Erick Njenga, a 21-year-old college senior wrapping up his business IT degree at Nairobi’s Strathmore University, has a gap-toothed grin and a scraggly goatee.A mild-mannered son of auditors, he didn’t say much as we tucked into a lunch of grilled steak, rice, and fruit juice at an outdoor café amid the din of the city’s awful traffic. Last year Njenga and three classmates developed a program that will let thousands of Kenyan health workers use mobile phones to report and track the spread of diseases in real time—and they’d done it for a tiny fraction of what the government had been on the verge of paying for such an application.
The company proposed spending tens of thousands of dollars on mobile phones and SIM cards for the data-gathering task, and it said it would need another 0,000 to develop the data application on the phones. The contract was never signed; Kenya’s attorney general stopped the deal over questions about its reliance on one mobile carrier.Eight months later, Philemon and his team began holding trainings on entrepreneurship for secondary school graduates and individuals over 18.They would invite guest speakers in successful careers from various fields to share their insights, teach them about entrepreneurship, how to identify business opportunities, source capital, how to create jobs and impart basic business management skills.If said yes, I’d obviously be lying, because who sobs uncontrollably when they’re okay?If I said no, I’d have to explain why, and that meant I’d have to start at the very beginning. The 42-year-old is originally from a small town in Colorado, but has been working in London for several years, according to .