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Onesha: The Kenyan Startup Providing An Open Platform For Creatives

Starting Up

Onesha: The Kenyan Startup Providing An Open Platform For Creatives

When Benerd Momanyi and Levis Njehia were looking for a way to make employers take notice of all projects they had undertaken while in school to be part of their CVs, they realized that non-existed in the region.

Most employers would go ahead and hire you based on the information contained on the CVs and nothing practical to showcase. This would make it hard for students to find internships and entry level Jobs simply because of they lacked experience and not the skills. This was despite numerous projects the students had undertaken while in school.

This gave birth to Onesha, web platform that enables users to build a portfolio of their projects by uploading multimedia content and match them to jobs based on their skills. It also allows employers to post a job with predefined requirements, filter through applicants and view their previous creative work.

“We basically seek to connect Kenya’s creative community with opportunities within Kenya and the broader Africa.” Says Bernerd, one of the co-founders.

The creative economy is said to be one of the fastest growing in the world having grown at an average of 14 percent between 2002 and 2008.

The Kenyan creative sector incorporates art, crafts, fashion, music, TV, radio, advertising, video games, publishing and performing arts. According to a survey conducted by Zimele Asset Management Company, Kenya’s creative industry is worth about Sh25 billion which represents one percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The best way to tap the potential in this market is by using the internet as a bridge to creating a robust creative economy and Onesha seeks to be at the epicenter of this ecosystem.”

Onesha seeks to bridge the gap between employers looking to hire entry level staff and job seekers in the creative fields/project-based jobs like architecture, graphic design, film, and animation, photography, fashion etc.

The duo which started with a capital of KES 70,000 (USD 700) has 8 institutions with several others in the pipeline. They also have over 2500 students and more 1000 professionals signed up on there on the platform signed up.

“Employers have recognized our efforts and are now embracing online portfolios as opposed to physical resumes for an application. We have 6 companies on trial basis that are helping us find the pain points they face when hiring creatives.”

Hiring the best talent is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of running a startup, and the two founders have capitalized on this by hiring the best there is in the industry.

Levis Njehia is an Information Technology student in addition to being both a certified mobile programmer and certified 3D animations and multimedia serves as the head of Product Development handling the front end web design and development, Website hosting and administration.

Benerd Nyagaka, on the other hand, is an economist and statistics student and serves the CEO and head of business development. Together the duo has invested in a great team of 7 with an exquisite variety of talent and skills ranging from sales, finance, business intelligence, computer security, and forensics.

Read: The 23-Year-old Founder and CEO of Suza Crafts

Onesha which was started in 2015 but incorporated in 2016 as Briglobe Investment Group believes that they have the competitive edge to being the first in region in building a platform that brings the whole creative ecosystem under one unified web platform that leverages the power of portfolios as compared to Behance which among their global competitors in the visual portfolio category.  And indeed true, they have already been able to represent Africa at the 2016 Global Students Entrepreneurs Awards.

“In the next three years, we want to have a presence in South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda and Nigeria and our target of over $1million in annual revenue. We also look forward to establishing partnerships with leading brands in the creative industry like Adobe which owns the creatives’ suite of tools.”

When it comes to their advice for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs,

“Entrepreneurship is a never-ending journey where you learn as you go. Don’t expect to be right on the first step and be open to challenges because that is where opportunities lie. For example, in our case, we have applied to numerous competitions and challenges and a large majority of them we have never won. We are however always grateful for the feedback we receive as this is what we use to modify our product in the right way.”

On Mentorship

“Always look for companions and mentors in the journey. We have sought advice from more successful entrepreneurs such as the CEO of BuyRentKenya, and the CEO of Eziki limited as we went along. We have also gotten useful contribution from Robert Yaweh during our incubation at Safaricom Academy in 2015.”

On Leadership

“Perception is everything in business. Carry yourself like a leader even if your company has only two people. Dress the part and have a professional image, including your website, business cards, banners or even letterheads. Give your business the image of success even before you get there.”

On Grinding

“Hustle is the name of the game. If you can’t spend time chasing clients, following up on conversations, attending to meetings and delivering on key deadlines then entrepreneurship may not be for you. The sacrifice of time, money and leisure is what will help you get an edge and close that deal.

Go ahead and check them out here.

Image Source: Onesha

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