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Entrepreneurs hail progress in Egypt’s entrepreneurial ecosystem at WYF

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A workshop on November 1, 2018 at the World Youth Forum – Courtesy of official WYF Facebook page

 

CAIRO – 4 November 2018: “World Youth Forum (WYF) represents a clear evidence of Egypt’s support to entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Co-founder of Flat6Labs Startup Accelerator, Ahmed el-Alfi, said at the WYF sideline session titled “The Role of Entrepreneurs and Startups in Global Economic Growth” on Nov. 4.

This session was attended by Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, and CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Niveen Gamea, as well as a number of outstanding entrepreneurs from across the world.

Business Support Manager of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), Alaa Moustafa, stated at the beginning of the session that entrepreneurship has become an important indicator of the countries’ strength and that it contributes directly to offering job opportunities which in turn solves social problems; hence, countries support entrepreneurs and work to create a suitable environment for them.

“Entrepreneurs face many great challenges mainly in opening new markets, marketing, and reaching investors to get financial support,” he added.

Susan Amat, the founder of Venture Hive’s Miami Accelerator, accelerator for economic development, asserted that entrepreneurs have to depend when funding their projects on startups’ clients and tractions not on the investors.

She stressed that these forums represent a chance for entrepreneurs to meet with other people from all over the world who do and work on the same thing and create networks with them.

“Egypt will become a regional center for entrepreneurship if it opens up to the whole world and attracts more talents,” she concluded.

Moreover, Sandile Shabangu , the founder of Startup Mzansi Foundation, presented his personal experiences in failing more than once to establish his project and how he eventually managed to reach his goal.

“There are from four to ten projects that fail in the first year of its founding, but failure does not mean the end of the road; it’s just the beginning,” Shabangu said.

At last, he said that around 15 to 30 million young people are unemployed in South Africa, asserting that it’s necessary to help those people to have their own startups. Mzansi Foundation is a non-profit company supporting innovative youth entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Alfi from Flat6lab concluded that there are many Egyptian youths who leave their full-time jobs in companies to establish their own startups. “This shows the improvement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt.”

The 2018 World Youth Forum (WYF) held its opening ceremony under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Saturday, November 3.

The second annual edition of the WYF will tackle two main axes: peace and development. The forum will bring together 5,000 youths represented by 60 delegations from across the world to explore key issues facing their generation, and determine their role in implementing the global development goals and in facing terrorism.

The first axis will discuss reconstructing post-conflict countries and societies, the role of world leaders in achieving peace, the duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism, and the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.

The axis of development will include topics related to energy and water security, empowerment of people with disabilities, the role of voluntary work in building societies, the agenda of 2063 African Sustainable Development, digital citizenship, the role of art and cinema in shaping communities, ways to build future leaders, and means of shrinking the gender gap in the work force.

On Nov. 1 and 2, the forum witnessed pre-workshops related to the “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want” and “Empowering Persons with Disabilities: Towards a More Integrated World.”

The opening of the World Youth Theater took place on Friday, November 2. The actual discussion sessions are set to start on November 4, where participants will discuss a number of issues, including differences among cultures and civilizations, the role of world leaders in building and sustaining peace, the role of soft power in countering ideological extremism and terrorism, and Day Zero: Water security in the wake of climate change.

On November 5, the sessions will tackle the role of entrepreneurs and start-ups in global economic growth, rebuilding societies and states after conflicts, narrowing the gender gap in the labor market and humanitarian assistance: A global responsibility in the face of challenges.

The forum’s closing session and the announcement of the World Youth Forum 2018’s recommendations will take place on Nov. 6.

-EGYPT TODAY

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Uko Sokoni is bringing East Africans closer to the global marketplace for goods – Munwangari Cynthia

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Munwangari Cynthia is the founding member and Director of Marketing of Ukosokoni. A Ugandan logistics & supply chain company, specializing in e-logistics (ecommerce) and retail arbitrage. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, she speaks on how her brand is working towards being the number one e-commerce player in Uganda with a foot Print In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. And bringing East Africans closer and closer to the global marketplace for goods. Excerpts.

