A Western grad is making an impact in her home country of Kenya, and it all started with a coffee bean.
Vava Angwenyi started a social enterprise selling locally-grown coffee when she noticed how much of Kenya’s economy was centered on exporting the beans, but Kenyans weren’t even supporting their own farmers. She opened VAVA Coffee and made it her mission to tell the stories of the farmers behind the beans.
Through trial and error it became a success, and now she’s inspiring others to follow their own dreams.
Angwenyi spoke to Western students on Thursday about the challenges she’s faced as a woman entrepreneur.
She tells students, “the one thing that should define our generation is not success, but failure.”
“Most times, [failure] defines who we are,” Angwenyi says. “Then — and only then — will you know how strong you are, how to react to situations which are unexpected or situations which you’re not happy about, and I think failure usually makes us stronger.”
Angwenyi tells young entrepreneurs, “people will try to stop you, but you can’t give up on your dream.”