We are Carola Degrandi and Leonardo Lincetto, two students of Management at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. During the Corporate Strategy course, held by professor Mario Molteni, CEO of E4Impact, we got into the possibility of having an unconventional experience and so, on the 21st of February 2020, we left our Italian homes to start our internship and thesis project in Nairobi, Kenya.
It was a sunny Monday, when Mercy Kimalat, the marketing and communication manager of the E4Impact Accelerator, picked us up at our house in the suburb of Karen: this is how our experience at the E4Impact Accelerator started!
At the Accelerator we met our colleagues and the 20 entrepreneurs, who were joining the acceleration program: their “Karibu” (which means “welcome”) was very warm. In few time, we also fell in love with the local dishes that Freddie cooked for us every day: Mandazi, Chapati and Samosa immediately became our power source.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country and the last week of March we started to work from our Kenyan home. We hoped that the situation would have got better in order to come back to the office in one or two weeks, but things worsened and so on the 31st of March we stepped in a return flight organized by the Italian Embassy.
Once we were back in Italy, we spent the following days between Zoom meetings with the accelerator managers, training sessions and video calls with the entrepreneurs who were asking for our support.
Despite we didn’t manage to fully discover the country and its people, we had the opportunity to experience a new way of working, using different online platforms and acquiring new skills that will be useful in the post pandemic scenario.
Carola Degrandi and Leonardo Lincetto