Celebrating DOT Alumni on MSME Day!

June 27th, 2024 — Happy MSME Day!

Today, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of our DOT Alumni who have made significant strides in the world of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Their dedication, innovation, and resilience are truly inspiring, and we are proud to showcase their journeys and successes.

Voices of Change: DOT Alumni Share Their Stories

“My experience with DOT affected my business performance, enhanced my interpersonal skills, and broadened my general knowledge in several fields.”

~ Mustafa, Jordan

“A significant achievement for my MSME, SWEAK Consultancy, was successfully implementing a digital transformation strategy for a local business, resulting in a 40% increase in operational efficiency. This success is directly attributable to the digital literacy and project management skills I gained during my time with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT).”

~ Simon, Ghana

“The training, mentorship, and resources provided by DOT helped me to learn more about my business and how I can support young agri-preneurs in developing their businesses. I also increased my number of employees from 2 to 6.”

~ Joseph, Rwanda

“My experience with DOT Rwanda shaped who I am today.”

“With DOT’s support, I became an agribusiness innovator and leader. I regularly use digital skills in my daily life to make a positive impact in my community. The training, mentorship, and resources provided by DOT contributed to my SME’s success by pushing me to establish SANEJO AGRIBUSINESS LTD, whose main mission is to empower farmers and improve their living conditions. My project is specifically designed to address the problem of horticulture shortage and lower quality caused by a lack of irrigation techniques, growing horticulture outdoors, using poor varieties, and lacking skills in modern horticulture under greenhouses. SANEJO AGRIBUSINESS aims to reduce horticultural post-harvest losses, modernize agriculture, and promote agribusiness at a competitive price to meet market demand.”

~ Jean, Rwanda

“My experience with DOT’s Digital Ambassadors Program (DAP) significantly influenced my personal and professional growth. The program equipped me with essential digital literacy skills and the confidence to use various e-devices. Learning about privacy, security, and effective online content searches motivated me to pursue further education in ICT. Now, I am in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree in ICT at the University of Rwanda. DOT’s training was a pivotal factor in my decision to continue studying technology and has laid a strong foundation for my career in ICT.”

~ Methode, Rwanda

“One significant achievement of Fiqra Technologies (formerly known as VijanaTech) that I attribute to my time with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is the successful launch and rapid growth of our Fiqra Academy platform.”

“Inspired by the skills and insights gained during my tenure with DOT, we developed Fiqra Academy as an innovative online course marketplace tailored to bridge the education-industry gap in Africa. Within the first year of its launch, Fiqra achieved several key milestones:

  • 18,000+ Newsletter Subscribers: Leveraging digital marketing strategies learned at DOT, we rapidly grew our user base.
  • Partnerships and Recognitions: We secured prestigious nominations and partnerships with renowned organizations like The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, Airtel Tanzania, Xebia, and others, enhancing our credibility and reach.
  • Awards and Recognitions: After participating in the DOT Youth Street Team program, I went on to receive the Award for Innovation from the Tanzania Emerging Youth Awards, and our startup was recognized as one of the Top 10 Startups of the Year by The Entrepreneur Africa Awards.
  • $1,000 Grant from DOT: We received a $1,000 grant from DOT that helped us kickstart our Fiqra product development journey.
  • $70,000+ in Funding: Our ability to pitch and secure funding from several accelerator programs was a direct result of the fundraising and strategic planning skills honed during DOT’s programs. Now, more than three years later, we’ve been able to secure over $85,000 in funding and revenue generated.”

~ Gerald, Tanzania

“The training, mentorship, and resources provided by DOT helped me to identify and achieve career goals, identify and correct gaps in generic skills and knowledge, and increased my confidence, developing and maintaining a broader perspective on career options and opportunities.”

~ Arthur, Kenya

“During the tailored learning as a Daring 2 Shift Social Innovator, I learned how to develop my Business Model Canvas and gained a deeper understanding of the problems and solutions I offer to my community as an innovator. This has enabled me to mobilize resources effectively, as I learned how to pitch my enterprise to potential investors.”

“The slogan ‘Once a DOT, always a DOT’ confirms that receiving seed funding as a social innovator was just the beginning. I have remained actively engaged with the organization even after graduation, and I currently serve as a Community Leader with DOT Kenya. I am focused on assisting youth in my community to monetize their content creation skills.”

~ Kevine, Kenya

“I joined DOT when SAN Tech Hub was in its testing stage. The skills I gained in marketing strategies and customer retention, along with the funding received, propelled our Hub forward. Thanks to DOT’s support, skills training, and mentoring, we’ve seen significant growth. Initially, we had 12 customers per cohort; now, we host over 70 in secondary cohorts, along with 25+ researchers, trainees, and entrepreneurs. We appreciate DOT’s coaching, which has enabled us to improve our recording and reporting capabilities. As a result, we now serve customers from 7 countries, including 15 universities and 24 high schools. We’ve also secured numerous partnerships and expanded from a small space to a larger, cleaner facility.”

