This entry is part 12 of 19 in the series Running a StartUp in a Crisis Economy

Eduke Nadesh is the Community Manager of ActivSpaces Buea. Given that this tech hub is a mother to many startups in Buea, the young lady uses events to keep her community active and vibrant.

“Events keep my community alive”, she said.

Since its creation in 2010, ActivSpaces has succeeded in bringing together tech communities. This tech hub creates spaces where techies come to learn, play, work and bring ideas alive. As such, they have been able to provide direct support to techies and help them develop skills they need to become world-class tech entrepreneurs.

Their events are not only captivating but solution-driven to common challenges startups and entrepreneurs face. Through these events, ActivSpaces has kept the ecosystem vibrant.

Feeling the pinch of the crisis

However, as a typical Buea denizen will say: “Rain dih fall for all man e zinc”, this tech hub was not spared from the many challenges that came with the on-going socio-political crisis. Not only were they unable to organize events, they equally lost community members as some took refuge in other towns.

“The crisis made my community less engaging. There were events we didn’t host because of the crisis. A notable one is the Silicon Mountain Conference. We lost community members. Some of our community members have taken refuge in other towns not affected by the crisis. Some of them now live in Douala and Yaounde,” she lamented.

The mother tech and entrepreneurship hub in Silicon Mountain also witnessed a fall in their revenue.

“The drastic fall in the number of our event participants led to a decrease in revenue. Besides, since community members are leaving, few people are signing up for our community membership,” she added.

Sailing through

In this state of inconsistency, many people in her shoes would resign or flee to other towns like the others. Eduke, however, thought of better ways to meet the goals of her community. That is, keeping the ecosystem alive!

“We had to change our modus operandi. We re-strategized by shifting less important things aside and adjusting the way we did with others”.

With a new strategy, the young community manager was really excited to tell us she is able to engage the community despite the present crisis and insecurities in town.

Her new strategy is simple: Try as much as possible to make community members feel at home. By presenting ActivSpaces as a home and refuge to techies, this lady is still organizing her usual events and keeping her community alive in the midst of the crisis.

“We still organize events but not too late these days. We equally do rigorous marketing campaigns for our events”.

If there’s one thing any community manager can learn from this lady, it is to create engaging programs like events that create value for community members in the present socio-political crisis.

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