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Chidi Nwaogu: Multi Award-Winning Entrepreneur Launches Global Fellowship Program for Aspiring And Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

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Chidi Nwaogu, Founder Publiseer (Source: Chidi Nwaogu).

On the journey to impact over 10,000 professionals before year-end, Nigerian serial tech entrepreneur and software developer, Chidi Nwaogu, launches a global fellowship program for those passionate about solving some of the world’s most pressing problems through innovation. Savvy Fellowship is built for those who want to build their own impact-driven business but don’t know how to, or for those who own an early-stage business and want to grow and scale their impact into new markets or verticals. It is a 12 weeks e-learning, assessment, and mentorship program, where individuals learn everything from ideation to venture-scaling. After going through the 12-week program, Fellows receive a Certificate of Completion to proudly share with their professional network.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have lost their jobs and are now living in an uncertain world. I have decided to start the Savvy Fellowship, to equip passionate individuals with the necessary knowledge and skill they need to start their own impact-driven business and succeed as entrepreneurs,” says Chidi Nwaogu, co-founder at Savvy, multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur, and author of the ‘Dear Entrepreneur’ book series. “It’s no news that every day, I love sharing with others what I’ve learned from my experience as an entrepreneur, and Savvy is just an extension of that personal journey of sharing for me.

Savvy is a 12-week-long virtual fellowship program that runs throughout the year. Some of the things Savvy Fellows learn include fundraising for their business, building the right team to execute their business strategies, building buzz around their product or service, achieving product-market fit, scaling into new markets and verticals, and building customer loyalty and retention.”

Savvy Fellowship kicks off with a rigorous 12-weeks e-learning experience. Savvy Fellows get to learn how to start, build, and scale an impact venture. Using visual presentations, they get to answer all the relevant questions they need to kickstart their impact venture, gain early traction, achieve product-market fit, and scale into newer markets. Some of the things they learn during the program are ‘understanding their customer’, ‘building a product or service that effectively solves their key challenges’, and ‘effectively positioning their solution in the market.’ Savvy is for every impact entrepreneur, no matter what stage their venture is.

Chidi Nwaogu, co-founder at Savvy, receiving the first prize in the Entrepreneurship category at the Africa 35.35 Awards, in Accra, Ghana. (Source: Chidi Nwaogu).

During the 12 weeks of learning, unlearning, and relearning, Fellows can test their understanding by taking weekly multiple-choice quizzes. Fellows use the weekly assessments to identify their strengths and weaknesses and work on improving their areas of weaknesses. While learning, Fellows are offered mentorship as well, from entrepreneurs who have built post-revenue businesses in diverse sectors, which is a great way to have a better understanding of their industry. The Savvy mentorship team includes nearly 60 changemakers from 20 countries, with a combined experience of over 250 years. Savvy also runs a peer-to-peer mentorship program that helps Fellows learn from each other, as they ask questions, and have other Fellows help answer them.

Savvy Fellowship launched on August 4, 2020, with its call for application. So far, nearly 10,000 applications from 71 countries have been received for the Savvy Fellowship program, and 1,222 Savvy Fellows (~10%) from 64 countries around the world, has been selected. The program intends to select 2,000 Fellows, so call for application is still open. There is no cohort, no application deadline, and no ethnic restriction, so you can apply today. Savvy accepts new Fellows between the ages of 18 to 40. It’s a rolling Fellowship program, so new applications are accepted, every day, year-round.

Also Read: Mentor X-Africa- The Future of Africa through Mentorship

Interested individuals can apply to the Fellowship program from https://savvyfellows.com/apply/

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Omar Ngom: Creating an elite group of chefs in Senegal

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Omar Ngom is a Senegalese entrepreneur, founder of Sama Chef, the first school that trains chefs in Senegal. Located in the residential district of Mermoz, Sama Chef is an institution that marks a turning point in the training of Senegalese chefs.

Head chef of the restaurant “Séku bi, Il Pappagallo Dakar”, Omar stands out for his innovative approach. He collaborates with renowned international chefs, which allows him to offer unique masterclasses, transcending culinary boundaries. This revolutionary method elevates Senegalese cuisine by fusing it with international influences.

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With several years of experience acquired in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and France, including as chef of the famous Italian restaurant “Il Pappagallo Hotel Sekubi”, Omar Ngom took the initiative to create this school of excellence in his native Senegal. His motivation stems from the observation of a growing demand for chefs in the restaurant sector in Senegal.

Sama Chef’s mission is to create an international school of professional training in the culinary and catering sector: the ultimate goal is to create an elite group of chefs, kitchen assistants, waiters, and waiters who are in turn able to pass on the know-how they have acquired. 

