This month has been so good to us! We had a bunch of interesting Fellows come in to work with the entrepreneurs we partner with. Here's an interview with one of them.
Can you please tell us something about you and some more about the role you are currently doing?
My name is Kirsty Meldrum. Am originally from Scotland but living in London. I work in the banking industry, mainly focusing on corporate finance and debt financing.
It was really wonderful to have you come in and volunteer with us, how did you hear about Somo?
I heard about Somo from friends working in Nairobi. I was visiting Kenya for the first time.
And Why Somo? I wanted to get involved with Somo for a number of reasons. The organisation has a really strong reputation and I liked that the program targets entrepreneurs from low-income slum areas in Nairobi - it gives opportunities to those who need it most and in a sustainable way. As a qualified accountant, I knew I could add value with the financial reporting and forecasting but I was also interested in meeting the entrepreneurs to understand more about their products, their vision and the markets they are working in.
What did you do at Somo?
I provided financial reporting assistance to the trainees and entrepreneurs. I also ran a workshop on financial projections in Kibera and Korogocho.
What was the experience like?
I was hugely impressed by everyone I met - the entrepreneurs and trainees, as well as everyone that works at Somo. We managed to pack in over 20 site visits in the 3 weeks I was there, so I had the opportunity to see first hand where the entrepreneurs worked. It really brought the businesses to life. The trainees I worked with largely understood the basics of accounting but needed a bit more confidence to work independently, or to understand how certain concepts applied to their own business. It was incredibly rewarding to help them with this and to see, even in one session, how much their knowledge had improved.
What did you love most during your stay? The highlight of my stay was definitely the people. They gave me insight into what life is like in Nairobi, particularly in the slum areas, and I gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and how the entrepreneurs are trying to solve them through their businesses. A more personal highlight was discovering I really love chapatis. I was a big fan of the chapatis at Nutrition Palace!
We can't thank you enough Kirsty, for the time and the sessions you had with the entrepreneurs. We are glad you enjoyed it. You have a friend in us, please, come by anytime when you visit Kenya again.