Ancel Ochino Bwire of Ancywax: African entrepreneurs need to stop playing small!

Afrinection's network is growing and growing, with dozens of entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals signing up for a free profile and showing interest in becoming an advertiser partner. Ancel Ochino Bwire from Kenya, founder of Ancywax, joined our network a while ago. His company is specialised in providing creative media solutions to no less than 17 brands and clients! “In five years we want to be a top East African brand with a USD100 million turnover, minimum!” Bwire told us. Reason enough to interview him!

1) You mentioned that you dropped out of Makerere University. When was this and old were you? 

It was in 2012. I was 25 years old and studying Information Technology focusing on Information Systems Analysis. Unfortunately, these studies didn’t fit me and my goals. I was also working on the side by helping lazy students do their coursework for a fee, which I was enjoying that more than studying. I was also taking people to shop in Kampala at a fee and type out coursework for Swahili students. I was hustling more out of class so that is why I found it hard to keep myself there.

2. What is Ancywax all about? 

It’s a company that provides creative solutions in media and marketing consulting solutions. For any challenge, we have a solution.

3. When did you found Ancywax, and why?

I founded Ancywax in 2003 and started running it in 2014. A friend of mine got a social media contract from an acquaintance, but he didn’t meet the client’s standards. I decided to jump in, resulting in getting my first client.

4. What was the biggest challenge in terms of starting your own business?

Funny enough funding was never an issue. It was me not knowing what I want to do that was a challenge. In addition, sceptics were wondering how many things we could do as we started with 5 core services. We have reduced this to three.

5. What has been the biggest highlight?

Getting a record 17 clients and securing three significant partners in 2017.

6. Where do you see your company in five years from now?

We want to be a top East African brand with a USD100 million turnover, minimum. We want to employ 50 or more full-time and 200 part-time staff whilst dominating the sectors we serve. Finally, we want to gain a 20% market share in East Africa and work with top brands.

7. What characteristics do African entrepreneurs need to make it in the long run?

Resilience, having a winning mentality, showing humility, having a can-do attitude and being (and remaining!) authentic.

8. Your best two tips for aspiring entrepreneurs

Start with what you have (regardless of your industry). The rest you can figure out as you move along. Also, never let anyone put you down! As Africans, we rarely encourage each other. Seek support from seasoned entrepreneurs.

9) What is the biggest challenge facing Africa and why?

We don’t support each other enough. We glorify the west and westerners and what they do more than we glorify ourselves. As a result, we feed into our own inferiority complex, allowing us to not believe in ourselves. That is why we should be supportive of one another as African entrepreneurs and innovators. We have to seek answers to our questions, here and from our own people. For us to develop as a continent, we have to open our borders and engage with each other in terms of trade and industry. As African entrepreneurs, we should stop playing small!

10) Why did you join Afrinection’s network?

Afrinection is a great platform to share and learn from our continent’s great people. Afrinection is an avenue for some of us to share our experiences and stories with fellow Africans, helping us to tell one another that we can do good things and make a difference. I am happy that Afrinection is helping us to talk to one another and share the African narrative.

** Watch our YouTube interview with Ancel **