Creating Space for GoBlue Now Alumni to Build Relationships

December 9, 2022

The ever-growing Sinapis alumni community has expanded further into the coastal region of South Eastern Kenya. We are one of the key implementing players in GoBlue Now, an effort to train and support entrepreneurs within the blue economy sectors in the coastal counties of Kenya. Thus far, Sinapis has trained over 200 (300 including workshops) entrepreneurs in this endeavor. Recently, we held an alumni event specifically for those who have joined our community through GoBlue Now.

The entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one. Part of the Sinapis vision is not only to train entrepreneurs to grow thriving businesses but to establish a community of meaningful relationships among alumni. The GoBlue Now Alumni Networking Event brought together fifty attendees, which included twenty alumni from around Mombasa, five representatives from partner organizations, and their guests. The event’s purpose was to welcome the attendees into the Sinapis alumni community and foster new supportive connections.

Showcasing the support available to alumni, the event included a book launch from one of Sinapis’s graduates. Naomi, from Academy Cohort 1, launched her book Flying Solo and Soaring: A Single Parent’s Guide to Strategic Parenting. Her participation in the Academy class challenged her to rise to her abilities and write this book. This significant milestone for Naomi challenged other alumni to see the potential for social and economic impact around them. 

Coming alongside Naomi were other members of Academy Cohort 1, who took care of the details of the day: Johnson did the design and printing; Sally moderated the session and provided flowers; and Mary, a fashion designer, handled Naomi’s attire. 

The event itself was a small picture of what Sinapis alumni can do. 

Food, cake, photography, graphics, and fashion design were all handled by alumni. Eleven Sinapis graduates participated in a small expo, exhibiting products and services that included various foods and beverages, broadcasting services, African fabrics, a bridal shop, and more. Seeing the amount of involvement from alumni fostered cohesiveness and encouraged the rest of the participants. 

At the event, attendees were able to meet representatives from partner organizations. Youth Empowerment Initiative Program (YEPI); SOMO; Kenya Small Business Development Center Program (KSBDC) by Strathmore University; and the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development all spoke about their missions and how Sinapis alumni can engage with and support them in their assignments. 

Participants also heard from Elizabeth, the Sinapis Alumni Coordinator in Mombasa. Elizabeth spoke on the background and mission of Sinapis and how the alumni community can support the entrepreneurs. This session and the rest of the day’s activities showed the alumni present that Sinapis and its participants are there for lifetime support, offering numerous ways for graduates to plug in and engage. The mission of Sinapis was clearly demonstrated at this event, showing attendees firsthand that Sinapis is not just about a program but about providing support and community that continue far beyond graduation.

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