~ Claudine, Rwanda

“Urban Tech For Hope (UTFH) owes much of its success to the transformative experience provided by DOT’s program. The training equipped me with the skills needed to translate my vision for a telemedicine platform into reality. Mentorship sessions offered invaluable guidance on navigating the startup landscape, while the $1000 grant jump-started our development process, enabling us to launch M-Kliniki, our first mHealth app. Thanks to DOT, UTFH now empowers busy professionals with convenient healthcare access and creates income opportunities for healthcare providers. The most beneficial skills I gained for UTFH were in business planning and resource management. The training honed my ability to clearly define UTFH’s value proposition and target market. I learned to create a financial plan, critically assess resource allocation, and leverage grant capital effectively. This knowledge provided a strong foundation and a clear path toward future growth for M-Kliniki.The most significant highlight of UTFH, directly attributable to DOT, is the successful launch of M-Kliniki.

Before joining DOT, M-Kliniki was merely an idea. The program’s training in business plan development provided the framework to transform this idea into a concrete plan. Additionally, the mentorship helped me navigate the technical aspects of launching a mobile health app. The seed funding of $1000 served as the initial thrust that propelled M-Kliniki’s development forward. Today, M-Kliniki significantly improves healthcare access for busy professionals in Kenya, standing as a testament to the transformative power of DOT’s support for young entrepreneurs like myself. DOT’s impact on me and UTFH has been profound. The program fostered my confidence as an entrepreneur, validated my vision for M-Kliniki, and equipped me with the tools to bring it to life. Professionally, DOT provided a launchpad for UTFH. The skills in business planning and resource management have been instrumental in navigating the startup world.”

“Thanks to DOT, I am now not only a passionate advocate for telemedicine but also a capable leader steering UTFH toward making a real difference in healthcare access for Kenyans.”

~ Joel, Kenya

“I joined DOT in 2017 and enrolled in online leadership courses that significantly boosted my personal development and confidence. Through these courses, I learned project facilitation skills, particularly working with youth and women groups. As a community leader, I facilitated training sessions for entrepreneurs and reached 300 participants through Reach Up!. On October 16, 2018, I attended the DOT Unconference in Nairobi, where I had the opportunity to meet other young professionals. Starting as an intern, I learned valuable skills in working with youth, which eventually led to my current role as a program coordinator with Young and Alive Initiative on the HIV/AIDS project for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW). DOT has acted as a bridge in my life, supporting not only my professional growth but also my passion for tailoring and designing African prints for women’s clothing. Today, I am proud to work as a tailor designing African prints for women’s clothes.”

~ Ester, Tanzania

“My journey with DOT began as a Community Leader under Kyusa Uganda for the Business plus ICT program in rural communities. Through this program, I gained knowledge and skills in adult learning, training facilitation, social networking, community mobilization, and engagement. This experience has been instrumental in shaping my professional path and personal growth. DOT has helped me recognize potential beyond my academic credentials. By conducting training on entrepreneurship, business sustainability, and ICT, I discovered opportunities to thrive in business. This has culminated in the upcoming launch of my personal business project. The social skills I acquired have connected me with various platforms and individuals conducive to my growth, further enriching my professional journey. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my experience with DOT has been actively participating in impacting over 2100 youths and women in the local communities of Uganda. Seeing their businesses still thriving today because of my engagement with them brings me immense satisfaction.”

“I encourage all change agents within DOT to join efforts in fostering long-term impact, as our collective efforts can drive significant and lasting change.”

~ Arnold, Uganda

“I have reached out to over 20,000 young people in Uganda, educating them about values and sexual reproductive health.”

~ Paul, Uganda

“A significant highlight of MOT Studios that I attribute to my time with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) was receiving the Initiative Grants. This financial support enabled us to purchase essential equipment such as lighting and editing software, significantly enhancing the quality of our work. With these new resources, MOT Studios was able to take on more ambitious projects, attract a broader clientele, and deliver exceptional results. This grant was a game-changer for our business, setting us on a path of growth and greater professional fulfillment.”

~ Kelvin, Kenya

“DOT helped me learn to use online tools and computers effectively, which inspired me to start my own online company called Zerocent Company. The idea came to me during a lesson about Google Apps, which are similar to Microsoft Office but more advanced. Zerocent Company aims to create online products without any initial investment. Initially, I created a classic website for free and then expanded into music and video content publishing, offering artists distribution and publishing services. Later, I researched book publishing and discovered free options for publishing and distribution. My first book was successfully distributed and sold on major online stores like Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Today, Zerocent Company offers services such as digital rights management, online radio, digital marketing, and customer relationship management. Thanks to DOT’s training, my company generated revenue in its first year. I’m passionate about sharing the secrets of running a business like mine for free, using internet resources. You can learn more about my company at https://zerocent-company.jimdosite.com”

“Thank you, DOT, for opening doors and inspiring new ideas.”

