Juddy Gitahi Wanjiru from Kenya is OD Young Person of the Month for April 2018!
Happy Easter and welcome to April! Our Young Person of the Month is Juddy Gitahi from Kenya! Founder of Ark Digital, Juddy is a social entrepreneur working to help vulnerable people increase their income, through training and leveraging technology in their business activities.
She was one of the top 12 finalists for the OD Impact Challenge 2017 and is currently nominated for the position of Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Executive 2018-2020 – as the Vice Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement.
Read her story below and be inspired!
JUDDY GITAHI WANJIRU
Juddy Gitahi is the Founder and Head of Business Development of Ark Digital, a Social enterprise dedicated to helping vulnerable people increase their income, through Training and leveraging Technology in their Business activities.
Juddy is also a Business Consultant, where she provides strategic insights to female entrepreneurs, to build and scale their enterprises. She mentors High school Girls on Technology and Business Skills to boost gender equality. As the Partnership Coordinator for the Building Bridges Foundation, Juddy has worked with the Kenyan Government to empower local entrepreneurs.
She has also participated in leadership training, including the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) to enhance her leadership and management skills where she was the Speakers Bureau Chairperson. As the Youth Senator of Kiambu County (one of the 37 counties in Kenya), Juddy represents the issues affecting thousands of youth and advocates for their rights. Most recently, Juddy has been nominated for the position of Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Executive 2018-2020 – as the Vice Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement. Juddy Gitahi is a Finance Graduate from the University of Nairobi.
Growing up, Juddy experienced the effects of unemployment and social inequality, which resulted in extreme poverty, yet it was those affected who worked the hardest. This inspired her to begin Ark Digital, a social enterprise dedicated to helping vulnerable people increase their income, through training and leveraging technology. Ark Digital strives to realise SDG 8: Promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The program provides Digital Marketing Training to young people between 18 and 35 years of age. They train them on how to build their online brand presence and use the online platforms to showcase their products and services to the global market, thus enabling them to double their revenues. Thus far, ark digital has directly trained 27,000+ people and impacted over 104,000 others.
Before beginning Ark Digital, Juddy Gitahi worked in the finance and accounting sector and then in management consultancy where she did financial and trend analysis for strategic business planning and conducted research projects. In 2014, she served as a business developer in Nielsen, a marketing research company in Kenya.
She then worked with Livity Africa on the DigifyAfrica program and together, they were able to train about 17,000 youth in East Africa on digital skills. Her experiences working with these companies, she says, inspired her to begin Ark Digital.
The primary challenge Juddy Gitahi faced while beginning Ark Digital is lack of capital, lack of business skills, networking skills and a visionary team. To overcome these, she took online courses, and she became active in business associations which enhanced her networking skills.
In the next five years, Juddy hopes Ark Digital will have directly trained more than 130,000 youth and women in digital marketing skills. They also hope to have linked 300 people to internships and jobs in the digital marketing space. Furthermore, Ark Digital aims to help small businesses increase their revenues, their access to capital and to expand their client base, by providing them with Digital Marketing Services to efficiently market their products to the global market.
Her words of advice to young people
“ I believe that the challenges of our world, demand “the qualities of youth; not a time in life, but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” And that’s what young people are.
And because the future of the world is in our hands, we must transform the global problems into opportunities, and long-term positive change. In the end, the world our generation desires can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is ours.”
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
You can be the next Opportunity Desk Young Person of the Month! All you have to do is get a friend to recommend your work or fill out the nomination form here. We want to use the platform to recognize and celebrate the efforts of amazing young people around the world. O! And you must be an active Opportunity Desk member, either as a fan, reader or subscriber!
Don’t miss any updates in the future.