Featuring the Most Exemplary Submissions from Level 1

At the end of each Level of #AGEC19_KE, the Team reviews some of the highest scoring challenge submissions for each challenge and hand-picks a stand-out submission to feature. Here are the featured submissions from Level 1.


Winner: Karyna Tole – Apostolic Carmel Girls Secondary School

Question 1:

Read about Kenya’s Ken Njoroge’s journey while building Cellulant, Kenya’s most valuable payments company at Ksh 10.8 billion. Cellulant Article.  

  • What are some of the most notable aspects of Ken’s journey?
  • How do you think Ken can learn rapidly from his journey? (Give ideas that aren’t mentioned in the article.)

Karyna’s Answer:

  • One thing Ken can learn from his journey is that he should appreciate those who seem not to help him, but are indirectly helping him, for example his friend, Dr. Samuel Kiruthu.
  • Another thing he could learn is that his weaknesses or failures are his starting point. If he does not fail or improve on his weaknesses, well his business will not succeed or continue succeeding.

Question 2:

Now, list at least three failures from your past.

Start with your most recent interactions outside of the classroom. This could be something that happened while working on a school project, while on the sports fields, or perhaps an argument with a friend or family member… Describe what you learned from each experience.

Karyna’s Answer:

  1. I did not join the church teen’s concert because I thought that I was not good at singing or that the crowd was too big so I could not perform. … After going for the concert I realized that my friend who were on stage enjoyed themselves plus the had the privilege to show many people their various talents – The key lesson I learnt was that you never know unless you try, because you might just like it!
  2. I had joined the Kenya Music Festivals back in 2014 and after going for the first competition, I thought it was too hard, so, I quit. After 2 weeks I found out that the girl who took over my place had won her category in the nationals – I learnt that you should never give up… try, try, try again.
  3. I had started a small business of selling ornaments that I made from home. … my customers had more interest in other people’s products – The lesson I learnt was, if I would like to start a business, I should be more creative on whatever I want to make. If I have to do a business that is commonly done, I should start the business in a place where there is no competition or, a place where the product is not commonly sold.


Winner: Preston Maragua – Mustard Seed International

Question 1:

Find a teacher or coach at your school who uses data to help make decisions. Describe what data they look at and how it helps them make decisions.

Preston’s Answer:

It was very easy to approach my favourite teacher and ask him whether he uses data to make decisions and how he gets the data to make important decisions. 

This is the strategy I advised him to be using so as to make the class attain maximums results.

  • He should collect data from previously done exams. The quantitative data could be exam marks, grades etc, also class attendance during the lesson, assignment completion etc.
  • Then from the data, group the students into groups of weak students, average students, strong students academically.
  • Then he can give specialized attention to each groups based on their strengths and weakness.


Winner: Yvonne Mbithe – Emmaus Secondary

Question 1:

Write up a product specification for your product/service. Pretend that you were the first person ever to invent this product/service and that you’re writing up a description for a patent. This should include a picture of the product/service.

Upload a picture of your product spec. Ensure that it displays clearly how the product works.

Yvonne’s Answer:

Question 2

Now, with rough pencil sketches, design a brochure for your product/service. Be sure to target the brochure at the customer persona you derived in Challenge 4. For now, your brochure should consist of just a few pencil sketches. Take a pic of your sketched-out brochure and upload it below.

Yvonne’s Answer:


Winner: Yvonne Mbithe – Emmaus Secondary

Question 1:

In Challenge #3 we narrowed our focus in defining our beachhead market and then describing a customer persona for this market. Briefly describe:

(1) Your beachhead market and customer persona.

(2) How your product/service adds value to their lives. (This should include your Quantified Value Proposition)

Yvonne’s Answer:

My beachhead market in my coffee business {drip coffee drinkers} will be specialty coffee drinkers and whole bean buyers, because I realized that people spend over 3 billion on coffee drinking.

My customer persona is the middle and upper classes who have income will pay several shillings for a cup of coffee. The age matters too, with 40% of people aged 18 to 24 years old drinking a lot of coffee, according to my research. 54% of people aged 25 to 39 years will indulge in a daily cup.

