A Day In The Life
Posted 01 June 2018
New York Program
August 2013 Intake
My Alarm Goes off...In London, Nairobi, Kigali, Accra and Cape Town. We spend a lot of time travelling to and working in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Baobab Network brings together large corporates and technology start-ups to drive impact and innovation in some of the most exciting and fastest growing cities in the world.
I'm Responsible For...Helping to run Africa’s Social Impact Technology Accelerator. As Head of Strategy for The Baobab Network, we work with founders and technology start-ups across five key sectors: Healthcare, Food Security, Environmental Sustainability, Education and Financial Inclusion.
I am responsible for running The Baobab Network’s Entrepreneur in Residence Programme, which immerses professionals from different industries in a technology start-up for a week. The aim is to help scale their business and grow their social impact through targeted strategy consultancy
We are in the process of accepting and reviewing applicants for our Rwanda, Ghana and Kenya programmes at the end of 2018, so I am currently reviewing lots of CVs (applications are still open! http://thebaobabnetwork.com/upcomingprogrammes/)
I Got The Job... After joining their Entrepreneur in Residence programmes in 2017. I met the co-founders Tom and Toby after reading an article on The Baobab Network in the Mountbatten Network News. I wanted to take time out of work to continue my professional development internationally having taken a short sabbatical in Uganda the previous year.
I was placed with a Fin-Tech start-up in Rwanda, helping to build out their product roadmap, financial model and business plan. It is remarkable what it is possible to achieve in a short space of time when you bring talented people together.
My Typical Day... Is extremely varied; the founders we work with are developing innovative products to meet a wide range of business challenges. We begin each programme with a full-day workshop to understand more about the business and the challenges they face. By bringing together experience from different industries and countries we can tackle these challenges using a variety of approaches.
The Culture Of My Workplace... is supportive, hard-working and fun. We passionately believe in the work that our founders do, and what they want to achieve.
My Most Memorable Work Moment... Each founder and consultant has their own story, so each programme is memorable for lots of different reasons.
If I had to pick one; in June this year a health-care technology company, Matibabu, we worked with in Uganda won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize. Matibabu have developed a non-invasive malaria diagnostic device that can detect infection using only a light sensor. Malaria still impacts 250 million people globally and kills around 1.1 million in Africa each year, so the potential impact of their business is huge. We were all extremely proud of their achievement and thrilled to be a part of their journey.
My Role Models are... The founders of the businesses we support. They see the challenges in their country and build viable businesses to tackle them. They are open and honest about the challenges they face and their approach to tackle them.
The Most Challenging Part of My Job... Each Entrepreneur in Residence programme runs for 5 days. We have to ensure that the output we provide is meaningful and can provide tangible impact to help progress their business. Understanding the problem in such a short period of time is a challenge, this is also the most fun aspect of my role.
The Best Part of My Job... Spending time in and learning about Africa. The continent is enormous – 54 countries, 1.2 billion people speaking between 1500-2000 languages. I could continue to visit for decades and not even scratch the surface.
After Work... When we are away and not doing client work we spend the evening with the consultants. We usually head to a restaurant and have a couple of beers. Where possible, we try to see as much of the country as we can when we get some downtime with the consultants. So far some of the highlights have been showing support at the opening of the Rwandan National Cricket Stadium, relaxing on Ghana’s Gold Coast, and visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable forest to see the Mountain Gorillas.
Plan B: If I wasn't doing this, I would... still be continuing to see as much of the world as possible.