State Of the Mind / More than Buying and Selling
Buying and selling and making profit is a good place for entrepreneurs to start but is that all we seek to achieve? Most business people in Africa start their business with goods produced by someone else which is a good place to start in order to build capital. This is how entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote started by importing cement and reselling it. But as it is, it should not be an end in itself if you one day want to build a big brand. The founder of Nike, Phil Knight first imported running shoes from Japan and sold them from the boot of his car! He then began to manufacture his own designs after he learnt to mobilize capital plus some of his savings. Today the company is worth $230bn. Which end game do you envision for your business?
What new entrepreneurial opportunities will these emerging businesses of ours create for other innovators, entrepreneurs, fast followers or even slow followers across Africa? Let us take a look into our education sector. Africa need to educate over 750m people and over 400m cannot read or write, who include adults and children. We need skill development for the young people so that they can be employable especially with soft skills in this technology led economies. This will ensure more inclusivity in earning better incomes even in the global market.
Our education system entrepreneurs need to include financial literacy as part of the curriculum. Think about free online classes in order to develop digital skills, podcasts and tutorials that are about the difficult issues that students struggle with. We can make money through innovation and also make a positive impact to the community around you. These days we do not buy products from sellers because of good marketing but rather consumers look at the causes that these companies have been supporting. How has the companies in your locality impacted the local community? Therefore, school education can contribute to the developing entrepreneurship skills and to the knowledge about business and about the role of entrepreneurs in society. Education can contribute to encouraging entrepreneurial initiative and to the development of business mind attitude. A window exists for proven global education providers to enter the African education market as long as it contextualizes their approach to Africa.
What do education investors get in turn? Without promising profits investors in this sector would not be interested. If seen as a business this is an investment with long-term revenue potential. The demand for proper schooling in Africa is higher than the supply and the prices grow steadily especially for private education.
Craig Groeschel” The spark of passion ignites the fuel for innovation”. Imagine using knowledge and skills from the profession learnt to build your own business. Before your passion as an entrepreneur are we passionate about our profession? Can what you have learnt as professionals drive you to innovate? Education extends even into our adulthood and into our work places where we learn under skilled individuals who are invited to train us. You can start by taking one class to improve your skills for example learning how to read financial statement, building a website, negotiating and writing a business plan etc. new software, content and financing solutions for learning outside the traditional school system are more compelling opportunities. Many online courses are free of charge. As African entrepreneurs we need deeper knowledge on Brand Management, Sales and Marketing to take it to another level. Just look at one course goal that you think will help you at this point in your entrepreneurial journey. Being able to pitch for investment is a skill you must develop since you will use it a number of times when trying to expand your business by inviting investors. The right mindset will keep you focused into building and scaling your businesses thus building Africa.