My customers will benefit from my products because they want a caffeine kick to enable them to perform their daily activities with a strong momentum. Many people struggle with dozing of carelessly without taking even a sip of coffee.

My coffee will also help the people reduce weight since it contains magnesium and potassium which helps the body use insulin regulating blood sugar levels.

Question 2:

Your task now is to speak to AT LEAST 5 potential customers in your “beachhead market” to get feedback on the assumptions you’ve made in the previous steps:

Describe the process you followed and what you learned regarding your customer’s purchasing priorities & which features/benefits they were most/least attracted to.

Yvonne’s Answer:

  • Top purchasing priorities: most of them agreed that vanilla coffee was their favourite option.
  • Most attractive and least attractive brochures:
      1. Majority of the customers agreed on the brochure was about the strawberry coffee since it had a delightful picture, looked sweet, and was cheap.
      2. The least attractive brochure agreed by many customers was about the mango coffee because it was pretty expensive, yet it had some ingredients they didn’t like.
  • My Customer Persona proved mostly correct because most of the customers who approved of my idea were from age 18 to 24 years. One mistake I noticed was that higher income people were not always approving of paying higher prices, claiming it was just ‘coffee!”.


Winner: Sammy Muhia – Mustard seed International Schools

The Challenge + Response Summary

What were your 2 leading love languages? Were you surprised by this? Do you think it’s a fair reflection of how you feel valued?

Quality time and Words of Affirmation: I am not that surprised because I love spending time with the people I love, listening to what they have to say, being there for them when they need me the most to help them solve tasks they cannot do on their own and show them the affection they deserve when no one else is there for them. That is the best love one can get from a person. Truly this is a fair enough reflection of how I feel valued and adored. It shows that you do not have to be alone when you know you can accomplish more objectives with your partner, friends, family or even your relatives.

Describe how you might use the 5 Love Languages to help build a better business.

  1. Quality time: For one to be able to get real customers you must relate with them by interacting with them on a one-on-one basis. You have to relate to how your platform helps them to cope with their upkeep. This will help me in my business in that if I can tell what they want from my business I can be able to help them earn more from what i am providing which is an easier way of completing tasks to create more time for them deal with their own tasks at a low cost.
  2. Words of affirmation: This improves the customers assertiveness and reliance on your product which makes the customer feel like you are a trustworthy accomplice and you deliver.
  3. Acts of Service: When you become a supplier, you are already performing an act of service to your customers. All you have to do is become consistent in your delivery.


Winner: Stayce Were – Moi Girls’ High School-Eldoret

The Challenge + Response Summary

From the resources provided and your own research, describe 3 ways in which existing enterprises are tackling this food security problem and highlight one of the enterprises.

From a research on reliefweb.int, I found a portal on the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya that gives information on the various issues concerning Food Security and the various enterprises that have been put in place to curb this problem. The Njaa Marufuku Kenya (NMK) has tried improving food security by:

1)Targeted poor people who have been depending on food relief by giving grants farmer groups and schools to produce their own food.

2) Constructed water pans for crop production to address food security.

3) Emergency food production which targets to increase food production specifically maize and rice to enable the country to be secure in the light of the continuing drought condition.

4) Expansion of schemes to increase food production e.g. Perkerra Irrigation Scheme

National Accelerated Agricultural Input Access Project a) Kilimo Plus- Targets the resource poor who are provided with a package of seeds, fertilizers and training to cultivate at least an acre to meet household needs and surplus for sale b) Kilimo Biashara- Targets the more endowed farmers providing them with low cost credit to purchase inputs. This program promotes indigenous crops that do well across a range of agro ecological zones e.g. Arid and Semi Arid lands, hence suitable for food security.

The National Food Security and Nutritional Policy (NFNP) emphasizes on the need for increased efforts to produce more of the other food crops in addition to cereals

Find a way in which to lower the amount of food being wasted in your school or community. Describe clearly what you did to help reduce food wastage + what the result was.

