Nizenande Machi

Karani Leadership

What does your company do?

Karani is an African creative entrepreneurial leadership development consultancy. We work with influential African leaders and businesses to address challenges faced by various players in the development sector, specifically those in: 1) Human Capital Development, 2) Creative & Cultural Industries, and 3) Development Finance. Karani envisions a world where Africans have money and other resources to live in abundance. Africans in Africa and the diaspora are the primary thought leaders on African business and culture on the global stage. It’s a world where African women are central in transforming business and cultural systems globally. It is with this vision in mind that we have made it our mission to equip African creative entrepreneurs with thought leadership about Africans thriving and living in creative, cognitive and financial abundance. THE 2030 AUDACIOUS GOAL: Capacitate and finance 100 Creative Women Industrialists by 2030 These are women business owners who own the next wave of scaled production companies, media houses, creative retail stores, digital agencies, animation studios, makers-spaces, musicians, artists and art curators, fashion enterprises and writers.

What is your biggest success?

One of my proudest moments as an entrepreneur was in 2021, when we launched our second funded Creative Resilience Program in partnership with a German development agency. We managed to fund creatives to maintain their business through the Covid-19 global pandemic. The program interventions, personal and life coaching to accompany the funding, we managed to keep critical women-owned business afloat. Over 80% of those businesses are still currently in operation, and are earmarked for the next phase of development and funding! But honestly, it's also really powerful for me that as a business, we survived the Coronavirus pandemic alongside the businesses we kept alive; especially when many (big) businesses failed and shut down. I won't get tired of saying that is a really awesome success milestone worth celebrating for Karani! And I work with that gratitude in my heart daily.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

The biggest hurdle for Karani (and me as Founder) has been finding the right people-model and business-model mix that works and helps us scale operations. It's felt like we're often forced to choose between the two. To explain further: When we've had the best team, we've hard some of the hardest financial crises in the business (e.g. the most AWESOME team navigated Covid-19!). And then we'd sadly struggle to keep this staff. But when were financially up and generating 2x the previous months'/years' revenues; gearing up for scaled expansion on other regions, we had a team that just couldn't deliver on the requirements. This has been one of my biggest frustrations as an entrepreneur, trying to figure out what model works best for the business and its people? I'm starting to accept the old idiom that A-Team B-Plan is probably what I need to accept as a early stage enterprise mix.