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Sure, Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think about startups. If you have entrepreneurial dreams, why not launch your start-up in Mauritius? Mauritius is ranked among the first countries in Africa and surely has a lot to offer to new entrepreneurs.

What is a Start-up?

A startup is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner.

Start-up VS SME

It’s no surprise that many are confused with start-ups and SMEs. They’re both established by entrepreneurs. They’re small in terms of revenue and number of employees. So, how are they different? Both are pursuing different business models and with significant differences in intent, function and funding options.

A start-up is temporary (usually lasts for 6 months) and it’s all about trial and error. For a start-up, it’s all about experimenting and testing your business model. The entrepreneur is usually uncertain about its target group or they are looking for a proper channel. Then they will start experimenting and searching for answers to the product they are trying to sell, checking out the market’s niche and how to maximize your revenue from the right customers. Finally, they will be able to grow it faster once your business model is settled and stabilized.

An SME is more permanent and it starts out with a structured organisation that focuses on the delivery of value to its already-known customers. An SME does not need to change its business model. Which means, at this stage, an SME is established with a stable and successful business model. SMEs are driven by making a profit and intend to secure a financially sustainable spot in a local market for the long run.

Launch your start-up in Mauritius

Now is an exciting time to witness the making of a startups scene, boosted by the returning Mauritian diaspora and local change-makers. And on a small island, you have the privilege to feel part of something huge! Want to launch a start-up? Why not?

Over the last 18 months, coworking spaces have popped up in each major business hub of the island. If you’re looking for a startup’s hub, The Turbine which a converted sugar factory turbine is the place to go and is the first startups incubator of the island.

Startups fill the void in society and create new ways to provide products and services to consumers. Mauritius being a developed island has still many unknown possibilities for new businesses for some beautiful years ahead.

8 steps to follow to Launch your Start-up in Mauritius:

  1. Conception of project/Business idea
  2. Preparation of business plan
  3. Deciding on form of business
  4. Choosing the right location
  5. Registering the business
  6. Look for funding sources for the project
  7. Implementing the project
  8. Planning and Organising Business Activity

How much does it cost to initiate a start-up?

Many people underestimate startup costs, and start their business in a haphazard, unplanned way. This can work, but it is usually much harder. A start-up might cost nothing but can also cost a lot of money depending on business nature. The 3 main costs incurred by start-ups are as follows:

  • Startup expenses: These are expenses that happen before the beginning of the plan, before the first month. For example, many new companies incur expenses for legal work, logo design, brochures, site selection and improvements, and other expenses.
  • Startup assets: Typical startup assets are cash (in the form of the money in the bank when the company starts), and in many cases starting inventory. Other starting assets are both current and long-term, such as equipment, office furniture, machinery, etc.
  • Startup financing: This includes both capital investment and loans. The only investment amounts or loan amounts that belong in the startup table are those that happen before the beginning of the plan. Whatever happens during or after the first month should go instead into the Cash Flow table, which will automatically adjust the Balance Sheet.

These will vary upon business nature – a simple Marketing Agency might need only some thousands of rupees to start but a small manufacturing agency might need some hundreds of thousands to start.

How can La Turbine help start-ups?

As an incubator, La Turbine help start-ups (businesses with either a tinge of innovation or an innovative concept/idea) to be established sustainably in their respective market. In their incubation program which lasts a year, La Turbine accompanies the entrepreneurs in taking the best decisions to achieve their milestones and objectives.

They are provided with a one to one weekly coaching and access to field experts in La Turbine’s network, potential investors, business angels and in many cases their first clients. A series of tailor-made workshops are designed for them to level up their entrepreneurial skills.

The incubated start-ups get free access to our networking and entrepreneurial events. Basically, they are considered as being a part of La Turbine. As mentioned before, La Turbine is a start-ups incubator with a co-working space. For the first six months, the incubated start-ups get to use the co-working space and its amenities freely. The last six months, they get a preferential rate. (This soothes their numbers)

There is an increasing number of people opting to launch their own businesses these days. There are various speculations that can aim to explain this phenomenon. One principal speculation, is that more and more people appreciate the satisfaction of working for themselves. Another is that people are increasingly connected and exposed to more and more innovative concepts. Perhaps people believe that being employed and working for someone else’s enterprise puts a ceiling on the figure one earns every month, whereas in running one’s own business, that figure has a direct correlation with how hard you are working. The mathematics here appears to be quite simple. But is it really?

