The book details Aaron’s experience in conceiving, starting and running a technology including the challenges met at every step. These challenges are many, including getting people to believe that it can be done; winning investors or getting customers to believe in what it offers. These complexities are compounded by the lack of a supportive innovation environment to nurture innovation initiatives like the Damu Sasa system for blood services. In the end, as Aaron discovered, many entrepreneurs find themselves groping in the dark and only those who persevere can succeed.
In telling his story, Aaron offers pointers to ways to succeed in this arduous journey, including focusing on and being passionate about solving the problem and creating an impact, understanding the market and what you are selling, aligning with the right partners and ensuring cultivation of the right networks that can help one succeed. He urges authorities to design a more conducive environment with favourable policies that encourage entrepreneurship with the understanding that innovation can be the engine that spurs economic growth.
Here are sample comments from readers.
Innovators have a passion for solving problems that afflict society. In the process, they go through and learn a lot. Aaron’s Cheat Sheet for Running a Startup in Africa is an account of a resilient innovative endeavour whose trajectory has been punctuated by hits and misses, and highs and lows. During the journey, there has been an accumulation of lessons worth sharing with curious individuals, nascent entrepreneurs, innovators, start-up entrepreneurs, micro and small enterprises founders as well as academics and policymakers. The book is a must-read for all who have been accorded an opportunity to live. ~ Prof. Vincent Machuki, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, University of Nairobi.
This is an amazing read for young innovators. The journey of entrepreneurship is like a labyrinth, one that calls for determination and focus to achieve the desired goal. Indeed it reinforces the adage that ‘footprints on the sand of time are never made while sitting down’. Aaron, you have used technology to transform and save lives through the Damu Sasa app, making blood available to the thousands in need. ~ Dr. Ademola Olajide, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Villgro Africa is proud to have supported Aaron in his entrepreneurial journey. In this book, Aaron documents the challenges faced by entrepreneurs. He has advice for many, including how start-up incubators like Villgro can help in confronting those challenges. Entrepreneurship can be a long, lonesome journey full of many hurdles and hidden pitfalls. Learning from another entrepreneur’s personal experience is a smart way to help upcoming entrepreneurs to navigate the steep learning curve and avoid making similar mistakes in their endeavours. I encourage anyone thinking of starting or running a start-up business to read this book. ~ Wilfred Njagi, CEO, Villgro Africa.
This book presents the intricacies of bringing an idea to fruition, riding through the waves of scale-up without losing grip, and what to do when losing the grip, the traction and the interest to spend one more day as a founder; the truth is, something always goes wrong! ~ Norah Magero, Founder and CEO, Drop Access.