~ Titus, Kenya

“With the experience I gained from DOT Ethiopia, I am now able to build strong networks with change leaders from around the world and adopt best practices in my entrepreneurial journey.”

~ Geremachew, Ethiopia

“DOT Kenya has played a pivotal role in shaping my professional journey and business growth. Through their programs, I acquired invaluable skills and knowledge that have been particularly beneficial in three key areas: 

  1. I developed a deep understanding and proficiency in various digital tools and platforms. This foundation has been essential for navigating the digital landscape effectively and has significantly supported my business.
  2. I learned strategic techniques for using social media to enhance the visibility and reach of Mimi Stores (www.instagram.com/mimi_stores15.com). This knowledge has empowered me to leverage social media for business promotion, customer engagement, and overall growth.
  3. DOT Kenya highlighted the importance of digital inclusion and the transformative impact of accessible digital skills on personal and community development. This awareness has strengthened my commitment to advocating for digital literacy and supporting initiatives that bridge the digital divide.”

A key achievement for Mimi Stores Kenya, which I attribute to my time with DOT Kenya, is the successful launch and growth of our online presence. Through effective social media marketing and digital engagement strategies learned from DOT Kenya, we achieved a 50% increase in sales.”

“My experience with DOT Kenya has greatly enhanced my digital literacy, fueled my passion for digital skills, and empowered me to grow both personally and professionally. Through their programs, I have learned to effectively leverage digital tools for business growth and community advocacy.”

~ Mwanaisha, Kenya 

“Through my training with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), I established and grew my MSME, OKA, a social enterprise that has empowered over 150 underserved youth and women in Malawi. OKA provides training in mobile data collection, kids programming, basic computer skills, graphic design, and social media marketing. This initiative has transformed lives and contributed to the growth of Malawi’s digital economy.”

~ Praise, Malawi

“The training provided by DOT helped me to think big and hold myself accountable in the various positions I hold within different local and international organizations. This has improved my standards of living through my understanding of programs like the Digital Ambassador Program and Reach Up Program.”

~ Jean, Rwanda

“The DOT program has been instrumental in my personal and professional development. On a personal level, it helped me develop socio-emotional and coping skills, making me more self-aware and emotionally intelligent. I can now manage stress effectively, navigate challenges more efficiently, and build stronger relationships. These skills have been invaluable in both my personal and professional life. Professionally, the DOT program has allowed me to adapt my work approach as needed and continue my career development. The program instilled in me the importance of continually assessing my performance, seeking new knowledge and skills, and engaging in self-directed growth. This mindset has been crucial for maintaining and expanding my expertise over time, benefiting me throughout my career.”

Through DOT, I have learned essential skills such as effective goal-setting, stakeholder engagement, and impact measurement, which have been pivotal in driving the success of my MSME, Gender Tech Initiative in Uganda. Additionally, I gained a deeper understanding of gender-related issues, developed critical business and leadership skills, and built a valuable network. The program provided me with valuable perspectives on designing and delivering solutions that empower my target beneficiaries.”

~ Ruth, Uganda

“The leadership skills and resources have made me a better leader, more courageous, a problem solver, and most of all, a go-getter.”

~ Daylene, Kenya

“Participating in DOT’s programs has been transformative for both my personal and professional growth. Since engaging with DOT in 2020 through the D2S project as a youth peer, I have learned extensively about digital business, becoming a professional entrepreneur, and conducting business digitally. My vision of becoming a Digital Business Facilitator evolved into a thriving reality with BUSTEK PROJECT COMPANY. DOT equipped me with essential skills and motivated me to think about how I could be a good facilitator if I didn’t practice it myself. This inspiration empowered me to launch my own enterprise. In 2022, BUSTEKI PROJECT officially started providing software solutions, ICT training, innovation, and marketing. By 2023, I launched three products: mobile applications for sports, food/restaurants, and tourism. Achieving my vision of being a Digital Business Facilitator by 2022 was immensely fulfilling. I now collaborate with numerous educational institutes and large businesses, providing tailored software solutions such as stock management systems and websites, along with my own mobile applications.”

“DOT’s support has not only fulfilled my entrepreneurial aspirations but also inspired me to make a tangible impact on my community’s digital transformation.”

~ Jastin, Tanzania


As we celebrate MSME Day, let us recognize and applaud the hard work and dedication of our DOT Alumni. Their achievements are a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and the impact of the DOT community.

 

About Digital Opportunity Trust

DOT is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with locally managed offices in the UK and across 6 countries in Africa and the Middle East: Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Lebanon and Jordan. DOT extends its reach to Ghana, Uganda, Côte D’Ivoire, Malawi, and Zambia through local partnerships with youth-led and youth-serving organizations. DOT’s unique youth-led model has created an impact in over 25 countries, mobilizing and inspiring all underserved and disadvantaged young people with digital literacy, 21st-century skills, and the self-confidence that will enable them to thrive in an inclusive digital economy.

For more information, please visit www.dotrust.org

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