When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see.
These words are many times key to help Africans continue to grow as businesses leaders. Entrepreneurs are growing in Africa, creating sustainable small and medium businesses that are beneficial to the communities, villages, and cities they are in. Africa is the youngest continent in the global economy and growth of technology usage and integration. Gradually influencing global markets where Africans are benefiting from the successes of Startups, collaborations, cooperation’s and partnerships. "Africa is closely watched as the next big growth market" Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2019/ so the potential is there to continue this growth, but there needs to be increased mentorship, guidance and investments. As professional educators, professors, mentors, business owners and influencers my wife and I are proud to share gifts of knowledge for young African Startups that may need guidance, encouragement and inspiration. The explosion of business ideas, interests and support of startups that are exploding across Africa is growing into 2022 and will build Africa into a global leader where Africans can determine their journey to greatness not because of other nations influence, by the greatness that is within Africa. Digital technologies and access to mobile digital devices are helping Africans to be connected to each other on broader digital and global platforms for collaborations and networking.
25 suggestions for business success for young Africans that are eager, able and excited about being entrepreneurs and business owners.
1. Create content as if all of Africa is going to read your content and be inspired to support business growth and collaborations across the continent. Take hold of your vision for a better Africa and to build Africa to global influence. When people see your passion for Africa they should be inspired to help.
2. Content will always be King, be remined that Engagement is Queen and understanding digital Data is Dynamic.
3. When creating business content take the time to read, review, rewrite, revise, what you have written. Your ability to communicate digitally is key to your business growth.
4. Don’t rely on anyone that tells you you’re too passionate or too invested in Africa. Always invest in yourself, your home and your passions.
5. Don’t try to be famous, don’t try to be rich, be sure to share your life experiences and life knowledge. Read writers like Achebe, Addiche, Soyinka and others for guidance and inspiration.
6. Embrace the diversity of Africa. Your business should represent the diversity of Africa not just one segment or one region. Prepare your business to reach out to diverse audiences, genders and cultural backgrounds.
7. Don’t expect support from your neighbors, sometimes those close to you are your biggest critiques and roadblocks to growth.
8. Enhance your ability to write by reading what other writers have written about business startup and growth. Write down your ideas so you can see your potential future.
Don’t rely on anyone that tells you you’re too passionate or too invested in Africa. Always invest in yourself, your home and your passions.
9. Build relationships, build friendships, building partnerships, building is important. Building relationships brings connectivity and trust. Never burn your bridges, always leave quietly and with pride.
10. Read about other business owners success and failures to learn from and inspire you to overcome challenges.
11. Storytelling even in business paints a picture, so use words that encourage the imagination and creativity for your employees to inspire them and see your goals.
12. Use music to inspire and excite yourself and your employees. Different music moves emotions differently, experiment with beats and sounds around the business environment.
13. When writing your business plans determine if there are challenges and conflicts that need to be overcome. What challenges your intellect and imagination?
14. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re scared, use that energy to inspire and motivate. Take the opportunity to spread your wings to fly and take a “leap of faith” in your dreams.
15. Keep your passion and excitement about your startup during good and bad times. Your passion is an extension of who you are.
16. Write your authentic kind of stories to expand your voices beyond the continent. To motivate other African business owners. There are millions of stories just as there are millions of Africans, share your story with them to inspire others.
17. Read, Read, Read and Read some more, fall in love with reading and share the passion with youth, teens and young adults.
18. Encourage employees to read, write and be creative. Africa wants people to think, dream, have vision and inspirations in multiple ways that benefit the continent.
19. Use technology to make a vision for African Brands. Remember that not all Africans have high speed internet access. Adjust to those with slower connections and little data.
20. African’s volunteer in your African community if it is safe to do so. Help others to see the beauty in people of African diversity. Never judge those that have less or even more than you do because we all started some place.
21. Take time to meditate and listen to the African ancestors. What stories are they telling you to write and how to share your voice.
22. As you travel take the time to meet some of your customers. Speak to the elder business owners to seek the spirit of Africa and future guidance.
23. Mentor an African brother and sister every day, share knowledge, share experiences, share successes and even share failures so others do not repeat the failures.
24. Use YouTube to provide resources for growth for your employees. Your business will only be as strong and resilient as your weakest, youngest, oldest employees. Education is key all around.
25. When someone decides to leave your business, celebrate their growth for the future and wish them well.African startups need to continue to grow, they need to inspire and excite the young people of Africa to be the best they can be. The need to self-manage, self-regulate and self-inspire is key to continued growth. Not relying on foreign interests and foreign investments, but local, national and the continental investments that are vital and important for Africa.
Professor, Podcaster, Blogger, Educator, Speaker