2020’s biggest entrepreneurial lessons

By Sisanda Ntshinga

The last year has been nothing short of challenges and many businesses have had to take a step back and re-evaluate how they do things. Some Anzisha fellows shared some of their biggest business lessons in 2020 and how those lessons have helped their businesses grow.

22-year-old Olivia Kipo is the founder of Kobaa-OK enterprise which is a vegetable farm that produces and sells fresh vegetables and provides training and consultation around vegetable farming in Ghana. For Olivia, 2020 forced her to dig deeper when it comes to her team.

“The biggest entrepreneurial lesson I have learnt this year is to work in collaboration with my team by supporting them with wellness activities that will keep them emotionally and psychologically fit to work smoothly. By implementing this I realised that employees and team members have maximized production because they are more free which in turn led them to work better than in previous years.”

Olivia Kipo

Jariatou Jallow’s (22) business Yonima which means “Send Me” in the Gambian Wollof language is an errands and courier service. Yonima provides business errands services such as business registration, opening business bank accounts, administrative work as well as personal errands such as child chauffeur services as well as grocery shopping. For Jariatou 2020 has been the year of risk.

“I think the biggest entrepreneurial lesson I have learnt this year is taking the biggest risk of not shutting down because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Being a courier service company and helping people who are working from home to run errands outside for them was a risk I took. It helped my business grow not just financially but we also became more resilient. I learnt that when it’s tough, society needs businesses like mine to be brave for them. All we did was follow the health guidelines and always stay safe.”

Jariatou Jallow

Minute5 delivers fresh farm groceries to consumers in Uganda affordably in the shortest time possible. Customers can do this via their app, website or via voice calls. The orders are then supplied by partner vendors. For founder Paul Katumba (21) this year was all about quality over quantity.

“I’ve learnt that to be able to grow, you must provide the best service. We usually want to grow to be the biggest but then we end up spreading ourselves thin and offer substandard services. Therefore, we aim to be the best at what we do, not the biggest, this way, customers refer our services and our brand is associated with quality.”

Paul Katumba