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The Anzisha Summit – Towards A Future Driven By Africa’s Youngest Entrepreneurs

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April 15, 2019 will hopefully mark the day a new phrase enters popular discourse about how our economic futures could play out. The term “4th Industrial Revolution” has come to embody the conversation around the supply-side of the jobs debate -skills and education.

We hope to drive new research, discussion and policy around the demand-side of employment by deeply exploring entrepreneurship as a career – particularly for students of high potential.

What if skilled students with options chose an entrepreneurship path and hired their friends and peers along the way? What does Africa’s youth employment situation look like if this happens?

The Anzisha Scenario campaign concept was born after heated discussions and exchanges internally in response to a research paper that was released in 2018, and the resulting coverage it got in the media. The research took a position that older founders in the US have been more successful as entrepreneurs generally, and, particularly, when it comes to scale and job creation. The ensuing media and social media coverage seemed to quickly extrapolate this to an insight that applied globally. Emails quickly circulated across the entrepreneurship and education ecosystems, echoing the sentiments of the research and its impact for programming.

I had a particularly strong reaction to the report. It’s not that the research is wrong (it isn’t), it’s that it:

  • Is pretty obvious. Prior work, life and management experience should make you a better entrepreneur when you’re older, in the same way it should make you a more successful manager or leader within an existing business.
  • Inadvertently positions the problem of youth unemployment as largely unsolvable by young people themselves. But with not enough job opportunities to start with, if only people with 15+ years’ experience can create other jobs, we’re in a heap of trouble.
  • Is quickly supported by those who have followed traditional education and career pathways, crowding out other experience pathways as less legitimate. Anyone who got a great degree, and then worked for a great company, is immediately validated and pre-qualified as a better scale entrepreneur through formal training. Few have that opportunity.

Having had this research kick off some of our own thinking, we started to look at our own evidence and work. And this then became the next driver of investing in a campaign as a pan-African, inclusive, multi-stakeholder scenario planning exercise.

We have seen, time and again, young entrepreneurs start out from the very youngest of ages, and slowly build careers –in the same way any other career professional would. Those that are well supported throughout tend to be more successful, just as a well-supported professional would be on their path to senior management. We will be presenting these stories in a Hall of Fame campaign later in the year.

We also have seen clear evidence that managers hire from their peer group in terms of age. Older entrepreneurs hire older professionals. Young entrepreneurs hire young. The only people really willing to hire 19 year olds without question are 23 year old entrepreneurs (or thereabouts).

We have seen young people of high potential and with options – they are actively recruited by universities and employers – choose entrepreneurship.

The combination of this and many other thoughts is part of the discussion we want to have. Is the Anzisha Scenario possible? What are the drivers, barriers and opportunities? What are the roles of parents, teachers, students, policy-makers and other stakeholders in making the choice of “entrepreneurship as a career” desirable and supported, with appropriate income as you grow? The Anzisha Scenario as a conversation on campus has already begun to influence our own curriculum planning as our faculty think about their role in promoting and supporting entrepreneurship as a career path.

We’ve already had two stakeholder workshops with cross-sector representatives from South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Botswana. (Thanks to ALA, ALU, ALX, Harambee, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, Driven Entrepreneurs, E-squared, Imagine Scholar, McKinsey, Nova Pioneer, RLabs, and Startup Academy).

On April 15, during the inaugural Very Young Entrepreneur Education and Acceleration Summit, we’ll host our first experts’ panel and launch the draft position paper. Please follow or contribute to the conversation using the hashtag #AnzishaScenario. Make sure to also watch highlights from the Summit at anzisha.org/summit. Let’s see if we as a community can put young people at the center of solving the employment challenges we collectively face.

– Josh Adler

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IWG GROWTH IN AFRICA – FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES

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Flexible working is growing rapidly, with IWG’s continued expansion across its operating brands, seeing another 156 new locations opening in 34 countries around the globe

The company has established 156 locations across 34 countries across its operating brands, since the turn of the year, continuing its mission to service a flex working revolution. Add to this the expansion of their franchising model into the African continent and they are on track to reach their target of increasing their presence in the 1,000 cities and towns where they already operate.

Flexible working, sometimes known as co-working, refers to office space, meeting rooms and co-working areas that can be rented by individual workers or corporates from one hour to several years.

A report by consultancy firm The Instant Group found demand for flexible workspace globally increased by 19% last year, stating that the growth in the supply of flexible space was ‘the number one story’ in commercial property markets around the world.