In running one’s own enterprise, it is crucial to ensure that we are giving ourselves and the best tools and opportunities to succeed. In reality, it is very difficult to ascertain a startup’s chances of success. Running a startup is like juggling at least 6 balls during most of your waking hours and on one leg. For this reason, many startups decide to opt for an Incubation Program.

Benefits and possibilities offered to Start Ups by an incubator

Well who said you could not run your business from your own garage or from a friendly neighbor’s garage? This have worked very well for Larry Page and Sergey Brin since they now own the lion’s share of Google. Yet, let’s be realistic – the focus is to make enough day by day and to survive. One instrument that might come in handy remains the business incubator. An Incubation Program is one that is designed to help startups develop in its early stages. It does for a startup what an actual incubator does for eggs: Prepares them for hatching successfully and healthily. But metaphors aside, Incubation Programs offer coaching, workshops and networking for early stage enterprises. They provide a curriculum with set objectives specific to the startup and outcomes that it needs to identify and deliver. So, a business incubator, in turn, is an organization that provides these services.

To survive and thrive, what does a start -up need? What are startup’s basic necessities?

1. Affordable Workspace for Start-Ups

Business incubators firstly offer a co-working space for new entrepreuneur. These are cost effective workspaces with a varied pool of professionals renting seats to work. The benefit here is two-fold: a free workspace means exemption from having to allocate a significant sum from one’s budget. And secondly, it provides automatic access to a wide network of professionals that entrepreneurs can tap into for advice and better yet, collaborations. Since coworking spaces are known for their eccentric layouts and decors, it does not hurt to have the opportunity to impress potential partners and clients by welcoming them into a hip and trendy environment.

2. Access to a vast network of mentors, experts and industry partners

A crucial component of any business incubator corresponds to the large network of business advisors and partners that can help advance the business. From Entrepreneurs-in-Residence which provide high-level strategic guidance to specialized mentors for niche industries, the difference between success and failure can truly come down to who you know.

3. Funding opportunities for new entrepreneurs

Everybody knows entrepreneurs need money to expand and grow their businesses, and although many early-stage startup companies raise their initial funds through the 3 F’s (friends, family, founders), there will come a time when a more substantial round of investment is necessary. Membership in a business incubator not only can connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalist and/or angel investment groups, but it can make the business a more attractive investment opportunity to such groups.

4. Support system during the “treacherous” early stage waters

Whether it is a product flaw or an incompetent management team that leads to its demise, incubation programs strive to mitigate that early-stage risk of starting a business through programmatic and developmental resources. It also helps being able to talk entrepreneurs off the ledge when they have a rough day.

In a nutshell, Business incubators’ main aim is to educate new entrepreneurs in best business practices while providing mentorship and guidance.

Test Drive is here!! Up and running!

The application period of the 1st edition of Turbine Test Drive program ended on the 17th of September 2018. After thorough screening, 31 start-up projects were selected out of 62 applicants. The projects are in various fields namely agriculture, financial technology, education, Leisure and hospitality, services, retail, digital technology, wellness, social, environment, bio-technologies, manufacturing and transport services.

Why we launched Test Drive?

The Test Drive program is an initiative of Turbine to help entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to get the necessary tools to work on their business idea and assess their potential.

Diane Maigrot, the General Manager of Turbine, speaks of this initiative as an effort to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mauritius.

Why bring this initiative to the Mauritian market?

“Many Mauritians have business ideas but don’t really have the know how of where and how to begin. The Test Drive Program consists of 3 evening sessions where professionals and experts provide tools, tips and advice to enable selected applicants to work on their respective project. Participants will be able to draft a business plan and prepare a Pitch for the final day where investors and business angels can opt to invest in their project if they need funding.”

How would Test Drive help the participants?

“The first session of the Test Drive allows each participant to draft a business lean canvas which is the modern business plan. The participant will think of his/her solution, the problem it is solving, the existing alternatives, the unique value proposition of his/her product, the key metrics and the channels.

