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Africa Rising

The Rise of the Entrepreneur and Increased Social Responsibility
Model wears cream suit outfit on the street

There is little doubt that Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with technological advances is giving it a global stage and driving growth.

One upside to the aftermath of the pandemic has been for people to reconnect with their creativity and to utilize the technological tools available to bring their entrepreneurial aspirations to fruition. This trend will see a future driven by new ideas, new collaborations and increased economic growth brought on by innovative individuals, not just the companies of yesterday. With this new growth, social and environmental responsibility and accountability will also be paramount for success.

Africa, now the fastest growing continent and the only region in the world where more women than men choose to become entrepreneurs could have the answers to some of the worlds most pressing problems. For decades, the Global North has been piloting solutions to save Africa and other emerging markets, but now might be the time for developed countries to look to Africa for innovation and solutions.

Geetha Tharmaratnam, CEO and founder at Aequalitas Capital Partners makes an important statement and observation about Africa:

“It’s not that Africa is poor. There are plenty of places where there is poverty in amounts that are unacceptable, but there’s also wealth. We need to unlock the capital that is on the continent, because for as many problems as there are in Africa, African entrepreneurs are used to stubbornly finding solutions, and it’s always within the context of community. They’re fixing problems for themselves and others. They have an eternal commitment to hustle. They’re going to make things work, no matter what.” [1]

During the pandemic, as the world turned online, The Nest, a virtual videoconference, “connects aspiring entrepreneurs in frontier markets with angel investors from around the world.”[2] This provides a great opportunity for Investors and Innovators to meet.

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Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, founder of all female led investment firm Birimian, is dedicated to connecting African luxury and heritage fashion brands with international investors. In a statement, the investment firm explained, “it will address the challenges associated with capital, production and international distribution faced by African designers, while establishing an “ecosystem of experts and professionals who specialise in value creation for independent labels and international brands”.[3]

Initiatives and investment such as this, including Africa Netpreneur Prize, Orange Corners, and Alibaba eFounders are driving investment opportunities in Africa and enabling MSME”s to build and flourish.

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/melissarowley/2021/02/17/why-now-is-the-ideal-time-to-invest-in-africa-the-fastest-growing-continent-in-the-world/?sh=2d5eeea72477
  2. The Nest, https://www.findthenest.org
  3. Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, https://fashionunited.com/news/business/first-investment-company-dedicated-to-african-luxury-brands-launches/2021042639617
  4. Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, https://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com/jack-mas-africa-business-heroes-competition-2020/
  5. Alibaba eFounders, https://agi.alibaba.com/efounders-fellowship
  6. Orange Corners, https://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com/orange-corners-nigeria-incubation-programme-2021/
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Africa to the World: Analysing the Global Appeal for African Luxury Fashion

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