Monday, August 13, 2012


Sometimes we think opportunities are so far from us. Not anymore for Iringa Living Lab entrepreneurship group. The entrepreneurship group was started by the pioneer members of the Iringa Living Lab  after realizing that there are many young people who would be productive but are unfortunately jobless or doing not-so productive work. So, the goal of the group is to help these young people around Iringa Municipality see the opportunities vicinity.
One of the amazing places this team recently visited is Neema Craft, a faith-based NGO in Iringa Municipality where people with disabilities have proved that disability is not inability. Although society had written off these people as “not so productive” they are now turning the “not-productive” raw materials into money. And what an inspiration they have become!
Our team visited them recently to see what they do. It was a great experience! Seeing beautiful paper products made from maize leaves, elephant dung, waste paper; turning broken glass into wonderful jewelry, amazing products from clay, all this done by people with physical disabilities!! What a challenge it has been to our able-bodied members of the entrepreneurship team.
Another visit was to the Small industries Organization (SIDO) that makes small (and even medium sized) machinery for making life easy for entrepreneurs. SIDO stands by the motto (though unwritten), "conceive it, we fabricate it". They have helped many entrepreneurs to breakthrough in the business world by fabricating machines for them . But it seems  there are more entrepreneurs who do not know about SIDO than those who know it. Yet SIDO is located just a few kilometers from Iringa town (precisely, hardly four kilometers from town centre), but not a single member of the entrepreneurship team had visited or even known in detail what SIDO does.
So again this was an opportunity to discover the opportunities next door. Because of the many opportunities at SIDO, another more formal trip is planned by the team. In the meantime though, some members are working on their business ideas. Thinking of what business to do? Opportunities could be waiting for you just next door; you only need to venture out. As our entrepreneurship team  can attest, to succeed we do not necessarily need big ideas, a little creativity, as demonstrated by Neema craft, with a mix of technology as SIDO has proved, could be the trick!

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