Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
By Khalil Ndiaye, Central African Republic (Cohort 17)
I am a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Professional Management, Science option. The entrepreneurial model has always fascinated me, so much that after school, despite having performed well, I declined all the job offers. I contemplated on developing a unique platform for money transfer and electronic payment system. This project would however require substantial investment and the potential donors were very hesitant, owing to the high risks involved.
Understanding the issues, I took a step back, and concluded that I need to develop several micro projects that will allow me to generate the cash flow needed to have a solid base capital. This is where the idea of setting up a consulting firm for Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) came to mind. I set up the firm and after only three months, I could generate at least a net monthly profit of $ 1500. A very rewarding experience.
Then in May 2017, I was fortunate to be accepted into the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program that would go on and completely transform my life. YALI changed my way of seeing things, understanding self-giving and commitment, changes that helped me grow my business. The Center provided me the necessary tools, mentors and the networks I needed for successful progressive development.
After the program, I got the chance to work at The Cabinet HERA Conseils, one of the most prestigious law firms in my Country. At the firm, I was the team leader of a group of innovators, where I was able to apply the leadership skills I gained from the YALI program to lead my team to set up a department, HERA Solutions, which was focused on developing tailored solutions for companies that encounter business hitches in various sectors. This department continues to revolutionize the entire law firm, and has become the anchor of the entire firm.
At the same time, I continued to grow my consulting firm, and we now have upgraded to provide precise organizational structuring advice supported by new technological tools. The restructuring, which I did borrowing from my experience at YALI, has seen the firm grow its profits from the earlier $ 1500 monthly before my YALI experience, to about $ 5000.
Through YALI, I got a mentor, Maitre Nadia Myriam Biouele, who has always pushed me to do even better. The mentorship program offered by the Center is so great. I can’t tell where my business would be right now had I not gotten this mentor. I would encourage future participants of the program to take advantage of the mentorship offered, and select a mentor who can help them grow.
More than ever before, I am committed to contribute to the positive transformation of Africa, all thanks to the mindset I received when I went through the YALI program.