Identifying the Gap
Balloon Kenya has been up until now the most significant and exciting business experience of my life. For the past few years I have considered myself an entrepreneur. This is despite not owning a business or having any breakthrough plans to bring one to market. Balloon Kenya gave me tools to test and develop ideas and the confidence and knowledge to translate these into business ventures. Working with local Kenyan entrepreneurs I had the chance to make a disproportionately positive difference to their businesses, and – in the end – my own entrepreneurial prospects.
Working with one particular entrepreneur, I helped him to identify a gap for low cost laptops in middle-tier private schools. After a series of initial testing, we confirmed the existence of a substantial market. Since leaving Kenya, I have established a Kenyan tech company in partnership with one Kenyan entrepreneur and two other Balloon Kenya fellows. We are now collectively applying the skills we learnt with Balloon Kenya, selling refurbished laptops as well as our own newly branded products. The future of our business remains unknown, but what is certain is that the experiences I had in Kenya have changed my life, they changed the lives of the entrepreneurs I worked with, and I could not recommend a program or experience more highly.
Written by Richard Homewood, 2014 Fellow