EMS Global Consulting

  • Client: Michael Odokara
  • Business: EMS Global Consulting
  • Location: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • Client Since: June 2021
  • Business Advisor: Peter Harriman
Michael Odokara, Business Owner of EMS Global Consulting
Screenshot of NKENNE featuring multiple phone images of the app in use

Michael Odokara founded ESM Global Consulting, an IT consulting and security firm, in 2017 and has grown the business over the years. When he decided to learn his native language of Igbo during the pandemic and was unable to find a suitable African language learning platform, he built his own – called NKENNE. He connected with Maine SBDC primarily because he was looking for mentorship and recognized the old adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know”!

Michael was connected with Center Director and Business Advisor Peter Harriman for guidance and support. Peter was able to answer Michael‘s questions and provide suggestions around market identification and navigating funding sources. Peter also recommended that Michael apply for Gorham Savings Bank’s Launchpad Competition. Ultimately, NKENNE won the Emerging Business Award.

Michael did not stop there and has tirelessly worked to secure a future for his budding business by utilizing the Maine Technology Institute’s grant funding, the Maine Center for Entrepreneur’s Top Gun Program, the Maine Venture Fund, and many other resources.

NKENNE is now the most downloaded African language-learning app in the market. The app focuses on community building and helps connect people with their homeland.

Michael commented, “[The Maine] SBDC has helped me think of ways to elevate our company that we would not have thought of. Always great to have someone that believes in you when things are great, as well as when things are difficult. You can find that with an SBDC advisor.”