The Start-Ups: Keeping Your Social Enterprise Bubble Alive!

Every day there are many great ideas developed at workshops, events, group meetings, fellowships etc., but once the event is over, some of this brilliant ideas don’t get to see the light of the day because of lack of support especially funds, and if funds are available, one will be subjected to a lot of processes and if you don’t meet the requirements and are not determined to comply chances is that your ideas will fade slowly in thin air.

Fundraising is one of the most challenging tasks in a start-up venture or already established entities. There are millions of related ventures that also compete for the same funds and as Porter Gale puts it your network is your net worth is absolutely true. At Wilsen Initiative (Wi) we believe from the word go, that not only should we immediately focus our full attention in acquiring funds, but we should strategize on clear road maps on sustainability plans and give the venture time to grow while we learn in the process. Any new idea bubbles that pops up in our minds we dive into it with great enthusiasm and willingness to learn provided it aligns with our mission and vision.

Wilsen Initiative (Wi) with the slogan the champion in you… idea bubble started way back in 1997, its foundation started with the story of our founder Mr. Wilson Masaka, which has helped us develop the concept further and at the moment we are at the right timing to apply for funds to implement the ventures even further focusing on our three pillars of Inspiration, Connectivity and Education (ICE) model.

We inquired from our founder, what can someone do with zero funds at a Start-Up? “As a founder of the idea you need to put all your blood, sweat and tears no matter how long it will take to develop and implement the venture further, you will start alone, people will talk, you will walk alone but eventually work with a great team that believes in the cause with a strong DNA for the venture to grow and live beyond ourselves. If you wrote it down it means you believed in it” ~ Wilson Masaka.

At Wilsen Initiative (Wi) we have been able to achieve many activities which is part of our mission with almost zero funds through collaboration and our strong philosophy of everybody being a champion no matter what is our current status for example;

  • Establishing a community football team called Mathare North Rangers which seeks to connect the youth with other opportunities.
  • We have organized successfully two community tournaments during the December holiday in 2012 and 2013 featuring 16 community teams each contributing to the facilitation fees.
  • Participated in a pre-season tournament featuring premier and national league clubs organized by Tusker F.C.
  • Organized and attend motivational talks at different community based organizations.
  • Purchased new football jerseys through contribution of friends and players.
  • Received football kits for our club from friends oversees (Networking).
  • Featured story of one of our members on Women in sports on Kenyan leading television station Citizen TV.
  • Football boots campaign – A shoe For a Child; Children Right to Play.

So, what is the secret behind achieving all the mentioned above with zero funds?

  1. From the founder “As the founder you need to give 100% of your time and energy, sometimes you might be required to make personal financial contributions to see the activities through and of course it depends with your financial status and what is required”.
  2. Create a dedicated team around you, these are people who believe in the cause they might not have the financial power but they bring a valuable resource called passion, teamwork and dedication.
  3. Club member’s contribution, no matter how little contribution they make!
  4. Embrace success and failures at all stages as pivots for learning. Overcome the fear of failure!
  5. Mentor others and delegate some roles, here though we would insist on timely delegation to people who have developed a strong DNA of the cause to steer the ship forward.
  6. Improve your media presence.
  7. Develop common values that bind the team together.
  8. Network online and offline while you search for collaborators.
  9. Participate is learning fellowship, workshops etc. that target the development your venture.
  10. If you sense some burnout, take a break don’t quit the race!
  11. Develop all the required documentation that shapes your mission, vision, activity etc.
  12. Register the entity
  13. Connect with experts for coaching and mentor-ship.
  14. Have a business model around your activities that will keep the cause on the move.
  15. Map your graph of money versus meaning.

Metro sports video tracing Wilsen Initiative back in 2006!

Social Enterprise Wilsen initiative (Wi) Making of a Champion…
Women in Sports: Featured Story on Kenyan Leading Television Station – Citizen TV 

Working philosophies at Wilsen Initiative (WI);

  • Funds should get us on the move…
  • If you write it down it means you believe in it.
  • We should see ourselves as the source of funds and if everyone gives a shilling we shall reach our target as a TEAM. This principle was used in purchasing a new pair set football jersey for Mathare North Rangers Football Club.
  • Doing What You Love, Loving What You Do. This called PASSION DRIVEN.
  • Inside Out (Developing a social value): Start with yourself, family, the community, country then the World. Inspired by ; Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see.” –

We asked our founder Mr. Wilson if there are other inspirational quotes that has also supported his philosophy and belief that all is possible; Here we his best Seven amongst many others;

  1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Adams
  2. “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ “~ Brian Tracy
  3. “If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If your want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb
  4.  “ Be the change you wish to see” Ghadhi
  5. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
  6. No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. – Lupita
  7.  “Your Network Is Your Net Worth” – Porter Gale

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Compile and written by Evaline Akida