Ep 56: An African Entrepreneurship Journey-with Alex Kalanda-Ceo Ayambe
In this episode, The Savvy Founder interviews Alex Kalanda, CEO and Founder of Ayambe Talent Solutions.
This interview is a great example of the entrepreneurial journey and spirit; it’s a lifelong job; entrepreneurs live to solve problems and make things better for other people.
In this interview it’s clear Alex won’t stop – even when he reaches his goal to “create 1 billion work opportunities” he’ll find a bigger goal.
Alex shares his history and what lead up to him starting Ayambe. Alex shares his insights on building a marketplace app matching buyers and sellers. Specifically for Africa, the current payment systems (high fees and slow payment settlement) discourage people from using apps. Hence Ayambe is now also trying to solve this problem with a low cost and fast payment settlement process.
We learn that entrepreneurship is life-long learning; Alex has the same passion we find in many life-long entrepreneurs, always striving for more. Lifelong entrepreneurship is very similar to the European – Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master progression. Entrepreneurs start out wanting to learn and try things on their own; but demonstrate their passion and are able to get into incubators and schools – thus becoming “entrepreneur apprentices” — as their skills develop, they get connected to more people and join accelerators and get some funding or help to become “journeymen”. Along the way, their find their “masters” project, where the “problem to be solved” becomes everything.
About the Guest:
Alex has a background in construction & computer science. He interned with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, admitted to Stanford University as one of the 200 most dynamic students across the world in the Technology Entrepreneurship class. He was also selected by Stanford University to attend the Silicon Valley Innovation Academy in 2019 and 2020.
Alex has worked for a Silicon Valley-based AI company focusing on strategy and machine learning to stop the spread of COVID-19 by analyzing coughs.
He is the founder and CEO of Ayambe Talent Solutions with a mission of creating 1 billion work opportunities in Africa by 2050. The startup was one of the 42 chosen globally (one of 3 in Africa) and completed the Israel Masschallenge accelerator in the 2021 cohort currently based in Kigali, Rwanda & Lagos, Nigeria.
Alex also co-founded Ubuntu Media (aka Ubuntu Radio) and was co-producer of the ALU Podcast that demystified entrepreneurial leadership in Africa, hosting over 40 executives and entrepreneurs from global organizations like Forbes Business Council, Rockefeller Foundation, AGRA, African Development Bank. Other guests were from Fortune 500 companies. Our listeners were from over 100 countries.
Given his passion for nature, his team is also working on tools to accelerate carbon neutrality in less climate-resilient countries.
Alex is a youth advisor for Junior Achievement Worldwide and a mentor to young entrepreneurs at ALU and in the ROOM.
Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder. Philip has an inquisitive mind and a passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s future today. He helps technical founders build the business they want. He helps established businesses tap into their start-up founder to conquer a changing world. With more than 25 years across start-ups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer.
Words of Wisdom
- Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
- Life is a journey – molehills or mountains? it’s your choice.
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