Mercy Muigai is the founder of Impact Communities in Kenya. Impact Communities is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in early 2018. Through the organization, Mercy seeks to promote the idea of sustainable development in communities with a long-term view of transforming peace-disrupting cultures through means that achieve lasting solutions. The organization is mainly comprised of youthful members and works across Nairobi County and the neighboring environments. She is also a proud member of the CBNation team where she serves the blogging community of entrepreneurs and business owners.
- CEO Hack: Canva
- CEO Nugget: Have the confidence to start, what matters is the energy you put in from the start
- CEO Defined: Someone in charge of the organization, organizer, one who keeps things moving and the constant factor
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Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast and I have a special guest on the show today. I have Mercy Muigai of impact communities in Kenya. Merci, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Mercy Muigai 0:42
Nice to meet you. Thank you.
Gresham Harkless 0:44
No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about mercy so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Mercy is the founder of impact communities in Kenya. Impact communities is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization founded in early 2018. Through the organization, Mercy seeks to promote the idea of sustainable development in communities with a long-term view of transforming peace-disrupting cultures through means that achieve lasting solutions. The organization is mainly comprised of youthful members and works across Nairobi County and the neighboring environments. She is also a proud member of the CBNation team where she serves the blogging community of entrepreneurs and business owners. And might I say Mercy is one of the backbones to everything that we do here. So mercy super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the iamceo community?
Mercy Muigai 1:33
Yeah, sure. Yeah. And to be and guest now not a person that host.
Gresham Harkless 1:41
Exactly, doing all the behind the scenes things. I'm glad we got to get you in front of the microphone. So I wanted to start everything off with what I call your CEO story, to hear a little more about what led you get started with your your organization, all the awesome things that you're working on?
Mercy Muigai 1:57
Yeah, so of time, I left college and volunteered in an NGO just in Kenya as an intern. And by the time I left, these NGO, country was facing various prices, mainly on terror attacks, major cities in the country. And since I didn't have really anything to do with my server, at the time I left, I decided to start up something that I could do to help a situation which was always getting chaotic every day. And physically, I asked myself what I can do to address societal issues that endanger our well being our livelihoods, our income-generating activities, I just got promoted, promoted me to start this NGO, so that I work with communities to come up with lasting solutions on how we could move on, either with this crisis or without it, to resolve it, and achieve something better for the community. So that's basically how we started as a small group of people, most of them being less than us.
Gresham Harkless 3:11
Nice. I absolutely appreciate that. And I often say the phrase entrepreneurship to me equals hope. And it's just because like you said, so many times, there's there's issues, there's things that are going on in the world. And I believe by being able to start and to be part of the solution to build and create something is definitely a great way to make sure that those solutions actually happen. And those solutions actually occur. So I can definitely commend you for for being able to do that and being a leader in that aspect.
Mercy Muigai 3:38
Gresham Harkless 3:39
Absolutely. Absolutely. So I know I touched on a little bit he did as well. Could you take us through exactly what impact communities and Kenyan does and all the awesome things you're working on?
Mercy Muigai 3:49
Yeah, sure. So we are mainly based in Nairobi, Kenya, where we carry on, projects on please build capacity building for community. And also we have things to do with inter-religious dialogue. We've had great partners, both locally and internationally who support activities in trying to make this city a better place. And what we mainly do is to respond to current happenings, or is disrupting issues in society. So we are dynamic in that we keep responding to what is happening. We don't just stick to ending but our agenda is mainly peacebuilding and capacity building. So that's what we've been doing and a special focus on special had for the young people. Oh, mainly in the Nairobi county and its environment. Yeah.
Gresham Harkless 4:50
Absolutely. No, I love that. And I think Gandhi says Be the change you wish to see in the world. And I think, you know, peace is one of my absolute favorites It's actually my my passion word. I did this exercise where I figured out what word most resonated with myself. And it was actually peace in that thing, because of how impactful it is. And I love that you have, you know, different ways and different issues that you focus on. But at the same time, it kind of sounds like that core is that peace aspect, which you're trying to bring to everything that you're doing and the people that you're impacting as well.
Mercy Muigai 5:23
Gresham Harkless 5:26
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So now, I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself or your organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Mercy Muigai 5:37
Um, so for our organization, what we immediately do is, like I say this to focus on the young people. And what makes us unique is that we are comprised of a young people, and we focus on activities affecting the young people. And this makes sure that we are addressing things that affect us in a directly or indirectly. And it's except it's not out of books based on your political, it's things that are happening also in our society is not outside. And this helps us to address them effectively, and in a timely manner. So I would say that's what makes us unique, in that the same people were affected by the current society issues are the same people who are responding to them. Yeah,
Gresham Harkless 6:33
yeah, absolutely. And, and to me, like, what was coming up, for me was the word kind of empowerment, because I think so many times, you know, with young people and youth, sometimes we don't realize the impact that we can have on the world. But I love you know, everything that organization stands for, because not only obviously, is making real change, and very, you know, select areas, but I think, on an even deeper level is reminding us of the change that we can impact the change that we can have, by being impactful by being diligent of being consistent, no matter what age and what experience we may or may not have, it allows that opportunity for us to really push the needle forward and make make the world a better place.
Mercy Muigai 7:12
Thanks, Betsy, I think we all have a role to play in making our societies a better place. be fully cheering. When they see something that is a business, or whatever the case is, we all have a capacity as Pez dispensers for everyone to do something to change a setting.