 

Tell us about your business and the role you play?

Uko Sokoni, founded in 2018, is an ecommerce platform that brings online shopping to Ugandans. Ukosokoni.com makes available for purchase in and delivery to Uganda those products available on the International market but that the likes of Amazon and eBay do not deliver to most African Countries. Ukosokoni.com also curates and displays the best of African Products, whether they be African Garb, Ornaments or Arts and crafts for purchase by the rest of the world.

I am a founding member of Ukosokoni and Director of Marketing.

 

What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

Our Start Up capital was 100,000$ which we raised from the savings of the three founding members.

 

What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

There does not seem to be much of a place for runners up in the market of Tech based companies. Our biggest challenge is to place ourselves in the number one spot.  The Key Success Factors in the e-commerce industry can be found to be embedded in Logistics, Marketing and Technology.  Luckily for us, we have an edge over the players who had the first mover advantage; two of our founder’s have successful international Logistics businesses and the marketing strategy that I drive, is yielding very good results. We may just be on our way to that number one spot sooner than later.

 

Where do you see your business in 5 years and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

We intend to be, in 5 Years, the number one e-commerce player in Uganda with a foot Print In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. We have no doubt that our value proposition will sooner than later help us achieve our goals in Uganda.  We are aggressively seeking Local partners in the markets (of Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda) who share our values and vision whom we can work with to achieve our goal of diversifying geographically.

 

How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?

We believe that Ukosokoni.com is helping deepen African Markets for goods and services and further connect Africans to the rest of the world. Moreover by assimilating into Africa new technologies from the western world, we are helping fasten the economic convergence forces however small our contribution.

 

What’s your view on the development of Africa business ecosystem?

I believe that Africa is the next frontier of economic development driven by the migration of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) fleeing the rising cost of labour in South East Asia. The African business Ecosystem will continue to grow in size and deepen in complexity as wealthy countries continue to see Africa as a viable alternative to East Asian countries in terms of outsourcing their production and manufacturing.

 

What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa.

Opportunities abound; do and dare!

 

What inspires you and keeps you going?

Knowing that Ukosokoni will be the best online shopping company in the region in the next five years!

 

How do you relax and what books do you read?

I meditate and talk to myself! I read everything related to politics.

 

Visit: https:ukosokoni.com

 

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Sahara Foundation Empowers 30 Entrepreneurs To Mark World Entrepreneurship Month

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Beneficiaries of #StartUpNation photographed with the organizers in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

November is celebrated globally every year as the Entrepreneurship Month. It is a period to celebrate men and women who brave all odds to take smart risks in business – an informed leap in the dark if you will – to create value.

StartUps are gaining traction across the globe as more people continue to embrace the challenge of carving a niche for their business ideas. Particularly noteworthy and deserving of commendation are the young people who have taken the bull by the horns by starting, running and sustaining businesses in climes with peculiar economic challenges.

Sahara Group is delighted to celebrate these heroes who would ultimately emerge as icons and business leaders.

Having spent the month of November showcasing innovative business solutions by entrepreneurs across various sectors, Sahara Foundation organized an Entrepreneurship Workshop to help beneficiaries lay a solid foundation for their businesses.

Themed StartUp Nation, the one day workshop hosted 30 young entrepreneurs to five transformative sessions with accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs as facilitators. The entrepreneurs who were selected via the Foundation’s digital platform for young innovators and entrepreneurs – www.saharahub.com – were exposed to business rudiments as well as knowledge and information for growing their businesses.

Olumuyiwa Adebayo, CFA Head, Group Finance,  Sahara Group during a session at #StartUpNation
Olumuyiwa Adebayo, CFA Head, Group Finance, Sahara Group leading a session at #StartUpNation

The workshop sessions included topics on finance, business funding, branding, social media use for business and starting and growing a business with currently available resources.

Ivie Imasogie- Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group set the tone for the workshop with a thought-provoking opening remark. “Entrepreneurs are people who pursue their dreams passionately and are never afraid to fail. This tenacity ultimately equips them for the journey ahead, paving the way for success as long as they remain focused, innovative and determined. This is a path we have been through and continue to develop at Sahara Group and we are delighted to support young people to realise their dreams,” she counselled.

