7 Questions with Ivo Arrey Mbongaya
Name: Ivo Arrey Mbongaya
Current title: Director/Founder
Current organisation: African Centre for Community and Development
Ivo Arrey Mbongaya is Founder and Director at the African Centre for Community and Development as well as the Earth Complex Guesthouse Limbe Cameroon.
He is a veritable entrepreneur and a project management expert with experiences in conducting multidisciplinary research as well as diverse economic, social, business and development activities across sectors. His research and works cut across prefeasibility/feasibility studies, project management, energy, poverty alleviation, communications, education, environment, climate change, governance, conservation, agribusinesses, real estate, arts, designs, agroforestry, hospitality, civil society etcetera.
He has over a thousand multimedia productions and publications on diverse topics that can be accessed here: https://youtube.com/user/AfricanCentreforCom
Ivo is available for consulting and other business/professional invitations.
Contact [email protected]
1. What have you found most challenging as an Entrepreneur?
Being a stop tool box for all. Entrepreneurship entails constant research, updating and testing of ideas and solutions for positive change with organizations and socioeconomic ecosystems. This is challenging as it needs time, resources, mental fortitude, capacity to leverage data or to think out of the box or simply to better classical and sometimes inflexible ways of doing things which in many ways are not working. It entails communicating what works to both powerful and less powerful stakeholders who might have organizational cultures which might be unfriendly or even without insight on the merits of entrepreneurship.
Lastly entrepreneurs operate in scarcity and it takes a visionary collaborative agenda to tap from their Wells which to me are the strategic pillars for growth for individuals and organizations across all sectors and industries.
2. How did you become an Entrepreneur? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I became an entrepreneur from pull factors within my immediate environment which is Cameroon and Africa. From working as a development Journalist/Producer and. Radio Host/Presenter in two local radios I came face to face with the needs of my society. From being host and producer of popular programs like Books and People, Cultural Panorama, Green Planet, New Trends, Art Gallery etcetera I interviewed and cane across diverse stakeholders. Interviewing them opened windows in understanding in depth the African business and development landscapes in full and with insights on best ways to shape things for the better.
On a personal note, a vigorous reading culture and desire to understand diverse disciplines plunged into multidisciplinary research practices. This with my Platform "People Places and Events" , I perfected my access to strategic knowledge, people and organizations/research. These stakeholders talked to me and I brainstormed and triangulated data to develop a broad scientific acumen in entrepreneurship which I can use across sectors and industries..
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
An entrepreneur structures time to suit his schedule or duties. He manages time because he is prone to multitasking and is gifted in fields different and diverse from ordinary people. For me time matters being a project management expert but flexibility is also unavoidable.
My typical day involves checking on things to do in the morning, doing them, revisiting and revising work done and creating solutions for replication after work done. Entrepreneurship is putting things in a tool box for use at anytime not on specific guidelines I am afraid. I guess that is where it defines itself as a social science.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Financing can be best if Investors take more time and spend more resources with Entrepreneurs. Lack of financing has nothing to do with lack of business acumen
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
In a way I came to understand that patience, strategy and flexibility can overcome hiccups along most lines. Knowing competitors and their cultures helps leaders in working with diversity and in developing new ideas for business or communal development.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in your Organisation?
Via training, capacity building, multimedia productions and publications, conducting research, interviewing stakeholders, conducting multidisciplinary research, coaching, writing of articles, recommendation of content for relevant development/experiences etcetera.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as an Entrepreneur so far?
Conducting research on tissue culture in plantains. This was innovative as plantains are widely eaten locally and such a research was thought to be within the exclusive premises of institutions and scientific communities outside my typical station.