Gresham Harkless 7:36
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you know, even you know, here in the US, and right outside of DC, where I am, you know, we're kind of reminded that we all can be leaders in so many different ways, as you said, whether it be volunteering or starting an organization, starting a business, whatever we can do a process, whatever that might do, what that might be from so many different aspects, and allows that opportunity for you to be a leader and to be a leader coming from your own voice and what exactly you stand for. And I think that when that happens, especially when it happens amongst young people is definitely a phenomenal thing.
Mercy Muigai 8:10
Gresham Harkless 8:12
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.
Mercy Muigai 8:26
said it has to be Canva. It's super easy to use, even for those who are newly new to graphic designing and all that. So it comes in handy when you're doing our first Taz manners and social media stuff. So I would say it's a great tool, it has been of help to us, whether you're using it as a paid option, or as a free option. It has. It has a lot of features that can help you up your game in graphic designing or just some lead design, or whatever you want to do.
Gresham Harkless 9:08
Yeah, absolutely. Canva has definitely been a lifesaver for us. And, you know, as you said, Devin can up your game. And you know, you can look like a graphic designer, a lot of times just because you can use this and it's very intuitive how it's set up. And it's built and allows that opportunity for you to really create things whether it be you know, flyers or, or images for your site, or as you said, social media platforms as well too. It really is kind of like that easy button when it comes to creating graphics.
Mercy Muigai 9:37
Gresham Harkless 9:39
And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to happen to a time machine, you would tell your younger business self.
Mercy Muigai 9:52
A motto say it's always very scary to start something and sometimes you have to think you know and when you will be the next Amazon will be the next big thing. And when you just start it, it seems so scary and you even have the confidence in yourself. But it's always best to start it, and to have the confidence and no matter how small you're starting, it doesn't really matter what matters is how far you go from there. So have the confidence to start whatever you want to set. And what matters is the energy you put in to go from there from that point.
Gresham Harkless 10:36
Absolutely, no, I love that. And so much. The phrase that was coming to my head is, you know, feel the fear, the fear and do it anyways. And I think sometimes if you have that fear, you feel that fear. And so many times people never take action and never do those things. But as you said, you know, so Well, I think so many times that we take that action, and we can really see. So phenomenal results.
Mercy Muigai 10:58
Yeah, sure, and no one is at it from there. That's waiting to unfold themselves. Sometimes, we might spend a lot of time thinking how it will be when the finances we've come from. But once you start from there, you start to see the whole stack is an every step begins to unfold itself.
Gresham Harkless 11:20
Absolutely. And I think I can remember the quote, a Martin Luther King had a quote where sometimes, you know, you have to take the steps without seeing the entire staircase. And so many times we want to see the entire staircase before we take a step when in reality, you have to face that fear, you have to take that step. And then next step, and then step by step more and more just to kind of become clear to you. Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Mercy, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Mercy Muigai 11:55
Um, so I really don't find what I say I will see you. I think the CEO is someone who is in charge of on the organization of everything in the in the business, how the business looks. So at times, you might have team members coming as go out, but you remain to be the one thing that does not change in that organization for you to keep it short and know where it's going. So you have to get things organized, and you keep them moving altogether, but the wheels are moving in the right direction. So I would say it's an organized in the same thing, someone who keeps things moving in, does not change as things change, when there are no finances that you have some way and the person is supposed to be content on through. Yeah.
Gresham Harkless 12:56
So Nah, love that that definition, as you said, you know, being organized and, and keeping things moving, keeping the trains going, so to speak, and making sure they're going in the right direction is definitely huge. Because a lot of times you can go but it may not be exactly in the direction that it needs to go. So it's on the CEO, entrepreneur, organization, or whatever the title might be to be able to make sure that everything's running the way that it should be sort of the the mission and the goal and what we're trying to accomplish.
Mercy Muigai 13:24
Gresham Harkless 13:26
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Well, Mercy, truly appreciate that, appreciate your time even more. And definitely appreciate all the awesome things you're doing with us in CBNation. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.
Mercy Muigai 13:45
Yeah, I think I mentioned two things based on the impact and the CEO Blog Nation. So for the impact communities. Based on what we're doing, and what maybe we see on the outside perspective, I would say that we all have a role to play in making society better. And sometimes the power is in our hands. We saw like the case of the Black Lives Matter us. We had the keyboard warriors take on their part. And you really don't have to have that big thing to do something. You can just do it right from your social media platforms be the voice for those who may not be in a group. You speak to mind you help someone who is in need so much can is it online or offline communities a better place and also as part of a simulation community we are having different opportunities for everyone. But marketers podcast and so we are a big community and we welcome people to partner with us and be part of our journey in building and making businesses better.
Gresham Harkless 14:58
So that definitely Appreciate that Mercy appreciate all the awesome things you said. And I love that you said that, you know, a lot of times we sometimes can look outward, we can look, you know, elsewhere to kind of see where exactly, we can make an impact. But a lot of times the power is within our hands. And we can do those things to really move things forward. So I love that. For people that want to get ahold of you find out more about the organization, what's the best way for them to do that?
Mercy Muigai 15:26
We immediately um Facebook. Now we've had an customer because of the COVID-19 that does not allow people to get up. But to me, our DNA changes energizing ourselves for bigger things. So you'll find our activities, mostly a bit there. And you can also get in touch with the Facebook page. Oh, yeah, mainly through the Facebook page, where we interact, we share activities and everything that you'd like to know about us. They're
Gresham Harkless 15:59
awesome, awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. Again, Mercy. We will have the links and information in the show notes. But again, I appreciate all the things that you do that we see things that we don't see in making, you know, entrepreneurs and business owners be more successful, but also reminding us and those youth that are in Nairobi, and all the things that they can do as well too. So truly appreciate that again, and I hope you have a phenomenon.
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