By Nicholas Wightman & Priscilla Nyathi
Our Jamlab Accelerator journey has been extremely exhilarating, with hours and hours of discussions, deliberations, analysis and guesswork. But one thing we know for sure is that we never would have moved past the idea stage of this project if it had not been for the programme.
Six months ago, we had launched our Greenspace project and were caught up in the excitement of creating videos. It seemed so easy. Although we had ambitions to increase the influence of the channel and build a platform for small garden-related businesses in Zambia, we were not really sure how that could happen.
A few months into the project we reached a crossroads where we had to decide whether to put it on hold or commit 110% to the media project as it was consuming time and money that we had not planned for.
At this point, we have spent hours scrutinising our concept. The process of taking an idea that is just in your imagination to create a product that is visible to the rest of the world is exhausting. We now understand how much mental and emotional energy is needed on the entrepreneurial journey, something we grossly underestimated. Even more so for us because our product was not yet clearly defined in the initial stages, so we had to regularly keep coming back to the drawing board. Fortunately, we have always been clear on one thing that guided us through the process; that we wanted to create eco-friendly content that would have some positive social impact.
The biggest challenge for us has been wrestling with our own perceptions of the project and removing some of our own self-imposed limitations and convincing ourselves first that this project has real value, value that people would pay for. As a creator it’s hard to ask for money since you are doing what you love and that you just want to share with others. The biggest lesson from Jamlab is just being challenged on developing our business model and then taking our product to the market. We probably would still be hobbyists if we had not been through that journey. The more we believe in the value of our product the bigger our vision grows.
At this point, the goal of the Greenspace Media project is to become the media advocate for the environment by continuously churning out different types of content that connects the Zambian lifestyle to the environment promoting an eco-friendly approach to urban life.
*Wightman and Nyathi are founders of Greenspace Zambia
The JamLab Accelerator is a six-month hothouse programme for journalism and media innovators. It is based at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in the heart of Johannesburg.
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