Beneficiary at #StartUpNation
Beneficiary at #StartUpNation

The Facilitators included Olumuyiwa Adebayo, Head, Sahara Group Finance; Oyindamola Johnson, an African Union Youth Champion; Omolabake Bode-Matthew, a successful entrepreneur; Adenike Bamigbade, Digital Marketing Expert; and Tunji Andrew, a serial entrepreneur, radio show host and investor. Their sessions were engaging, practical and resourceful.

In what could have easily passed for a mini-MBA, the participants were schooled and practically shown the way to navigate business terrains with particular reference to the Nigerian market.

 Oyindamola Johnson - Curator, Elevate Your Game
Oyindamola Johnson – Curator, Elevate Your Game at #StartUpNation

Citing the entrepreneurial trajectory of Sahara Group, Mrs. Pearl Uzokwe, Director of Governance & Sustainability, closed the session by assuring the entrepreneurs that they had the potential of becoming the next big businesses. “Sahara Group was founded by three entrepreneurs 22 years ago and today the business has become a global conglomerate operating in 38 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. We believe you are on the right path and Sahara Group will continue to support young entrepreneurs through the SaharaHub and similar initiatives. StartUps and small businesses are critical for economic growth and development and we remain committed to providing platforms for small businesses to thrive and grow.”

Sahara Foundation Manager, Oluseyi Ojurongbe stated that the empowerment project was the first of many more platforms to support young entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, networks, and funds needed to grow their businesses. “This is the thrust of Sahara Foundation’s Extrapreneurship drive,” he added.

 

SAHARA GROUP

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Afripreneur

Interview With CryptoBrokerage CEO and Founder, Sheriff Olujide

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Sheriff Olujide, CryptoBrokerage CEO and Founder is a fintech expert with experience gained in investment banking, financial crime compliance, quantitative analysis and alternative investments. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, he speaks on how his brand is providing cryptocurrency ecosystem the opportunity to access the global cryptocurrency exchanges and trade at the best available prices. Excerpts.

 

Tell us about CryptoCurrency Brokerage and the role you play?

CryptoBrokerage is a Fintech start-up and the owner of a trading platform called BestecX. Described as the Booking.com of the cryptocurrency market, CryptoBrokerage by BestecX  aggregates the prices from more than 200+ exchanges and allow users to compare and trade cryptocurrencies at the best available prices.

I am the CEO and founder of CryptoBrokerage

 

What is your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?

50,000 GBP – Through Personal savings

 

Why is business different from other FinTechs or CryptoCurrency Startups?

BestecX is unique as it combines block-chain technology with a suite of algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Our platform and software targets all following customer segments globally; Retail investors (B2B), Institutional investors (B2B), Professional traders (B2C), OTC Brokerages (B2B), Cryptocurrency Potentials (B2C) and Cryptocurrency Newbies (B2C).

 

What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

As a Fintech, the most serious challenge we face is funding, however we continue to work hard within and outside of the team to develop our platform as we know the economic model of our business has been truly tested and its in our everyday life, from booking hotels to buying insurance and mortgages and flights.

 

Where do you see your business in 5 years and what steps are you taking in achieving them?

In 5 years, I believe our platform would be the number 1 best execution platform globally. We are putting together a strong team and building a platform that is safe secure and reliable as well as user friendly to everyone within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

 

How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?

I believe our platform would provide the cryptocurrency ecosystem the opportunity to access the global cryptocurrency exchanges and trade at the best available prices. Blockchain projects would also be able to raise capital to develop projects.

 

What’s your view on the development of Africa business ecosystem?

I believe its evolving, however we are still a long way from the successes you see across Europe however the spirit of entrepreneurship in Africa is unbelievable.

 

What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa.

My simple advice to any potential entrepreneur is that nothing worth having comes easy.

 

How do you relax and what books do you read?

I like going to the gym and watching football especially Arsenal. I love reading legal thrillers especially John Grisham and Sheldon Siegel. My girlfriend would also add I read and listen to too much news.

 

Visit https://crbkofficial.com/

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