Cul­ti­vat­ing a cul­ture of en­trepreneur­ship in Africa

From Nige­ria to Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa, our En­gi­neer­ing Acad­e­mies and Tech­ni­cal Pro­grammes are help­ing to de­velop young ta­lent into skilled pro­fes­sion­als and fu­ture busi­ness lead­ers.

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents - Sthe Sha­bangu By Sthe Sha­bangu Sthe Sha­bangu, is Lead, Pub­lic Re­la­tions, Pub­lic Af­fairs and Cor­po­rate Cit­i­zen­ship, Sam­sung Africa Of­fice.

When it comes to the prom­ise of growth in Africa, progress has be­come less a ques­tion of what can be achieved - and more of a ques­tion of what can't we achieve? Our po­ten­tial as a con­ti­nent is a liv­ing, grow­ing force that is dif­fi­cult to ig­nore.

What we can­not af­ford to ig­nore though is the work that needs to be done to turn po­ten­tial into suc­cess. We must start driv­ing prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to some of the more press­ing chal­lenges that have al­ready had a hold on Africa for too long.

And un­em­ploy­ment needs to be first on the list. Look­ing at a sam­ple of un­em­ploy­ment sta­tis­tics from across Africa, it's clear we have a long way to go.

In Kenya, the rate of un­em­ploy­ment re­cently hit a new high of 39.1%, ac­cord­ing to the UN Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex 2017. Mean­while, Ghana's grad­u­ate un­em­ploy­ment rate is also ex­cep­tion­ally high - the World Bank's lat­est re­port on jobs in Ghana es­ti­mates that 48% of 15 to 24-year-olds are un­em­ployed. The cur­rent out­look in Uganda is also ex­tremely trou­bling with 58% of peo­ple be­tween 14 and 64 un­em­ployed, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of a Na­tional Hous­ing and Pop­u­la­tion Cen­sus con­ducted by the Ugan­dan Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

The power of en­trepreneur­ship

But the good news is that Africa is alive with en­tre­pre­neur­ial po­ten­tial. The Global En­trepreneur­ship Mon­i­tor (GEM) pro­vides a pos­i­tive look at the to­tal early-stage en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity (TEA) rate in a num­ber of African coun­tries. The TEA rate es­sen­tially measures the per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion who are ei­ther nascent en­trepreneurs or owner-man­agers of a new busi­ness. In Uganda this sits at 35.5% and in Ghana at 25.8%.

There's lit­tle doubt that through the sup­port of en­trepreneurs we can have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on un­em­ploy­ment and work­ing poverty rates. The EY Global Job Cre­ation and Youth En­trepreneur­ship Sur­vey 2015 re­vealed that 47% of en­trepreneurs have plans to in­crease the size of their work­force. This com­pared to just 29% of larger cor­po­ra­tions.

But de­spite this, the job cre­ation ex­pec­ta­tion rate for many coun­tries in Africa still re­mains quite low - in Ghana it is cur­rently at 8.5% and in Uganda at 6.2%, ac­cord­ing to GEM.

In light of this, we need to start ques­tion­ing whether po­ten­tial busi­ness own­ers are be­ing equipped with the skills they need to achieve true busi­ness growth - the kind of growth that will start hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on the eco­nomic out­look for our con­ti­nent.

And per­haps even more im­por­tantly - are we equip­ping our chil­dren to cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties or sim­ply to build ca­reers?

It's time to think big

If we are go­ing to achieve the level of im­pact we seek, we need to think big­ger than just the fund­ing of small busi­nesses and fo­cus on cre­at­ing a true cul­ture of en­trepreneur­ship.

It was greatly en­cour­ag­ing to re­ceive feed­back from one of our Sam­sung Fe­male Academy stu­dents in Ghana who speaks about her own hopes to one day run a busi­ness. Com­fort Pokua was raised by her grand­mother af­ter her par­ents passed away. Be­cause she didn't have the money for sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, the Academy pro­gramme was in­stru­men­tal in open­ing new doors for the as­pir­ing busi­ness­woman.

On her jour­ney she says she has learnt a lot about cus­tomer ser­vice and how to in­stall and re­assem­ble Sam­sung prod­ucts. But most im­por­tantly, Com­fort feels that she now has the skills needed to one day run her own com­pany.

It's be­cause of our de­sire to cre­ate more sto­ries like this one that Sam­sung has im­ple­mented sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives all across Africa. From Nige­ria to Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa, our En­gi­neer­ing Acad­e­mies and Tech­ni­cal Pro­grammes are help­ing to de­velop young ta­lent into skilled pro­fes­sion­als and fu­ture busi­ness lead­ers.

What we need now is to see the jour­ney to­wards a cul­ture of en­trepreneur­ship start­ing much ear­lier on, with child­hood de­vel­op­ment. We must find ways of en­sur­ing that chil­dren who are just start­ing school in Grade 0 are en­cour­aged and in­spired to one day cre­ate jobs rather than just look­ing for them.

If we can start to nur­ture a true spirit of en­trepreneuri­al­ism in Africa amongst our youth, we can take our vi­brant po­ten­tial and turn it into some­thing pow­er­ful.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.