus with sometime back on my way to school who told me about branding and graphic design. I asked the guy to give me the job and luckily, he did and that was my light-bulb moment.

Was this a project you have always dreamt of launching?
When I turned eight my father got fired and my mother had just given birth to our last born. These were tough times for my family, but from that experience I promised myself to not subject myself to the mercies of an employer. I always dreamed of starting a business, but I didn’t have a clear vision until my light-bulb moment.

What role did Aiducation play in the success of your business?
I have found in Aiducation a true and trustworthy partner not just in business but also in carving the person that I am today. The numerous Academies I have attended were not only an eye opener but also fanned my entrepreneurial spark to be the flame that burns to even today. I have also found the exposure and networking platforms greatly invaluable.

Were there any challenges you were facing when you started your project?
Yes. Starting a small business in Kenya is always tough. There is complex bureaucracy that’s very discouraging especially when registering a new business; I also didn’t have enough money to take care of my initial expenses. It was also a big challenge for me to establish a good customer rapport due to the fact that I didn’t have experience in that field.

What is the most memorable feedback you have ever received on your project?
Last year during the elections, a client approached me with strict timelines. They needed to have 1000 posters in less than 10 hours. I was doubtful I could deliver, but I accepted the challenge and marshaled three friends who are in the same business as me. The job was done in less than 8 hours. The client was so pleased he offered to pay my rent for the next month!

What are the future plans for Moshua General Suppliers?
I hope to grow Moshua General Suppliers into a self-sustainable company within the next few years and one day list it in the Nairobi Stock Exchange market. This year we are planning to re-brand ourselves into a model branding agency specializing in digital branding and high-tech printing. We plan to also purchase the large format printing machine in the near future.

You have participated at the first Swiss Re Entrepreneurship Academy in December 2017. Do you think this was an added value for you and your business and would you recommend it to other entrepreneurs of Aiducation?
The Swiss Re Entrepreneurship Academy is by far the best Academy I have attended. The financial literacy lectures were quite insightful and the Mentors teachings and advice was indispensable. I would recommend the Academy to any budding entrepreneur.



I bet on art and got investors to buy into my idea

Posted on 02/28/2018 at 09:34PM

this text was written by Mona Ombogo and published online on 17 January 2018 at Standard Digital.

Peter Safari is an AiduAlumnus and the founder of Sephrin Art, our 15th Start-up in the Start-up Fund. He got featured in the Standard, one of the two major newspapers in Kenya.

The Internet has undoubtedly changed how we live, read, watch our
favourite shows and even how we shop. Almost anything can be acquired
from the comfort of one’s home. Capitalising on this growing trend is Safari Peter Wanje, who runs an online art platform, Sephrin Art.

At 23, Safari has managed to build a website that will host several
artists looking to grow their brand and increase sales. Though still in its beta stages, Safari got an investment offer of Sh1.5 million from Olive Gachara on the TV show, KCB Lions’ Den. Safari takes
Hustle through the vision he has for Sephrin Art.

It’s difficult to get investment, especially if an idea is not off the
ground yet, so how did you do it?



My Diploma Thesis: supported by Aiducation and its AiduMakers

Posted on 01/31/2018 at 02:57PM

Written by Cynthia Brauchli, Aiducator Switzerland.

For my Diploma Thesis at the University HFT Lucerne, I had the chance to invite some AiduMakers to an online survey concerning a potential Donor’s Trip. The goal of the survey, conducted last year in July, was to evaluate the need for a Donor’s Trip to visit both students or an Aiducation project in either Kenya or the Philippines. Despite a response rate of only 10% (43 responses out of 432 contacted AiduMakers), the majority of those who did respond would be interested in such a Donor’s Trip. Here are the detailed results:



Evidence on the Impact of Scholarship Programs on Education Outcomes in Developing Countries

Posted on 11/20/2017 at 12:43PM

14th November 2017

Adina Rom – ETH Zurich and Policy Analytics (www.policyanalytics.ch)
Dina Pomeranz – University of Zurich
Joao Garcia – George Washington University

Education is key for increasing for economic growth and rising living standards. While enrollment for primary education has increased rapidly and is now nearly universal across the globe many challenges remain: Teacher and student absenteeism is high in many developing countries, many children do not learn much despite attending school and enrollment drops sharply for secondary education (Glewwe and Muralidharan 2015).

Governments, NGOs and research are therefore concerned with the following questions (1) What interventions increase students’ enrollment, attendance and schooling completion? (2) How can we increase students learning and finally (3) given limited resources, what policies are most cost-effective to achieve these goals?


Tags: reseach, impact