On the 2nd workshop, financial experts will help participants develop their revenue model (income,costs of product, expenses, profit, loss ..) and their milestone plan. This pushes them to think about where they want to be in 12 months or 24 months? Depending on their ambition, they prescribe themselves the actions that they need to take, write it down in a plan and stay focus on their goals.

The 3rd evening is the “sales technique” and the “How to Pitch”, since the best way to finance a startup is to have customers.

There will be various tips available to help start-ups understand how to approach customers, understand their needs and convince them of having a solution that will soothe their pains.

The “Pitch” is one of the best ways to make an impression and convince investors, there is also a methodology that you receive during the Test Drive.

Our expert will provide a bunch of free useful start-up tools to the participants and will also give insights about “story telling“. Famous startups received their first investments because they have proven to have thousand of followers on social media page who liked their story!”

What is the objective of Turbine behind this initiative?

“Our organization’s goal is to enhance the level of start-ups in Mauritius and help them launch successfully and sustainably. In compliance to our vision, mission and objectives, Test Drive has for aim to help us recruit the best projects for our Incubation Program which is a 12 months support program where participants receive weekly business coaching, access to 6 months of free co-working at our premises in Vivéa, business exposure, networking opportunities, workshops and 30 hours of experts advice such as legal, financial, marketing and communication.

Turbine bears all the cost of the above. In return, we take 10% of equity in each startup we incubate and as we are a non for profit organization, when we start making profit out of these shares in 5 or 10 years, this money will be re-invested to help and support the next generation of Entrepreneurs. The success of one incubated start-up will help others in developing their business ideas!

The second edition of Turbine Test Drive is scheduled in February and we hope to recruit 10 to 15 startups by then of June 2019!”

The workshops

The Test drive program consists of 3 workshops with experts and 1 pitch day. The workshops are about various necessary tools and know how that start-ups needs to be equipped with to best launch their business. The participants will also be prepared to draft their pitch for the final day and present their respective business to a panel of investors, business angels and Turbine’s partners. This program is made in collaboration of ENL Group, Compass Venture Capital, the Mauritius Research Council, Spoon Consulting, DodoWorkPlay, Pongo.IO, Alinae Consulting, Circus, ICT.IO, Rogers Captial and OXO.

About Turbine

Turbine is a non for profit start-up incubator, accelerator and co-working space based in Mauritius. They support entrepreneurs in building successful and sustainable businesses. Turbine believe that by building a start-up community in the Indian Ocean, a more inclusive and sustainable future is created for everyone. Turbine is a wholly owned subsidiary of ENL Group and works closely with STING, a leading Swedish incubator with over 15 years of experience with start-ups. Turbine has many other activities and events to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem and has network even in other African countries. You can find more details on their website turbine.mu and social media pages Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Turbine recently announced the launch of its pre-incubation program, the Test Drive 2018 for business ideas, and it promises to be the ultimate event for aspiring entrepreneurs. Over the past couple of years Turbine has been building an ecosystem of disruptive entrepreneurs in Mauritius as a primary objective. As a result the business incubator has launched many initiatives; one of which is the Test Drive 2018.

SO WHAT IS THIS PRE-INCUBATION PROGRAM?

Generally, a pre-incubation program is designed to prepare start-ups

Test Drive program runs over four evenings. It consists of 3 workshops carefully designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a maximum number of tools that will enable them to transform their business idea into a concrete start-up. On the first night, participants will attend talks and hands on ateliers where they are brought to strategically think, analyze and improve their ideas. The second evening will help them envisage what their expected outcomes should be, it will be done under close supervision of local industry experts in order to ensure that realistic and achievable goals are being set. This will prepare start-ups for the third night, when they will develop their sales techniques and learn how to pitch in front of investors.

The fourth night is when participants are brought to put all the skills and tools learnt during the previous sessions to use: its pitch night! Aspiring start-ups present their ideas and projects in front of potential investors.

WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY?

Programs like the Test Drive are a crucial part of promoting entrepreneurship in Mauritius. The implication here is simple yet very powerful: The more people are empowered to launch startups, the more successful businesses will be launched. Successful businesses grow and create employment which in turn contributes to a healthier national economy.

