Jasmine Samantar

jamma.co/josamantar
Solarpreneur in #SiliconSomalia. Founder & CEO of @SamawatEnergy. Working on #Africa at @IEA. Previously @UN. Here to decolonize your mind.

My Communities:

Somali Black Muslim

Sessions:

FinishedFinished answering on May 22 at 18:45 BST

Ask me about:

  • Start-ups
  • Somali language
  • Tech
  • Cooking
  • Islam
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Renewable energy
Answers

How did you come up with your company idea?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

I just answered a similar question. Please see below. :)

What inspired Samawat?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

I worked at the UN when the SDGs were set by the General Assembly. SDG7 - access to affordable and clean energy - is fundamental to opportunity in this age.

 

As Barack Obama said, “It’s the light that children study by, the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a rea…

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It’s incredible difficult to stay motivated, especially when outside circumstances heavily weigh on your day-to-day. But, I find having both a great business partner and a personal support system are crucial. These are the people who remind me of why I am doing what I am doing. They knock som…

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What is it like being a female business woman ?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

Being an entrepreneur, in general, is far from easy. Once you add your other cleavages - woman, black, Muslim, it can feel close to impossible. Last year 2.2% of all venture capital funding went to women. On the ground, as I knock on hundreds of locked doors, I see how very true this is. That&rsquo…

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What was it like running a start up in Somalia as a woman?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

I just answered a similar question. Please see below. :)

Access to financing is incredible difficult. My best advice to new entrepreneurs would be to raise seed funding on your own using your own savings and donations from family and friends. Then, begin piloting your innovation to prove to investors that it can work, it is sustainable, it can be replica…

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As a new entrant to any sector, you will face a lot of pushback - especially as a woman. You are a foreigner with no allies. Therefore, it’s important to come in with a strong backbone, willing to learn and tweak your game plan. You might think you have the ideal solution, but a few hours on …

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The idea for Samawat Energy was developed when I was 23-years old. I wanted to create something tangible and see the fruits of my labor. It was my baby, in a way. I wanted to see it through. This was definitely harder than I thought, and I am still struggling. But, I don’t regret it for one s…

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How did you get into renewable energy?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

I worked at the UN when the Sustainable Development Goals were announced. SDG 7, affordable and clean energy for all, is at the heart of all of the SDGs. Electricity powers everything. At a time where we are experiencing the effects of climate change, it is crucial to push for clean energy solution…

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It is definitely not for the weak. You will fail, but that just means you have to change the game plan. There will be times where you will want to quit and find a stable job, but the reward for perservering is priceless. It will be worth it, but only if you put the effort in. 

After finishing my master’s, I went back to working at the UN. Unfortunately, my office did not promote growth and I felt incredibly stifled. I was someone who planned ever year of my life, career-wise. The idea that this wasn’t the right path for me was incredibly painful. But, alhamdu…

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Are there many Somalis in Paris??

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

Hi! Unfortunately, there are very few Somalis living in Paris. I went to university in France several years ago. As a young student, I didn’t search for my community. But now, I find myself craving our language, our food, our people. And, I find myself very lonely. Luckily, it is just a short…

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As Samawat Energy is a social enterprise, I focus a lot on the people we are serving. We are providing a cheaper, more reliable alternative to the most vulnerable. This keeps me grounded and grinding. When you believe in what you are doing, you will always keep pushing. At the same time, being over…

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Hi! I am all for increased innovation in Somalia. There is a lot of room for competition across all sectors of Somalia. I would recommend looking into food security and irrigation, import-export, and even farm-to-table delivery. Good luck! 

What are your views on the hijab?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

I think the hijab is a beautiful gift from Allah (swt). Entrenched in the idea of the hijab is modesty. I believe hijab is both a physical covering and a mental covering. Men and women must aspire to be more modest in the way that they conduct themselves - in their speech, conduct, dress. It’…

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Pros and cons of running a social enterprise in Somalia?

Jasmine Samantar - 1 week, 5 days ago

Working in a startup, regardless of whether it is in a nation like Somalia or a country like the US, always carries a high risk. Development agencies ensure  job security and protection. If you’re willing to forgo both of these important aspects, definitely dive in and start your own bus…

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