A shortcoming that he decided to fill by providing a solution in order to prepare Senegal to be established in the gastronomic pantheon. Omar Ngom’s prowess quickly attracted the attention of renowned media outlets such as Le Monde newspaper, Reporter Gourmet, Italian TV channel and other media outlets. By opening this school of excellence, he has not only blazed a new trail for culinary education in Senegal, but he has also erected a pillar for the influence of Senegalese cuisine on a global scale.

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Vanessa Toh: Building Payroll Management System For French Companies

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Vanessa Toh, Founder at Payeline (Image: Supplied).

PayeLine is a self-employed company created in 2023 by the entrepreneur Vanessa Toh and specialized in administrative and payroll management for French VSEs and SMEs. It is an innovative company that helps you facilitate the day-to-day management of your business.

With a professional degree in payroll and personnel administration and 13 years of experience in French and foreign payroll, Vanessa decided to put her skills at the service of companies as a freelance payroll and personnel administration consultant. Its aim is to facilitate the day-to-day management of companies so that they are free to focus on the essentials of their activities.

Indeed, the growth of a company can be profoundly disrupted by the constant changes around legal obligations and the complexity of payroll management. With Payeline, the founder offers these VSEs and SMEs customizable solutions that can be adapted to the specific needs of their company.

Opting for Payeline means choosing to alleviate the pressure related to compliance and legality with regulations. You benefit from efficient management in the calculation of payroll and a significant time saving to focus on the most important thing: your growth.

Payeline offers, among other things, Payroll & Declarations, Administrative Management, Payroll Auditing and intervenes within companies for missions to replace payroll managers who are absent or in the process of being recruited, as well as for interim management. Many large companies have already placed their trust in him, including Groupe Bertrand, Aviv groupe, Doctolib, Back market.

Passionate about innovation and an entrepreneur at heart, Vanessa attaches great importance to the well-being of each customer and makes it a point of honor to offer offers adapted to each need for optimal comfort.

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Exclusive with Techbeaver CEO, Shina Arogundade

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Shina Arogundade is the CEO and Co-founder of Techbeaver, a dynamic development shop with a venture studio. With the primary focus to assist businesses in the development of their products, which include websites and mobile apps for both Android and iOS platforms. In this Interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online (BAO), Shina shares how Techbeaver is providing comprehensive support in product strategy and design, offering end-to-end solutions for companies that require efficient and rapid product development, especially non-technical companies and more. Excerpt.

 

Techbeaver and Its Solutions:

We craft seamless, responsive, and customer-centric products, and we consider this careful planning and mapping process to be the foundation of our building phase. As part of our venture studio, we have a talented pool of developers. In utilizing our depth of talent and engaging with the day-to-day challenges we observe, we have also embarked on creating internal products and appointing operators to oversee their management. 

Currently, we have two internal products, with our most prominent one being MyItura, a revolutionary health tech app that caters to a wide range of healthcare needs. Think of it as Shopify for healthcare providers. Our second internal product is still in stealth mode and is one we are confident will have a major impact once we go to market. 

Inspiration Behind Techbeaver:

Techbeaver was born out of a personal experience that I encountered. In my previous venture, we faced significant challenges in the development of our products. Customers and investors expressed dissatisfaction, prompting me to seek assistance from my lifelong friends and former roommates, Michael and Deolu, who both possess exceptional development skills.

However, it quickly became clear that their expertise came at a significant cost, especially considering their geographical locations (Deolu in the UK and Michael in the Netherlands). We collectively decided to explore alternative solutions, which ultimately led us to establish Techbeaver. 

Our vision was to establish a company where Deolu and Michael, as senior developers, could mentor and guide junior and mid-level developers. This not only allowed us to deliver high-quality products to our clients but also presented an invaluable opportunity for our junior developers to learn and grow by adhering to global standards. In 2022, Techbeaver officially came into existence.

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Thoughts on Digital Transformation:

Innovation has been a constant driving force for humanity. We continuously strive to discover new ways of doing things, seeking improvement, simplicity, and recognition for our achievements. This desire for progress has led us through various ages, from the stone age to the modern age, and now into the technology age, where concepts like blockchain and AI are becoming increasingly relevant. 

Back then we talked about inventions; now inventions are over and we’re talking about innovations in areas such as machine learning, AI, ChatGPT, generative AI, and many others. However, it is important to acknowledge that technology adoption remains very low, especially within Nigeria. Before speaking into the impact of AI and related technologies on other parts of the world, it is important for us as Nigerians to recognize and address our own low adoption rates. There is much work to be done in terms of driving technology adoption within our society. 

