Entrepreneurial Spirit is defined as a way of thinking that pursues change and progress instead of waiting for change and progress. When a person has the entrepreneurial spirit they embrace fear, aspire to grow, keep trying new things and aim to be productive. Diaspora University Town (DUT) is a product of the entrepreneurial spirit.
The entrepreneurial spirit that has achieved DUT and continues to progress DUT is of self-motivation mentality and a commitment by the persons founding and progressing DUT.
The genesis of DUT is the entrepreneurial spirit of the late professors Raphael Njoroge and Arthur Gerstenfeld. The professors who found each other at WPI university tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit to write two books on Africa, start the WPI U.S-Africa business conferences and the idea of, “Developing a University in Africa.”
Dan Kamau after going to the U.S would tap his entrepreneurial spirit as he challenged his brain with the question “Why don’t we have slums in Worcester, Boston City?” He would write the book, “Gambling with Destiny,” inspired by the quote, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for it is a thing to be achieved.”
Dan’s entrepreneurial spirit saw him start Jamhuri Magazine and later join the WPI professors in organizing the WPI conferences. Through innovation, production and self-research his spirit would lead him to achieving an integrated sustainable system for a university and town development.
He aligned this with Kenya Constitution 2010 to achieve the Master Development Plan (MDP) of a university development. Today Diaspora University applies this MDP and has an endowment valued at Ksh 3.2 billion. Through the MDP the endowment is planned to grow to over Ksh 20 billion and sustain the university to the future.
One of the systems in the MDP is the Townhouse Developer system. Dan established this system with a goal to ensure that no slums emerge as the Diaspora University Town is built. He says, “After creating the system the next stage was to develop Diaspora Kenyans to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit."
Through the entrepreneurial spirit, Dan and the Late Professor Raphael Njoroge would put in time and resources to talk to Diaspora Kenyans. One trip of 7 days ad 4,000 miles took them from Worcester, MA; to Raleigh, NC; to Atlanta, GA; to Houston, TX; to Dallas, TX; to Kansas, KS and back to Worcester, MA.
Over 400 Diaspora Kenyans have tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit to become DUT townhouse developers. The DUT plan offers the entrepreneurs an opportunity to collectively develop 3,500 townhouses with a budget of about Ksh 24.5 billion an average of Ksh 7 million. Their entrepreneurial spirit will be rewarded as the value of the townhouses grows to Ksh 35 billion. A growth per house to Ksh 10 million. Dan says, “The goal is to get 2,000 Diaspora Kenyans to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and become entrepreneurs through this DUT townhouse developer system.”
Dan says that the entrepreneurial spirit is not a spirit of playing safe or afraid. It is a spirit of belief, action, production and forward thinking. He adds, "As God supplies water through rain, thousands of Kenyans are today at risk of losing their lives and property because they fear tapping into their entrepreneurial spirit to establish plans and systems that can build better towns and manage storm after heavy rains."
The understanding that progress comes from the entrepreneurial spirit has led to Ndara B Community members to tap into spirit. The community members are today progressing plans that will make their 4,000 acres productive through 28 companies. The entrepreneur spirit has further led to a marathon as the community runs around their Sagalla Hills to advance education, health and tourism.
Where DUT entrepreneurial spirit has been challenge by cynicism, pessimism, scepticism and greed; the DUT entrepreneurial spirit have stood strong with optimism, purpose, focus and goals.
It is a fact that Kenya is blessed with vast resources that could meet the needs of Kenyans to live a good life. Kenyans leave Kenya or live in Kenya in poverty and disease for lack of systems to tap their entrepreneurial spirit. Dan says, "Progressively innovating and thinking of new ways, DUT entrepreneurial spirit continues to inspire Diaspora Kenyans and Kenyans to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. Diaspora Kenyans are called upon to bring concepts that have already worked in the U.S, UK and Europe."
The DUT entrepreneurial spirit is not afraid of putting out concepts that can be considered unrealistic. Many a time what has been considered as unrealistic once achieved has contributed in the sustenance of the growing world population. The idea to going to the moon was based on an unrealistic concept.
The entrepreneur spirit applied into DUT takes into consideration that each person spirit is not a constant but an evolution in the individual brain. Through diverse thinking and actions every day the entrepreneur spirit of DUT continuously evolves as it progresses to achieve the Master Development Plan of a university, medical hospital, town, 300 MSMEs and over 6,700 units of residential housing.
Through the entrepreneurial spirit, the founders and developers of DUT continue to build strong leadership skills through research, planning, speaking, writing, production and other techniques. The strong leadership is also found in the mentoring of those who are joining the DUT as entrepreneurs.
The DUT entrepreneurial spirit has so far achieved Ksh 5 billion DUT wealth. The spirit will grow DUT wealth to Ksh 150 billion as a university, town, 3,778 properties and 300 MSMEs are achieve on 1,500 acres of land. A GDP of Ksh 15 billion developed as 15,000 jobs are created.
The entrepreneurial spirit is not an agreeable spirit at all times. It can lead to arguments, debates and disagreements. Dan says, "Solutions are also found when there are disagreements. The DUT spirit is one for bringing change through innovation, production, positive thinking and revolutions."
Fear of failure has trapped the entrepreneurial spirit of many Kenyans. Fear has led to Kenyans failing to develop their country GDP. Today Kenya GDP is at $110 million and a per capita at $2,000. Diaspora Kenyans who are in economies and are making over $30,000 a year are today putting some of these resources to create the DUT entrepreneurial spirit of jobs creation. Without the U.S conquering fear and tapping into their entrepreneurial spirit to create jobs, the story of Diaspora Kenyans, Diaspora remittances and DUT would not be there.