Agnes Kagure: Always focus on starting small, Facebook was started in a dorm

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For many students siting in lecture halls in Universities here in Kenya, they all dream of a day they will graduate, get out to the world and land well-paying jobs in different fields. However, the reality out here is quite different since many have to struggle to make ends meet despite having papers.

But for businesswoman Agnes Kagure, the script was not any different. Kagure, the Managing Principal of The Insurance Consulting Group (ICG) speaking to officials of Kenya University Students Organization (KUSO), urged students to persistent in their quest for success to achieve their dreams. Using the analogy of the five stones of King David, Kagure advises students to take the challenges head on.

“You too, must direct your stones at those challenges, those giants that are causing you sleepless nights. This means that you must intensely focus your time, energy, skills, education and connections at slaying the unemployment that is waiting anxiously to grab you once you finish school,” she says.

Her rise to success was not however a bed of roses as she had to start as an insurance sales lady paid on a commission basis for close to twenty years.

“If you don’t sell much, commission becomes like a curse because 10 percent of zero is zero. But if you sell much, then commission becomes a massive because 10 percent of 10 million is one million. And 10 percent of one hundred million is ten million. That is how I made my millions during those two decades,” She said.

Ms Kagure, 2011 Top 40 women under 40, was elected as KUSO patron and urged young people to start small and don’t despise humble beginnings.

“If you want a dream job, you must start with a nightmare job. If your dream is to start the next Facebook or the next Bidco, you must start small as you can. Remember Facebook started in a university dorm and Bidco started as a small garment manufacture company,” said Ms Kagure.

Ms Kagure who was appointed as a peace ambassador by the Thailand leader acknowledges the power of self believe as the main factor in achieving a dream.

“I know from experience that during that biting morning cold when you wake up early to go for yet another unfruitful employment interview, these words that am saying may seem empty and unrealistic. But they are true. I know it because I have lived it,” she added.

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