Oh wow! I cannot believe it is already a year since I launched M-Kyala Ventures.

When I decided to take a sabbatical in 2020, I had all the anxieties about the future that you can imagine but I remember concluding that if I could not give myself a proper break after 15 years of working, then why did I work in the first place.

For me, the sabbatical was about finding my new purpose. I had always been passionate about women and increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs. I decided that I wanted to move away from being complainer-in-chief about gender inequality issues to becoming part of the solution (in a real way). I spent so much time reading about purpose and about the achievements and challenges of women entrepreneurs around the world. I got involved in several initiatives including Advancing Gender Equality Initaitive at ANDE and went on to carry out learning research with 60 women entrepreneurs in East Africa.

And after a lot of thought and conversations including two failed ‘safety net’ job interviews for gender roles, I made the decision to start my own practice that provides advisory and strategic support to organizations that are interested in serving women entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.

In one year, we have worked on 6 amazing projects, attained our first one-desk office space and made a new list of great partners and friends. For me, this is something to celebrate. I also celebrate Otala Nakiranda, who has shared her expertise and learning with me on some of these projects.

Those who know me, know that my plans and ambitions are big. I want to see an entrepreneurial ecosystem that works for women, that doesn’t force women to fit in a specific box but that enables and encourages their freedom to grow and articulate their enterprises in a format that is authentic.

We can all make that happen and if you’re having trouble understanding how to, then reach out to M-Kyala Ventures at ckirabo@mkyalaventures.com.

I will be sharing more in the coming months about what we are learning and how you can apply these lessons within your organizations. (I am entrepreneur now, so yes I actually have a communications strategy)

All this to say, thank you and I look forward to continuing this meaningful women’s work and being apart of the move towards gender equality.

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