Determined to make the world a better place, mission-driven entrepreneurs are a passionate bunch of people. However, it takes more than just a healthy dose of passion to survive the gruelling entrepreneurship rollercoaster.

In The Room, we’re fortunate to have a remarkable community of changemakers who are at the cutting edge of creative and social innovation — from the legendary Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, to Fred Swaniker, founder of The Room and a leading global voice in social entrepreneurship. …


In the unremitting quest to discover the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, are we stunting the very thing that we are trying to feed?

By Daniella Sachs

What comes to mind when you see the word ‘entrepreneur’? Do you immediately think of the giant tech icons like Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), or Sergey Brin (Google)? Or of the social media wonderkids — Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) or Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn)? Or perhaps it’s the sharing economy archetypes of Brian Chesky (AirBnb) and Travis Kalanick (Uber) that pop into your mind. No matter who it is that surfaces, one thing is for certain; these founder stories have become the modern day fairytales ruling our generation.

In these unicorn-filled stories, the tech…


4 ways businesses can empower women to stay in their organisations and advance in their careers

By Ivana Osagie

Most career women aspire to top management positions much the same as their male peers do, especially in the early days of their careers. But in many organisations, women advance at a far slower rate than men and are less likely to be promoted even when they merit it.

In male-dominated workplaces, women are by default excluded from informal networks. The result is that they do not benefit from having career sponsors. Yet sponsorship is critical to career advancement, particularly at…


Rosalind Kainyah MBE on What It Really Takes to Build a Sustainable World

For Rosalind Kainyah, the founder and managing director of Kina Advisory, sustainability means “doing the right thing”, which cannot be achieved without embracing the ‘inconvenient truth’ of our diverse world. Named by Forbes Afrique Magazine as one of the 100 most influential women on the African continent in 2016, she is a renowned advisor to global companies on responsible investment and partnerships in Africa, believing in the power of business as a vehicle for social change.

As a leading voice in The Room, Rosalind sheds light on how we can shape a sustainable (and profitable) future, why she dislikes the…


Jackline Muriuki describes herself as a pan-African education and youth development practitioner and enthusiast. She is currently the Head of Youth Programs at Timeless Women of Wonder and is building a movement of young problem solvers.

I am a storyteller and embracing my story has really helped me find my purpose in this life.

What is your origin story?

I am the daughter of an elderly couple from a humble background. My mom and dad are 73 and 81, respectively. The village I grew up in was an alcohol brewing environment and my experiences growing up there shaped me.

I grew up believing that one…


‘Write to Speak’ is a new collection of stories told by women from 23 African nations about their odysseys along some of life’s toughest terrain, chronicling their struggles, successes and moments of jubilation. The authors include social entrepreneurs, activists, poets, civil servants, lawyers, doctors and leaders spanning all generations across the continent, with powerful forewords penned by Dr Elinor Sisulu and Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women.

In an exclusive excerpt for The Room, the Executive Director of Bardill & Associates and Founder of Write to Speak, Nozipho January-Bardill, traces her journey in curating these stories of…


By Daniella Sachs

I remember the first time I returned home from living abroad. I remember how disconnected I felt from everyone and everything that had remained exactly the same, while I had grown and changed so much. It felt like I no longer fitted into the puzzle that was life. It felt like I no longer belonged in the place I had called home. I felt like an outsider looking in.

Over the years, I have come and gone repeatedly, so much so that when people see me, they often ask where I am off to next. Many raise…


Justin Adjirakor, widely known as ‘Saxman Justyn’, is a London-based saxophonist and co-founder of Impact Next Gen, an organisation advancing the education of children in deprived communities of Ghana. To mark World Music Day this year, we caught up with Justin to find out the motivation behind his art.

Do you remember the moment you first fell in love with music?

I don’t remember a particular time when I fell in love with music, but I have always enjoyed it right from an early age. …


Harriet Masvosva is a Creative ‘ArtsActivist’, spoken word poet, literary enthusiast and the creator & host of the ‘More coffee, please?’ podcast. A first-year student at the African Leadership University in Mauritius, Harriet seeks to change her world by the power of her pen.

I measure the success of my poetry by the number of lives I’ve touched.

What is your origin story?

Writing has always been a passion of mine. I remember hiding my small head in dictionaries and novels when I was younger, looking for new words to add to my stories. I absolutely enjoyed it, so when I learned about spoken word…


On the 6th episode of The Pathway, Fred Swaniker sat down with Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records credited with introducing the world to reggae music and guiding the careers of artists such as Bob Marley and U2.

When Fred asked about the secret to his success, Chris responded, “I’ve been up and down so many times. . . . Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.” Room columnist Mike O’Brien shares his learnings from Chris’s undulating life journey in this instalment of his series, ‘Reflections on The Pathway’.

Do Something that Lifts People

Early on, Chris Blackwell wasn’t sure what he wanted to…

The Room

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