I recently had the opportunity of interviewing an upcoming entrepreneur. Churchill Nanje Mambe is the founder of Njorku - a job search and career platform for Africans world wide.
This is what we talked about.
Hi Churchill, great to have you on YHP, how are you doing today?
I am doing fine though a little sleepy ;) didn’t have enough sleep last night.
Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I am Churchill Nanje a Cameroonian software developer turned entrepreneur based in Buea, Cameroon. I have been doing software and web related business for the past 8yrs.
So Churchill, tell me about yourself growing up? What was your ambition? Were the entrepreneurial - making a quick buck type?
Growing up I have always been the inquisitive type and I always wanted to know how everything works. My dad was a scientist (Civil Engineer) and my mom is a midwife which means I have always been surrounded by sciences and science inclined conversations. My ambitions have always been to do great things in my community and set examples for others. So my drive is mostly doing amazing things that will push the people around me to wonder and also try to do similar.
Let's talk about your latest startup, Njorku, how did the idea come about?
Njorku was born out of frustration. I have been trying to employ and keep great talents in my ventures but the solutions available for me to do this easier and faster where nonexistent so I decided to fill the void and develop tools that will help job seekers and employers find just the best match including me.
That was not the only reason as the high rates of unemployment in Africa has been a great catalyst in the Njorku journey.
What is Njorku?
Njorku means elephant in my native language (Dikome Balue, Cameroon) but Njorku.com is a job search and career platform for Africans world wide. Its a platform that will host a series of technologies (web, mobile and enterprise) to help the job seekers and employers relating to Africa.
How have you been able to finance the business so far?
Njorku was initially self funded then I brought in a co-founder Betrand Kima based in Baltimore,MD. Who has been financing alongside me till we have successfully raised seed funding from Tchepannou Inc in Canada. So right now we got seed funding covering the servers, marketing and technology.
What’s your business model?
Our business model is a mixture of alot of things and there is no clear cut model right now we will try a couple of things which we are doing right now and by 2013 we sure will be making some profit. For now I can say our model is based in HR solutions, Hr services, subscriptions and advertising.
Is the business profitable?
Njorku is 9 months old and its not yet profitable but it shows alot of potentials
What has been some of the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
I have spent sleepless nights brainstorming on options
I have written codes for long hours (16hrs) nonstop without a break or food (sort of fasting ;) )
I spend a minimum of 2hrs every morning pondering about Njorku and every step that has to be taken and analysing steps and errors.
What three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Research is very important
Devotion, persistence and strong belief in yourself and your ideas
Marketing is as important as programming and even more important when starting up but less when growing.
What plans do you have now to expand your business further?
We plan to take the business into every African country and serve millions of job seekers and thousands of employers within the next couple of years