So many people ask me why I’m so passionate about Africa. One of the reasons is because in recent years, it has made entrepreneurship accessible to more people than ever – myself included. Most of Africa’s success stories have been those of young entrepreneurs who have created and seized opportunities in lucrative sectors of Africa’s fast growing economies. Fortunately for me, whilst the journey towards being a successful entrepreneur has only just begun, I’ve had no shortage of inspiration.
The Economist highlights, if there is anything which explains poverty in Africa, it is not often the unwillingness to work hard. Nor is it the lack of enterprise or optimism. For a start, on the permanent traffic-jammed streets of Jo’burg, I’m well acquainted with hawkers. Often easing their way between cars to sell mostly anything from books, dvd’s and even cell-phone accessories. From Nairobi to Lagos. From Dakar to Dar-es-Salaam. Africans are far more likely to be self-employed than people in richer parts of the world and it’s for a simple reason. Without social safety nets, many must hustle or starve.
Despite all this energy and ingenuity, Africa struggles everyday to produce enough profitable businesses it needs to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Putting economy aside though, my post is about some of the positive things that entrepreneurship in Africa promises!
Last weekend, I attended a dear friends wedding at the African Bush Explorer Lodge. Although I wasn’t too crazy about the venue (there’s definitely much better lodges I’ve seen within South Africa), the day was special and brought together a dynamic bunch.
Bohemian Inspired Jumpsuit & Sunglasses & Michael Kors Clutch.
Visit www.facebook.com/themoderngypsyboutique to check stock availability.
Among them, a digital entrepreneur, swiftly delivering web solutions to Africa’s fast growing mobile and internet audience. His motivation? Unemployment in South Africa – or you could argue in Africa, a continent with the youngest population in the world – is worrying. But when a majority of urban Africans own Internet-capable devices and go online regularly, there’s an opportunity to create something.
Today, entrepreneurship is seen as one of the most sustainable job generation tools in Africa. Many people I’ve met recently have shunned traditional job-making and the corporate way of business. Left their six-figure salaries and consumer-driven lifestyles, to pursue alternate forms of income and to find personal fulfillment.
Tapping into the same innovation and creativity inspiring and driving the continent forward, I’m pursuing my very own journey on the path to successful entrepreneurship. It’s true there are lots of amazing opportunities in Africa. However, if you find no beauty in challenge, this might not be a journey for you. I on the other hand, am totally inspired to reap the fruits of entrepreneurship in one of the fastest growing world economies and what some call – the last continent to rise.
In my own example. blogging has taken me on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, and brought me to the process of opening up my own boutique store. I’ve always thought of creating a space where I can engage artisan vendors and share work that’s positive inspiration. A place where the walls are red, the floors are covered in carpet and where a cup of steaming tea awaits. A space where friends come to share fashion, seek advise or to find purpose and inspiration.
At the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Kenya last year, president Obama addressed some of Africa’s budding entrepreneurs from over 100 countries. He said entrepreneurship creates new ways to deliver basic services and new ways of seeing the world. If our work allows us to be free and to inspire creation and purpose, I believe there is no better way to live and to give back.
PS: the look was inspired by a bush wedding under the African sky, but of-course – with a Bohemian twist x