John Williams, head of marketing at The Instant Group, put the growth down to two factors, a change in how large companies were operating – specifically in relation to flexible working practices – and changes to the nature of the workforce itself.

A reluctance by major companies to sign long-term lease agreements in order to stay financially flexible was also a driver according to Williams. 

“Market demand is growing by as much as 30% each year in some global markets and it is our understanding that the majority of companies are still not aware of their options in flex space, they are still learning about the types of space they can access and the costs involved,” Williams says.

Two major brands that have used Regus to grow in Africa are Google and P&G. Google has 50 employees with Regus in Kenya, and P&G has 100 employees in the country.

Though they have the finances and resources to build their own offices, startup costs can be expensive, and getting an office up to spec with high-speed broadband, useable meeting rooms and desk space can take up valuable time.

Plus, using flexible office space reduces the commitment for these big organisations, many of whom are still testing the water in new African cities.

A report on the Future of Work in Africa released by the World Bank, shows that access to digital technologies could set Africa on a different path to the rest of the world.

While there is globally a focus on new and old sectors, in Africa digital transformation will predominantly enable advances in productivity and efficiency in current sectors.

IWG is currently seeking driven landlords, private equity firms, multi-brand franchise operators and high net-worth individuals to partner with to buy into the lucrative flexible working market at attractive returns.

With the first franchise centre already open in Angola and new centres opening in Guinea and Djibouti in September, the company is determinedly targeting the African continent for development and investment opportunities for early adopters of the franchising model.

Eligible franchisees will commit to opening a prescribed number of centres within a period of 5 years, have a proven track-record in business, property or investment and will work closely with Regus to find and design ideal locations and uphold IWG’s strict operating standards.

In return, franchisees buy into an established global brand that provides multiple revenue streams including monthly memberships and referral fees; leverage their highly effective marketing strategy and global sales platform, which generates 100,000+ enquiries every month; have access to IWG’s entire network of world-class operational support; and diversify their investment portfolio to include an industry that will have created 30 million jobs across 16 of the world’s countries by 2030.

To find out more: https://franchise.iwgplc.com/

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Nigeria’s Manufacturing Power Couple On The Future Of Manufacturing In Nigeria

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Chief Razak Okoya: Chairman Eleganza Group And Rao Property Investment Company

Chief Razak Okoya is an industrialist who has managed to transform a small trading company into one of the largest conglomerates and indigenous manufacturers of household products in Nigeria.

As founder of Eleganza Group and leading property investment company RAO Property, he employs about 5000 people across Nigeria. In his interview with Forbes Africa, he discusses the trends that will influence the competitive Nigerian Manufacturing sector in the next decade.

Chief Folashade Noimat Okoya: Managing Director, Eleganza Industrial City

Chief Mrs. Folashade Okoya has been at the helm of affairs of the Eleganza Group and RAO Property Investment for the past decade using her strong entrepreneurial drive to further strengthen the goodwill of both organizations and its corporate positioning in Nigeria.

Under her watch, Eleganza Group has risen to new heights strengthening its position as a leading indigenous brand in Nigeria as well as one of the benchmark manufacturing companies in the country.

She talks about the stigma of women in manufacturing and the need for greater automation in the manufacturing process in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s Biggest Corporations: A Pan-Nigerian View To The World

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At the beginning of the Japanese Economic Miracle, were the likes of
Akio Morita – Co-founder of Sony. In setting a Mission for Sony, Morita had
resolved to set for Sony Corporations the Mission to make Japan known for quality at a time the country was known for cheap-copycat product. It is indeed in this vision, that True Nigerian Experience was founded with a mission to showcase the Best of Nigeria.

According to the International Monetary Fund in 2018, Nigeria is regarded as the biggest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product of about $400 Billion Dollars – Leading the entire 54 African Economies both in Population of over 180 Million people and GDP.

The Nigerian Economy is ranked the 30th largest Economy in the World. To mention a few, Nigeria’s Nominal GDP is bigger than the Republic of Ireland (US $373 Billion), Israel (US $370 Billion), Hong Kong (US $363 Billion), Singapore (US $361 Billion), Malaysia (US $354 Billion), Denmark (US $351 Billion), Colombia (US $333 Billion), Philippines (US $331 Billion), Chile (US $298 Billion), Finland (US $275 Billion), Czech Republic (US $242 Billion), Romania (US $ 240 Billion), Portugal (US $239 Billion, Peru (US $225 Billion), Greece (US $219 Billion), New Zealand (US $203 Billion) and over a hundred other countries’ economies in the World.

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