Balloon Kenya – Lifting businesses into the ‘missing middle’

The missing middle is a phenomenon whereby developing countries’ economies consist of a large number of microenterprises (mostly informal) and some large firms but very few small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Conversely,… Continue reading

Bonds beyond gospel

Around five years ago I was studying in LA, and it was there of all places that I fell in love with blues, soul and gospel. Five years on, I find myself here… Continue reading

‘Pole-Pole’

Prior to setting off on my 6 week trip to Kenya with Balloon Ventures, I promised my family and friends that I would write a blog full of my insights and experiences of… Continue reading

Week 1: The Fellow’s Perspective

My journey began with a long haul flight from Newcastle to Dubai, followed by a connection flight to Nairobi, and then a coach journey to Nakuru, the final destination. Having arrived late at… Continue reading

Isn’t the Balloon going to pop? Sustainability of the Balloon programme

One of the main motto’s of the Balloon Ventures programme is “helping local entrepreneurs by leading sustainable business development”. It sounds like a very ambitious, ideal goal — certainly has a nice ring… Continue reading

Process, Privilege and Balloon Kenya

Privilege (noun) – a special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. I’m here in Kenya with nine other international fellows working with Balloon Kenya to… Continue reading

It is quite straightforward really; customers buy for one of two reasons. Either a product makes them feel good or it helps them avoid feeling bad.

Business opportunities and ideas The truth is, you could read every book ever written on how to start a business, but until you start one yourself, you will never know what is like.… Continue reading

It is funny how sometimes the smallest most seemingly insignificant moments or conversations can have the most significant impact on your life and outlook

It is funny how sometimes the smallest most seemingly insignificant moments or conversations can have the most significant impact on your life and outlook. Two weeks ago all of the Balloon ICS volunteers… Continue reading

Dial M for Monopoly

Last week, Apple Pay launched in the UK, allowing the use of iPhones in place of credit and debit cards. The technology behind Apple Pay has been around for a while, but it… Continue reading

Lean, Mean, Start-up Machine: the Balloon Approach to Business

Lots of businesses fail. Most start-ups fail. For every Zuckerberg, there are thousands more people whose great idea comes to nothing more than years of frustration and a steady stream of capital flowing… Continue reading