Life of a BDA (Business Development Advisor)- Virginiah Gitome

Ongoza

What does a typical working day look like?

My typical working day includes a lot of prep work. It differs from day to day but mostly revolves around setting an agenda and sharing it with the entrepreneur ahead of time to ensure it aligns with their needs and growth plan.

I also think of issues that could have come up from the last meeting that need to be addressed, while thinking of how long it might take to handle emerging issues. 

What has your experience been in Nairobi and Nakuru?

In Nakuru, it’s easier to meet clients in their workplace because of how the business area is set up in a centralised place, which can make the process more efficient. 

In Nairobi, it can get a little hectic but the entrepreneurs know what they want and their expectations are clear, which means you always have to be on top of things.

The entrepreneurs in Nairobi and Nakuru are very different, but similar in a lot of ways. They’re all united by their hard work and belief in their business and it’s capabilities.

 How they uptake skills may differ but implementation has a big impact on their success rates, in both locations.

What motivates you as a BDA?

Seeing businesses grow is fulfilling. People come in with no systems and structures in place or not efficiently working, and once we change that, it shows in their revenue growth and business transformation. 

The shift in their mindsets to be able to look at their business is also amazing. It assures me that we’re on the right track with our mission.

What’s been a highlight for you so far?

I’d have to say, Angela of Taiboke. When she joined she was at a revenue of Ksh 20,000 and working part-time. 

We were able to draw up a growth plan and she’s now opened up a makeup studio, grown her branding, has four permanent full-time staff and a minimum revenue of Ksh 200,000. I’m so proud of her continuous growth.

Any parting shots?

The role of a BDA is more than advisory. You have to understand both the business and the entrepreneur. The two need to align to be effective. You’re a coach and an accountability partner

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