Other than that, businesses that Turbine promotes are innovative: They aim to address issues that are not currently being tackled and this means that the population in general benefits from solutions to problems they face in their day to day life that they did not previously have access to.

WHAT’S THE HYPE?

The hype here is simply that there are no such programs open to the public freely. This year, Turbine has surpassed its previous efforts to truly deliver the best possible workshops by partnering up with local industry experts.

Apply to the Test Drive here!

In view of our mission to help our incubated start-ups geared up with the best practices, tools and advice from experts, Turbine held a workshop on the Introduction to Digital Marketing. We were honored to have Noor Sheriff, the Digital Marketing Executive of ENL Property,  as our guest speaker, accompanied by Bénédicte de Comarmondthe Communication Manager of ENL Property.

Digital Marketing is a very vast field which is constantly updating. This term frightens many, however, after this workshop, the objectives and context of Digital Marketing was not only clear and easy to understand but also fun!

Noor broke down the components of Digital Marketing step by step, sharing with us insights from Digital Marketing Gurus and free tools that we can use to enhance our online marketing. Entrepreneurs are guaranteed to be happy with all the learning we got through this workshop.

The workshop: An Introduction to Digital Marketing

Noor Sheriff, Turbine, Incubator, Workshop, entrepreneurial event, entrepreneurial workshop, ENL Group, ENL Property, Benedicte de Comarmond

Digital Marketing for entrepreneurs and beginners

Ever thought whether having a website will be a good means to connect with your stakeholders? Wondering if it actually works and how? There are a few components in digital Marketing that actually can help you track the performance of your website, identify the active pages on your website, your audience and many more.

One of the tools that permit you to track and understand what is going on your website is Google Analytics.

According to Noor Sheriff “Google Analytics is the first must-have on your website. It is Google’s free analytics tool to measure data from all your website traffic to give you insights.” Google analytics helps you understand your online audience and how your marketing strategies are performing. He explained the various components of Google Analytics, referring to the terms being used and how to best use its features.

Noor Sheriff also explained the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEO allows the website to rank top on google search based on various keywords used on various pages of the website. He introduced a few effective free tools such as Yoast SEO and demonstrated how it really enhance the website.

Noor used a few tools to vet the website of our incubated start-ups, giving them real and concrete advice accordingly. He further explained how SEM can be used for adverts. SEM is actually one of the most effective ways to grow your business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Noor made our incubated start-ups get acquainted to the different ways of conversions using the digital marketing.

Inbound Marketing which involves content and context forces one to be client centric. Nowadays, in order to compete, a business need to be different and provide as per clients’ demand. As per Noor,  inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in a customer’s buying journey, empowering the customer.

Digital Marketing is not so complicated after all

To be honest, this workshop went on for more than 3 hours without any break, it was that intense and fun. The above mentioned topics were not the only ones that we covered, there were also Google Adwords, CRM etc. Noor not only tackled each question of the start-ups but also gave a lot of tools, insights and advice. Each person who attended this workshop is sure to have grasp the context and we can see that our start-ups have already started to work accordingly.

Seeing the importance, intensity and quality of this workshop, Turbine wishes to extend it to other entrepreneurs and digital marketing intrigues in Mauritius. Let us know if you wish to attend the workshop.

Drop us an email on hello@turbine.mu with reference to Insightful introduction to Digital Marketing workshop.

 

Mauritius Conscious, Mauritius, Startups, Fundkiss, Digital Marketing, Turbine, Incubator

 

 

 

 

 

Turbine co-organized the Fuck up night along with Red Dot, DodoWorkPlay and ICT.IO. The Fuck up night is an international movement that runs in over 250 cities and is an entrepreneurial platform where biggest failure stories are shared and celebrated.  Yes, that is correct, celebrated: Professional failure are often associated with feelings of embarrassment, guilt or shame. Fuck up nights were conceived with the aim of changing mindsets and the perception around failure to turn it into an opportunity to learn, become stronger, and connect through sharing. In Mauritius, rather than taking initiatives and give it all even if it may fail, many people prefer not to take any risk at all. This is because there exists a huge stigma around failure and which is crippling our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Fuck Up Night Mauritius

We were honored to have 5 speakers come out and share their biggest Fuck Up stories with us, inspiring and demonstrating others how failure is a fundamental step in the path to success.

