Take one woman with a big vision to nurture generations of women who use technology to develop innovations and solutions for Africa, and the energy to match, and you have the inspirational Judith Owigar, co-founder of Akirachix - a real gamechanger for women innovators in Africa.
LoA had the pleasure of speaking to Judith Owigar about her passion for empowering young women in tech and also her vision for Akirachix going forward.
What does your company do?
AkiraChix is a non profit whose vision is to nurture generations of women who use technology to develop innovations and solutions for Africa. AkiraChix gives women technology and entrepreneurial skills, empowering them technologically and financially, enabling them to serve and lead their communities.
"I never considered myself an entrepreneur but I considered myself a visionary and doer, which I have come to realize is all you need."
What inspired you to start your company?
I started Akirachix with a group of friends in order to create a space for women in technology to experiment, fail and excel. Overtime we felt that we needed to share the skills we were learning with the wider community. We decided to first focus on women from low income areas in Nairobi who do not have access to the opportunities we had. Thus we started our training program.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We have a variety of services that we provide to the community of women around us. As a way to address poverty, unemployment and gender inequalities in the access and use of ICTs, AkiraChix provides training, mentorship and outreach programs to increase the number of skilled women in technology and positively impact the community. Young women find our training services relevant to them since we address their need to increase their skill level and we create a community around the experience.
"My future plans and aspirations for Akirachix are to influence the technology industry in Africa by increasing the number of women creating impact using technology."
Tell us a little about your team
Akirachix is led by a team of four co-founders. We all have a background in development of applications and websites. In fact three of us worked as developers in the same web development firm. That is where the seeds of starting Akirachix were planted. The four co-founders: Judith Owigar, Linda Kamau, Marie Githinji and Angela Oduor.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I had attempted to start two businesses before embarking on Akirachix. I never considered myself an entrepreneur but I considered myself a visionary and doer, which I have come to realize is all you need. A dream and the will to take the necessary steps to make it a reality. In University I started a club and little did I know that that exercise would give me the confidence to push on with Akirachix.
#EntrepreneurAdvice: "As long as you do not stop you will progress."
- Judith Owigar, co-founder @akirachix
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To influence the technology industry in Africa by increasing the number of women creating impact using technology.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing the young women we are working with get the confidence to do things they never though were possible. This ranges from starting a company, getting a well paying a job, doing a pitch or even getting a promotion.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Dream big, start small, start now. Just because you're not where you want to be does not mean you should give up. As long as you do not stop you will progress. I think this journey has developed some courage that I never thought I had within me.
Contact or follow Akirachix
Why LoA loves it….
At Lionesses of Africa, we love the spirit of visionary women entrepreneurs such as Judith Owigar who have a real game-changing vision for empowering young women in Africa through technology. She is demonstrating that individuals can make a difference if they think big, have the tools and resources to provide innovative opportunities for young women in tech to thrive, and have the passion to make that vision a reality. Judith and those women entrepreneurs like her in Africa are opening up a whole new world of possibilities for a new generation of talented young women who are following in their footsteps. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa