Jonathan Mativo is the Founder and Chief Strategist of ICT for Development (ICT4D) Kenya, an award-winning organization that provides ICT training at the community level through a mobile training model.The organization has trained some 18,000+ people, out of which 4,000+ have got formal employment as well as a good number are now pursuing ICT related courses at tertiary and university levels, being inspired by the training. Well documented startups have emerged best being a local media station located in the village where young people are able to tell community stories in a TV anchoring model. Nearly 200 of the organization’s youth graduates have secured jobs in the ICT sector:
ICT4D Kenya is clearly a tremendous success. How did Jonathan Mativo do it? We asked him to share his 5 core ingredients of success for a (social) innovation startup:
- Consistency. This is the basic requirement. It is easy to give up. But your mistakes help you to do it better. You need to analyze them, learn, and keep on going. We made some basic adjustments in our original program (e.g., started to give trainings in shorter slots as that fit better in the daily schedules of the trainees) that then resulted in a significant increase in attendance.
- Focus. This aspect will naturally be affected by a number of things, and might change. For example, we star
ted with the focus on youth but soon realized there are a number of other issues, and stakeholders, we need to take into account. For example, we started to tailor our training according to people’s professions. We would help teachers to think about how to use ICTs in teaching; we would help hospitals to learn and adapt mobile apps that are for mHealth.
- Planning. Good planning means that you have the end goal, you main aim, in mind at all times.
- Ownership. You need to create ownership of your end-users to your project. We decided to charge a fee — so minimal that everyone could afford it. But that little investment — a form of participation — in the project’s sustainability cemented that sense of trainee ownership.
- Sustainability. For me, sustainability is about passion, not about continuous gathering of financing. At first, you must be a philanthropist. You will see what works and what you need to do differently. If you are passionate enough your model of sustainability will begin to take shape.