What Does it take to be an Entrepreneur? by Alice Kathleen Lakwech

We were delighted to host Matthias Mobius, the co-founder of StartHub Africa as a guest speaker on entrepreneurship. Matthias is a social entrepreneur who thinks about entrepreneurship as a tool that can shape the future. He has built various innovation structures across many universities in Uganda and occasionally supports young innovators through investment and coaching. 

At University, he majored in physics. Thereafter, he worked in the education sector in Germany. One time, he had a conversation with one of his friends in Uganda about the education sector in East Africa. He noticed that there was less training on business and entrepreneurship in Uganda in comparison to Germany. He decided to take up this opportunity to fill in the gap in entrepreneurship education in Uganda. In doing so, he co-founded StartHub Africa which focuses on entrepreneurship skills and business management. 

Although he studied physics at the University, Matthias never saw himself as a scientist stuck in laboratories. Instead, he wanted to reach out to the world and do something different. With entrepreneurship education, he could help build structures that would create impact on businesses and livelihoods of many. 

During the webinar, he implored anyone who wanted to start out as an entrepreneur to first think about a ‘’need’’ that is prevalent. Secondly, a prospective entrepreneur must then consider which customers might be interested in the product that solves the need. According to Matthias, once there is a need or problem, there will always be a wide market for whoever addresses the need. 

He said that there is always a chance for everyone to take up an opportunity and solve a need within the market. However, in situations where one is producing what is already in the market, the only way to beat the competition is to create an excellent brand that is better than what is already in existence. 

He also emphasized the need to conduct research for that specific business idea. In circumstances where the product is already in existence, he said that it is important to understand the challenges that the business faces, the dynamics around the business and the costs that pertain to it. He believes all this preparation will enable an individual to get well acquainted with the important risks and aspects that they ought to know as they start a business. 

At the end of the discussion, Matthias urged the audience to be practical. “You must learn things by doing them, aiming to be better and faster every day”, He said.  Matthias also urged prospective entrepreneurs to seek individual guidance by prioritising talking to the smartest people in the field that they are interested in. He recommended three books that will help one become a better entrepreneur. Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth by Arsh Maurya, Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products by Nior Eyal and Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle. 

Entrepreneurship requires passion and Matthias is passionate about sharing this passion with others. 

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