Saturday, January 17, 2015

Africa: Entrepreneurs driving growth, yes?

"Young entrepreneurs and those they inspire are the lifeblood of Africa’s rise."

I have long held the belief that an entrepreneur is different from a businessman or a business woman.  I also believe that entrepreneurs cannot be trained, and through experiential learning become who they are.

Mr. Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings states as much and ties Africa's success, if it is to be, with the entrepreneurial lot, in an article here from The World in 2015 by the Economist.  Following is a keen insight from him:

"… we are already seeing how entrepreneurship is transforming Africa. But in Africa, business growth alone is not the full story. It is perhaps not even the most important part. Entrepreneurship matters especially for its potential to transform society."

The only point I disagree with Mr. Elumelu is that though young entrepreneurs do buck the trend, and redefine and create new business models through shear risk taking, Africa's entrepreneurism must also rely on the middle aged and old for their deep and rich experience of Africa's cultural and commercial history.

An economically healthy and growing Africa is a need for the world today, was yesterday, and must be tomorrow.

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