Navigating Overwhelm: The Unfiltered Reality of a Social Entrepreneur in Africa

Raby Gueye
3 min readJan 17, 2024


In the grand narrative of social entrepreneurship, there are highs, there are lows, and then there are those moments that feel like an avalanche crashing down on you. Let’s be real; being a social entrepreneur is no walk in the park-especially in Africa. As I sit down to share this piece of my journey, I want you to know that the struggle is raw, the feelings are authentic, and the conversation is as honest as it gets.

The Overwhelm: A Constant Companion

Sometimes, it hits you like a tidal wave. The weight of expectations, the challenges of navigating an intricate web of socio-economic issues, and the uphill battle of motivating not just yourself but an entire community. There are days when the weight of it all feels like it might just be too much.

The Disheartening Realities: Economic Struggles, Rising Frustrations, and Funding Woes

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room — the economic struggles. In a world where we’re advocating for change, the irony is that we, too, grapple with the very disparities we aim to address. The rising frustrations as we witness young talents opting for illegal migration in search of a better life, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Add to that the struggles of funding, the sleepless nights ensuring there’s enough to pay our staff, and you’ve got a recipe for overwhelming moments that feel insurmountable.

Questioning the Journey: Doubt Creeping In and Loneliness

I won’t sugarcoat it — there are moments when the doubt creeps in. Moments when the question “Is it worth it?” echoes louder than the successes. The road of a social entrepreneur is not paved with certainty; it’s a journey of constant questioning, soul-searching, and occasionally, wrestling with the urge to throw in the towel. It’s a lonely path, where the weight of responsibility and the isolation of late-night strategizing and early mornings fueled by sheer determination can feel overpowering.

The Authenticity in Vulnerability: Embracing the Struggle

In the face of overwhelm, doubt, and the challenges of loneliness, I’ve come to realize that there’s authenticity in vulnerability. It’s okay to admit that the journey is hard, that the burden is heavy, and that giving up sometimes feels like the easiest way out. It’s in embracing this vulnerability that we find strength — the strength to persevere, the strength to learn, and the strength to keep pushing for change.

The Impact Amidst Chaos: Celebrating Small Wins

In the chaos of overwhelm, it’s crucial to pause and celebrate the small wins. Whether it’s a community project taking shape or a team member stepping into their potential, these moments become the fuel that propels us forward. The impact may not always be grandiose, but in the intricacies of daily efforts, transformation takes root.

Conclusion: A Rollercoaster Worth Riding

So here I am, laying bare the overwhelm, the doubts, the struggles of funding, the challenges of paying our staff, the personal sacrifices, and the celebration of small wins in the journey of being a social entrepreneur. It’s a rollercoaster, no doubt. But in the lows, there’s a raw beauty, a testament to resilience, and an opportunity to redefine success. The journey may be tough, but the impact we can make is worth every uphill battle.



Raby Gueye

Mom. Educator. Social Entrepreneur who enjoys writing. #TeachForSenegal #decolonizeeducation