Past Event

Entrepreneurial Reality – Common Sense Secrets for International Expansion

May 11, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Online Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi

Entrepreneurship is hard. It is no wonder that those who succeed in this realm are so often revered. As Jessica Herrin – the founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, says – "you have to see failure as the beginning and the middle but never entertain it as an end." Entrepreneurial Reality is a speaker series aimed at exposing the true hardship that entrepreneurs face in the digital age. Only then can our next generation of entrepreneurs be truly prepared for the journey ahead.

According to a study by Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in partnership with Stanford University, Africa has the highest percentage of entrepreneurs among working-age adults than any other part of the world. This means that there is a flood of entrepreneurs in the African market who are constantly under pressure because of both local competitors and imports.

With the increased opportunities and access to funding, African entrepreneurs are spreading their wings to dream bigger by improving the quality of their products and finding new markets. For this reason, we are increasingly witnessing the production of high-quality goods – with an African touch – for example, fashion accessories such as jewelry, bags, shoes and even make-up.
Therefore, it is paramount for the African Entrepreneur to be equipped with information on how to access international markets. This will be a critical pathway to the growth of the economy plus the generation of jobs and wealth among the African population, which will ultimately contribute to Africa's future prosperity.

Columbia Global Centers Nairobi will bring together a panel of experts who will share their stories and tips on how to initiate and follow through the process of penetrating international markets. More specifically, they will provide insights on how to do so with limited resources.

In this session our panelists will share direct experience on how to enter an international market, without access to capital.

  1. How to expand internationally with limited capital
  2. How to build your network cheaply and effectively
  3. How to establish local partnerships
  4. How to introduce your product to the new market

Moderator Bio

Conor Mack

Conor is a Partner at Rosc Global, a venture capital and advisory firm based out of Boston, MA. Conor's experience sits at the convergence of product, sales and marketing, with his favorite projects centered around helping early-stage entrepreneurs launch new products and services. Prior to Rosc, Conor worked as a sales director for S&P Global Market Intelligence, where he managed top-flight customers such as GE, Bain, Atlassian, Slack and many others. Conor recently finished his Master's degree from Columbia University and was a finalist for Columbia's United Nations Think-A-Thon.


Sagal Musa

Sagal B.H. Musa is a Managing Director of BHM Holding, Ltd, one of the largest FPCs in East Africa, focusing on real estate development and private equity investments. Sagal has an MPA from SIPA, Columbia University and B.S. from Leonard N. Stern School of Business, NYU & a fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. Sagal has over seventeen years of corporate finance, asset management, private equity, and business development experience working for and alongside - Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Orange, IFC, UNDP Private Sector, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank. 


Kendall is the Chief Commercial Officer of RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, the U.S.'s largest privately held dray and related solutions provider. As CCO, Kendall oversees RoadOne's commercial and marketing efforts, including its dray brokerage division ROLS. Kendall is one of the co-founders of destination management company EDRAY and asset-light warehousing group Kinimatic and sits on the advisory boards of several logistics tech companies in various verticals, including marketplace solution Emerge. Most recently, Kendall was named to the board of advisors for rum company Coconut Cartel, where he was able to secure their series A funding for them and bring in celebrity investment. Being born and raised in Boston, Kendall serves as a member of the board of CONECT, an organization that promotes trade in New England. Prior to joining RoadOne, Kendall helped found and exit several start-ups in non-logistics-related industries. Kendall attended Babson College in Wellesley, MA and currently resides in Tampa, FL, for most of the year with his wife Anna and Ibizan hound, Aston. 


Alvaro grew up between El Salvador and Nicaragua and later studied strategic management at Babson College - graduating class of 2011. After a few years working in the corporate sector, he set up his first London-based reinsurance consulting company in 2014. Alvaro has also built a portfolio of companies as an angel investor across many different sectors. Alvaro is now a co-founder at a Bitcoin services company, IBEX, where they are working towards financial inclusion and making cross-border, cross-currency micro-transactions available to everyone. Álvaro lives in Guatemala, enjoys travel and networking and is a motorcycle and kitesurfing enthusiast. 


An innovator in the digital landscape, Amit graduated from Harvard University at 18. He has helped companies navigate major shifts in the technology and creative industries spanning Asia and the US throughout his career, leading digital strategy across the entertainment, media, and FMCG industries. 

As Founder & Group Chairman of Shadow Factory, Amit heads a seasoned team of creative professionals delivering cutting-edge, value-driven XR immersive media and Metaverse/NFT solutions.