Kenia Mattis (left) with kids from the TrenchTown Reading Centre, taking part in ListenMi Caribbean’s Greatercakes Workshop.

Meet GES Delegate: Kenia Mattis

  • Name: Kenia Mattis
  • Twitter handle: Kenia Mattis
  • Country of Origin: Jamaica
  • Organization Name: ListenMi Caribbean
  • Organization Website: www.listenmi.com

Brief Description of Organization

We are a collective of creatives using predictive technologies to re-shape the way people think and behave. We at ListenMi see ourselves as custodians of stories. It is our job to help to bring them to life through beautiful illustration, animation, images, voice and music. Each day we dive deep into the news of the world with ListenMi News; tell the story of our indigenous people with League of Maroons, and have tapped the spirit of kids to design something special just for them with animated textbooks appropriate for slow learners. We are not content managers, but change makers.

Inspiration to Start

My passion is storytelling. I had been producing national TV and radio advertising campaigns for years with my co-founder, music producer Donald Medder. I got inspired to launch ListenMi one day as we shared our vision for more diversity in cool, educational and culturally relevant storytelling. We also believe in the power of the next generation to make things happen that have never been conceived before, and wanted to help pave the way. After my Marketing MBA and working for 3 more years as Marketing Manager it felt inevitable that I had to take the leap into entrepreneurship.

Next Big Step

We are constantly learning from each other and our communities so we can co-create better outcomes. We are now taking our next big step toward becoming the leading producer of interactive, animated text books in the Caribbean.

Biggest Obstacle as an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, I’ve become mentally prepared to navigate challenges. Surpassing obstacles is part of the job description. However my biggest obstacle is the uncertainty of what I’m doing. My MBA prepared me for business models and principles, but the more we move into unchartered territory and new ways of thinking, I must be brave in making creative, business and even personal decisions without blueprints or directions; and be comfortable with personally not having all the answers. There is no easy or single way to prepare for this journey. It requires a lot of faith, clean food, mentorship and yoga.

Advice to Those Emerging

Entrepreneurship is most fun and rewarding when you don’t do it alone. Co-Founders are important to share and help build out your vision. A board will help you navigate the trenches before they appear. A well-structured team will keep you focused on growth. Mentors will keep you open and honest. And family will help you stay healthy and grounded. Starting a business can feel like a lonely venture. Maintaining healthy relationships can give you the energy to avoid burnout so you reach success and still feel fulfilled.