It is often discussed how AI may lead to job losses and reshape industries, but just as humans have proven their ability to adapt and survive, I am confident that we will adapt to these changes as well. Our greatest asset as individuals lies within our minds and our capacity to think critically, learn new skills, and embrace new trends. We are witnessing people of all ages, even the elderly, engaging with technologies like ChatGPT and actively pursuing knowledge in these areas. 

People will learn, companies will adapt, and organizations will utilize the latest technologies to build what suits them best. However, we need to focus on driving technology adoption and providing access to the internet and computer literacy for all, including children who currently lack these resources. It is only by actively pursuing adoption that we can fully explore how technology can positively impact our society.

Business Outcomes Startups can Expect by Leveraging Techbeaver’s Solutions.

In terms of business outcomes for companies that work with us, there are two key aspects to consider: the technology side and the non-technology side.

On the technology side, our team of developers works on multiple projects across various sectors, such as finance, healthcare, advertising, food, and ride-hailing. This diverse experience allows us to bring valuable ideas and expertise to our clients. We have the ability to build faster and more reliable systems by leveraging new technologies and creating state-of-the-art solutions. 

Additionally, our experience working with companies both within and outside Nigeria, including the US and Kenya, gives us valuable knowledge of different demographics, local laws, and market dynamics. This knowledge enables us to tailor our products to specific regions and advise companies on the best strategies for technology adoption and scaling.

On the non-technology side, our experience allows us to assist companies in the most cost-effective ways to build reliable systems. We also provide guidance on financing, product strategy, and product marketing.

One of the notable advantages of working with Techbeaver is our speed of delivery. We pride ourselves in our ability to meet deadlines and complete projects efficiently. Whether we commit to a three-month or six-month timeline, we consistently deliver high-quality solutions within the agreed-upon timeframe. We have successfully completed web apps in as little as 3-6 months, depending on the complexity of the project. Our clients can rely on us to be a fast and reliable team.

Biggest Challenges with Startups in Nigeria:

Startups in Nigeria face several significant challenges, including finance, market dynamics, and talent acquisition.

Finance is a common issue for startups in Nigeria. It can be difficult to secure the right funding and navigate equity arrangements. Understanding how to structure equity and debt arrangements and finding investors who are genuinely interested in supporting startups can be a complex and time-consuming process.

The market presents another major challenge. Many businesses struggle to enter the market successfully, and their initial expectations may not align with the reality of customer demand. Product strategy plays an important role in addressing market challenges, as startups need to build products that meet the specific needs of their target audience. Additionally, what works in one part of Nigeria may not work in another, and expanding to other countries may require unique approaches.

Talent acquisition is another challenge. Startups need to find the right individuals who possess the necessary skills, take initiative, aren’t just about their salaries but are driven to contribute to the company’s growth. It can be challenging to find talent that aligns with the startup’s goals, values, and company culture.

The reason I have been able to navigate through these challenges is as a result of the amazing communities I belong to – who are constantly rooting for me. It is important for startups to tap into supportive communities. Building strong networks and seeking guidance from experienced individuals who genuinely want to see you succeed can be invaluable. 

Why it is Critical for Businesses to Think like a Startup?

The question on the difference between a startup and an SME has been thrown at me a couple of times. The distinction between these two lies in their growth aspirations. Startups are built for rapid scale and aim to achieve in a few years what might take an SME several decades. Startups seek to quickly grow their customer base, attract investments, and expand their reach. By thinking like a startup, businesses can set themselves on the path of rapid growth and impact.

In Nigeria, we need more companies that think like startups. Scaling businesses at a faster pace allows for greater economic impact. Just as the music, entertainment, and creative industries have contributed significantly to the economy, the technology sector also has immense potential for growth and impact. By building startups that operate globally, earning revenue from outside Nigeria, and bringing those funds back to the country, we can add substantial value to our economy.

Thinking like a startup involves building products and services that cater to a global market, adapting to different regions’ needs, and creating solutions that improve the lives of millions. It requires a mindset focused on scale and continuous innovation. If businesses embrace this mindset, they can position themselves for sustainable growth and become key players in their respective industries.

Techbeaver in the Next 5 Years.

When we started Techbeaver, our goal was to build a Nigerian company with global relevance. We aspired to create products that would be used globally and have a positive impact on people’s lives. Over the next five years, we will continue to support businesses in building relevant and seamless products that make their operations easier and more efficient.

In addition to our client-focused work, we are passionate about our internal products. These products align with our values and have a positive influence on our immediate environment. Our aim is to build products that will remain relevant for years to come, regardless of the sector they operate in or the specific challenges they address.

This is where I see Techbeaver in the next 5 years.

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