Starting over and being successful takes a lot of self-belief as a Kenyan businesswoman discovered when she embarked on setting up a start-up company, risking all her life savings in the process.
Upon completion of her graduate studies in the US, Pauline - who wants to remain anonymous because of the nature of her business - came back to Kenya with hopes of cashing in her expertise in Computer Science and Cybersecurity.
She managed to register a company and hit the ground running looking for clients. However, the first few months did not go as expected.
"I made calls, walked in offices, and attended meetings with potential clients and would-be partners with nothing promising. I needed to think out of the box. Otherwise, I would have to go back crawling in the US again," she stated.A group of staffers at a boardroom.
At this point, she was operating on her savings and got to a point where she had Ksh400,000. The amount would not last long going by her expenses at the time.
Months into giving up, the tech-prenuer landed an interview with an Insurance company executive where she put her savings on the line.
"So on the day of the sit-down. I decided to gamble with my Ksh400,000. I wrote a good proposal and told the exec, 'If we don't find any security flaws in your system in 24 hours, we will pay your company," she narrated.
The executives did not seem sure about the proposal but they called her two weeks later to look for security flaws in the company's systems.
"The IT manager was so confident about their system, I was given a week to come up with flaws in the system. The system was a payment system and the other one was for underwriting and claims. By noon I had my report which showed a number of flaws," she added.
She convinced the company to give her a contract, becoming her first client in Kenya. Pauline later landed jobs in South Africa and other countries in Africa.
With the contracts, she was able to return her investments 10-fold within the first month and went on to make more.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Pauline, disclosed that her company operates in eight African countries and is currently working on a project in Togo.Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine learning bias is a recognised concern for organisations developing products and services using this technology.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), only 35 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in higher education globally are women.
More women are venturing into the field with various initiatives geared to making STEM a potential career trajectory.
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