THE FOUNDERS FEATURE: NANCY AMUNGA
This month on Founders Feature we have the pleasure of getting to know a seasoned entrepreneur who has shied away from formal employment and found her niche in the “on-demand” industry. Join us as we get to know more about Nancy Amunga Founder and Managing Director of Dana Logistics.
Briefly describe your business; what solution do you offer to SME’s?
I am an astute entrepreneur from Kenya, where I run a company called Dana logistics. At Dana we offer wholesome logistics services ranging from corporate delivery services, transportation services, clearing and forwarding services (Imports and Exports) and consultancy. www.danacommunications.co.ke
How have you leveraged on networks to grow your business?
My business has thrived off of referrals that have come from the networks that we have as a team, and from happy and satisfied clients that we have served over the years.
Also, we gladly mingle with other professionals and businesses during networking events, round-tables, entrepreneur’s breakfasts and leverage on social networks like LinkedIn, to get our brand on the map.
What was your dream job?
As a young girl I wanted to be a news anchor, but I became my own greatest critique (I am a slow talker and I thought all news anchors need to talk very fast) and because I didn’t have any mentor or someone to guide me through, I let it go.
Have you ever been employed?
Not formally employed. I have worked on short-term contracts. I have hawked insurance, done multi-level marketing and sold Mitumba clothes along City Stadium. This was immediately after clearing my diploma, as I was still trying to find my base and identify my passion(s).
What social issues are you most passionate about?
I am very passionate about young leaders and investors. I had challenges finding formal employment because I didn’t have a degree (I was not really an A-student and therefore missed direct admission to a public university. My parents could not afford to pay for a private university or the parallel program in a public university) and all the job applications used this as a minimum requirement for an interview. This made it hard for me to show my skills or get my foot in the door, however, I decided to use my skills for myself and create my own job and that is how I became self-employed. I saw a gap in the logistics space and decided to venture into that line of business as I continue to offer solutions by also employing some young people who have skills and face similar challenges finding employment but lack the papers.
I offer mentorship sessions to young people through the Sprout Agenda Initiative, which also focuses on education. This year, we will be working with communities in the Western part of Kenya to build resource centers. We are currently partnering with schools to furnish their libraries for them. Education gives everyone an equal opportunity; even the people who are in absolute poverty and feel hopeless.
Education is not finite and if you did not have a chance to pursue it early on due to financial constraints, parental responsibilities, hardships or any other challenges, do not be afraid to go back to school when you get an opportunity. You can also take advantage of online courses and peer learning. I am happy to say that I am now pursuing those papers, I am self-employed but I still need to keep learning and growing to better myself. You never stop learning.
What advice would you give young female entrepreneurs?
Have passion, patience, and consistency. When you have the passion you will do your best. Secondly, you have to be patient to reap; you don’t start a business today and expect a lump sum profit tomorrow. And of course, when you do something over and over again and are consistent with your quality, people will eventually learn about you and you will gain their trust. .
What awards have you been able to get through your company and how did you show up to receive these awards?
Through the efforts of my team and I, we have received several, both local and international. I was selected as the Commonwealth Young Entrepreneur of the year during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, UK. I was an honoree of the African Achievers Awards for social impact category at the House of Commons in London, UK. I received an Excellence and Dedication certificate from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI).
Briefly describe your social enterprise
''Education is of great importance in this world, and we should encourage and advise children in the right way.” This is the philosophy that drives my enterprise.
There are very few cases of people making it without formal education, therefore, those cannot be the yardstick upon which we benchmark our children's future.
Apart from it being a basic human right, education is an equalizer; it gives every child an equal chance of sitting in places they never could have imagined in their wildest dreams. This forms the basis of Sprout Agenda, where we focus on making potential young entrepreneurs and learners sprout and realize their potential in the future.
Sprout Agenda aims to partner with communities, NGOs, Government institutions and schools to build resource centers in the Western part of Kenya. The aim is to create safe working spaces for young entrepreneurs, equipped with a fully stocked library where senior high school students can have a conducive study area. It is commonplace, in most rural homes, to find that after school and during weekends instead of revising and doing assignments, students are required to fetch firewood, water and the lack of electricity totally distracts them from concentrating on their school work, therefore these equipped spaces will help the students focus on their education.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a reserved person. Most of the time I wear something that fits my body well at that particular moment-this is why it is important to understand your body type. I love fabric. So when choosing my clothes, I concentrate on the fabric then the design second. I love class and elegance.
Dressed by: Sarai Afrique Fashion House
Article by: Caroline Kuria.