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The SHIFT Impact: A conduit to change

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

My name is Marcelin Nyakura, a Congolese from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Recently, I graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration from Livingstone International University in Uganda. Soon thereafter, I enrolled in SHIFT Enterprise Academy, and experienced positive life changes.

In January 2022, I started my entrepreneurial journey with SHIFT where I was part of an intensive six-part series of training, “Launching into E-commerce.” At the close of the cohort, I was fortunate to be one of four finalists at the winter pitch competition. I emerged as the winner of the pitch competition with my exciting entrepreneurial idea to launch an online book translation service. My team and I are working to provide academic books in languages the community where I live is familiar with.

My alignment with SHIFT is helping live out one of my favorite Nelson Mandela quotes, “Nothing in life is worthwhile unless we take risks,”

It was in my Entrepreneurship course at Livingstone that my lecturer, Mr. Oloba introduced me to SHIFT Enterprise Academy. He made me think of what I refer to as “the dreams that can’t match reality, theory.” Yet, as he says, "theory plus practice makes reality."

During the entrepreneurship course and using what I learned during SHIFT Enterprise Academy, I discovered what practice looks like—the concept of “risk”: being a student abroad and using some of the money for my accommodations to venture into a business.

I knew I wanted to start a business and solve a problem; I just did not know how. I had very little clarity about what methodology would work for me in my situation.

On the day, Mr. Oloba told the class about SHIFT, he proposed that SHIFT is something everyone can gain from, and challenged the entire class to join the "Launching into E-Commerce" training. What was most intriguing was the chance to win $500 for my business. I accepted the challenge, and that's when I met SHIFT Enterprise Academy.

Here, I met ambitious competitors, some of who were my classmates. I took as much as I could from the weekly interactive lessons to design my business plan. I believe it was my diligence that helped me win the competition. In developing my plan and pitching my idea I used the SHIFT Pillars, "Thinking Accurately" and "Following Directions," just as taught by Professor Ethan Brisby in the weekly SHIFT lessons.

At the close of the pitch competition, and after I showed my business could be viable and ready to launch, I was awarded 500$ to continue my entrepreneurial journey.

Months later, SHIFT linked me to AtkCo, an agile coordination company based in Chicago, USA for a paid internship in Marketing. This has allowed me to learn and apply new skills in this domain for real-world problems and gain more insights into my business development plan.

Marc applied the SHIFT approach to help him get from where he was, not knowing what he'd do after graduating; to being closer to where he wants to be. You too can apply the SHIFT Approach to transform your life.


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