Fuck up night speaker: Kelly & Wesley Oxenham, Founders of Farmcity,

Farmcity, Wesley Oxenham, Kelly Oxenham, Turbine

Looking at them,  so happy and positive, one will never have thought that they have been through so many hardships in building Farmcity. Kelly and Wesley, came forward bravely and honestly when sharing their failure story with us. First, they had to face a raging fire that ignited in a neighboring sugarcane field which burnt all their crops. With only 1 year ‘s  earnings to live off of, they had to start again and  this time they a had a new challenge: dealing with the unethical behavior of a contractor. Upon learning about the contractor’s misdeeds, Kelly and Wesley fired him, only to later have the contractor sue them for damages worth for Rs 2 Million. In the 6 months that followed, they spent sleepless nights,  frustrated and desperate, worrying about where and how they could  amass that sum of money. According to Kelly, when roots are strong there is no reason to fear the storm. Despite all the storms, today Farmcity is flourishing. These failures and difficulties taught them a few lessons which are key for any entrepreneur.

  • know the people you are working with,
  • allow the bad phases to pass
  • always exercise patience and perseverance.

Fuck up night speaker: Ashley Saddul, Founder and CTO of Recruiter.com

Ashley is a serial entrepreneur. He avidly shared  how he had launched his various businesses and encountered several issues. He faced stagnant stock, mismatched of markets and a misadventure in partnering up with a phony individual  who had little experience in what he claimed to be his expertise and who was in actual fact, a part time actor and before that, a full time teacher. This venture led his business to suffer great loss.

When asked about how he got up from this massive failure, Ashley said that people in Silicon Valley, America, do not turn their back on you because of failures. They celebrate and give respect and support because they believe that failures make you a stronger person; You took the step, tried, failed, lived it and learnt. He admitted that it took him a few months to heal, reflect and strengthen his mind. Ashley added that every entrepreneur has that spirit to get back to business regardless of the deceptions faced.

After 8 times of facing dead ends, one does get stubborn and persistent though it is imperative to know when to stop. With experiences, one does get tuned and Ashley knows that really well.  He has developed his own way of proceeding; according to him, any process should not take more that 2-3 weeks to get done. If it takes more than that, then there is a must for immediate action.

Fuck up night speaker: Aisha Allee, Founder of Blast Burson-Marsteller

A brave woman entrepreneur whose passion for communication was tested several times.  She narrates her story;

Aisha launched a company with two of her friends at the start of her entrepreneurial journey. The company had everything to succeed; they had clients, the work was being done, clients were satisfied and money was being generated. Trouble started when money started to flow in. The 3 partners started to fight a lot. Aisha found herself out of the company overnight after a board meeting; her two friends had decided to put an end to her partnership. She was left feeling betrayed and with a bank account amounting to zero. Aisha had invested all her savings to this company. A mother of two children, Aisha narrated how she faced that difficult phase with the only support of her children who were very young at that time. She knew that she had to fight back for her family and find a way. She described how she practically camped infront of the doors of CEOs and knocked at each and every door until finally one opened. From then on through word of mouth, deals flew in and Blast became a successful company proudly managing communication crisis for its clients. Aisha remembers telling herself during those critical phase of her career; Even if things are not sound, she has to do what she feels is right so as one day she does not have any regret.

She believes that “One’s success is defined by oneself. ” That is the you define your own success.

Fuck up night speaker: Kim Andersen, Managing Director at Kim Andersen Consulting

Kim opened a Japanese restaurant named Benkei which sold sushi back in 2006. She and her friend invested in this business without conducting any market research. Kim had a day job back then and her partner was managing the business. Kim was clueless that like her, her partner had no experience with the Japanese culture or in business. One day on her way home, Kim learnt that the business went bankrupt and that her partner has fled to another country. The result of this “fucked up” venture was that Kim not only lost her investment but also all her assets including her house. Kim said she also lost her arrogance on that day… The next phase of her life included a lot of self questioning and she meditated back to her core values. She remembered seeing a quote from Indira Gandhi which said “If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.” This inspired Kim and made her work on herself. Kim forgave her partner as she understood that it was her own decision to invest in that business. With the support of her family, Kim’s entrepreneurial spirit finally emerged. She became strongly opinionated and from that day on, she wore her “fuck up” as a crown, like a queen. Today Kim is a Board Advisor and has her own training agency for various professional development.