After consulting with my friends I thought of an idea which would help in reducing the amount of food wasted in the school. One of the main reasons people were wasting food was because the food was poorly cooked and due to serving the students large proportions that they cannot manage to finish. I suggested a self service method where the students will be able to get time to serve themselves the proportion of food they need. This will help one to serve only an amount of food which they can finish and this would really help to reduce the amount of food thrown away by the students. I also talked to the cooks and requested them to cook our food well and nicely so that the events of throwing food because it is undercooked or not well cooked can be avoided. They agreed and promised to implement this idea. The surplus food was to be given to the staff at the school. After my idea was implemented, I was congratulated by my teacher for a very good idea. The amount of food that was wasted had greatly reduced by almost 85%.


Winner: Joy Ego – Moi Tea Girls Secondary School

The Challenge + Response Summary

Describe in 1 short paragraph what problem your business is solving, for who, and how.

My business is about selling lightweight building blocks which are made of rubber. It solves the problem of poor housing and the challenges that are created by improper building structures. It is also in line with one of the big four agendas which is proper housing. My main target are those who live in slums especially in Kibera which is located in my country, Kenya.These people reside in houses which are in bad condition.They are made of rusted iron sheets and some out of mud. A high percentage of them suffer from disease such as Malaria which is caused by mosquitoes which penetrate through the cracks of the corroded iron sheets. Pneumonia is another disease that they suffer from and it is brought about by the cold which penetrates through.

List your customers top priorities for the problem you’re solving. What do they care the most about? Cost? Awesome experience? Speed/convenience? Being understood? Flexibility? Try and list at least 10 things they would care about.

  1. The cost of the building blocks because their standards of living is not high, and they cannot live beyond their means.
  2. The durability of the building blocks. If the blocks are able to last for a long time without needing repairs.
  3. The flexibility of the building blocks. If they can be brought down easily in order to construct another building.
  4. If the building blocks will be able to withstand the floods that occur during the rainy season.
  5. If the building blocks are readily available in the market and can be transported to the customer no matter his or her location.
  6. The design of the building blocks. If the blocks are can be made in accordance with the customers preference.
  7. The duration it will take to put up the building and the amount of labour force required.
  8. How long the products will be in the market and the production rate of the blocks.
  9. If the blocks will have a presentable outlook compared to their current houses.
  10. If the blocks come in a variety of colours according to the preference of the customer.

Take the 2 factors your customer cares about the most, and chart them on a cartesian plane, as per the example on slide 12 in the link below.


Winner: Yvonne Mbithe – Emmaus Secondary

The Challenge + Response Summary

Describe in 1 short paragraph what problem your business is solving, for who, and how.

Most people do waste time seeking for professionals to do their plumbing, electrical fittings, laundry and even internet connection. This make them landing themselves to incompetent who later disappoint them. Simplife App is the solution.

Describe how you could make sure that people are aware of the problem/opportunity that your product presents?

Creating awareness through social media on how the problem can be solved, partnering with social enterprises to get platform exposure and participating in startup challenges to make sure proper recommendations are made.

Considering your customer persona, how could you best ensure that people wanting your type of solution will find YOUR product?

The product will be available on Google Playstore, Apple IOS and also as web browser application to keep them on track. The app will be for free but the service at an affordable rate.

People like to shop around and compare alternatives. These days, with price comparison websites and online shopping, this is easier to do than ever before. Knowing this, what will you do to maximize the chances of customers choosing YOUR product?

The service will be efficient, on time , cost effective and warranty. I ought to give promotions and discount on service delivered.

Describe how your business could make it easier for customers to acquire and start using your product.

The app will be downloaded free. A discount of 200 may be incurred for the first service offered and a referral discount also offered. A panel of professionals are registered to attend to your repairs and improvements.

Receiving payment for the product is a crucial final step in the acquisition process. How can you make it as easy as possible for customers to pay you?

Payment will be majorly on mobile wallets that is Mpesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash. Credit cards and debit cards will also be accepted Bank transfer and cash will be considered after reviewing.