As organizers, we aimed to change the mindset of people about failure. We are proud and satisfied to learn that people who attended this first edition have really enjoyed and learned from our guest speakers respective fucked up experiences. Many felt inspired and decided to go ahead with their plans.

Stay tune. We will run the next Fuck up night session soon! Follow us of FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!

Turbine has the pleasure to receive 20 years old Matina Razafimahefa, CEO and founder of award winning best social enterprise of Madagascar, SAYNA. The competition was organized by “l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” in March 2018 and a Madagascar incubator, Incubons.

Matina is spending one week at Turbine as part of her prize, the aim being for her to know better the entrepreneurial ecosystem, meet key people and make partnerships.

We bring you her exclusive interview with Turbine!

1. Hey Matina, tell us about you and what best describes you.

I am a young Malagasy woman, student in sciences politics at Sorbonne and a social entrepreneur! If I have to choose 3 words to describe me, I would say : fearless, crazy and adventurous ! I love having new challenges, being out of my comfort zone and I am not afraid of the unknown.  I am passionate about meeting new people and knowing their story so that i can help them or learn from them.

2. Tell us about your start-up, SAYNA.

SAYNA means intelligence. I launched SAYNA in November 2017. However, SAYNA has been on my mind since 2013  when I discovered the educational system of France, which compared to Madagascar, is free and of great quality. Back then, I thought that being a woman and that too so young, I cannot do this project. I changed my mind last year when i met Emma Rosman who built the Welcome app which helps immigrants to find jobs, friends and family in Sweden, who also happens to be young and a woman. Inspired, I decided to go for my dreams and launch SAYNA. I am so happy I did. Sometimes, just a single step and a little encouragement lead you to dare and break barriers.

SAYNA help young people rise out of poverty by training them to be a web developer. We have 12 students finishing their 4 months intense training this week. They will each be joining a company, notably Acces Bank, La Star, Axian, P4H among others.  We have 12 more trainees joining us as from Monday 18th June, pre-selected by the companies who will be recruiting them. The company pays for their training,  which is 800 Euro per student, the most affordable code training in Madagascar.
SAYNA has educational partners such as the Hacking Project and hopefully very soon Simplon, who train the students at our premises in Madagascar.

SAYNA exists because I want be part of that generation that will make this world a better place and provide better quality education.

3. Tell us about the competition you won.

I am here in Mauritius and  at Turbine because SAYNA won the competition of the best social company of Madagascar 2018 awarded by the « International organization of Francophonie» and « Incubons » a local incubator in Madagascar. Out of 30 projects, only 10 reached the final destination; the pitch. SAYNA came out as a star project. Check out the sneak peak of the award night here.

4. What brings you to Mauritius?

The prize was a business trip in Mauritius with Turbine so that I will be able to meet new clients, build new partnership and help create a good atmosphere of collaboration in our beautiful region, the Indian Ocean!

The things that I want to achieve here is simple : have new clients and partners  & give the opportunity to the Mauritian firms to have a huge social impact beyond their borders by working with our students !

How is your journey in Mauritius so far?

It is totally crazy. I am meeting interesting people, potential big clients and partners. Turbine is really an incubator with a vast network. They planned all my visits, gave me contacts, invited me to their events and even gave me a Mauritian welcome lunch!

Turbine is really such a beautiful place, the atmosphere is so fun yet productive. People here are so helpful, constructive and amazing.  One week here is too little. I am coming back for sure!

What is your vision of SAYNA?

I want to see SAYNA grow and have 10,000 digital workers all around the world in the next 6 years.

A tip?

Yes! Imagine what you would do if you get an unlimited credit card? And when you know what you would do, set your goals, plan, find the ways to achieve your goals and just go for it!