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Future Females and Ideas Cartel are driving female-focused entrepreneurship through coworking and community

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The Future Females community isn’t only forward thinking in what they work for, but also how they work

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, January 17, 2020- Over a short period of time, the partnership between Future Females and Ideas Cartel has quickly shown the benefit of connecting like-minds in inspiring spaces, with expansion just around the corner.

From a team of two in 2017 to a present state of 26 chapters across Africa, Australia, Europe and North America; a growing online community of 30K female entrepreneurs, and now a thriving local coworking space, Future Females is a Cape Town success story worth paying attention to. 

“For early-stage solopreneurs, the process of starting a business can be a lonely one, and getting stuck in your own head is almost unavoidable. The growth of Future Females has helped combat this; the community we’ve created is a source of support, advice and encouragement that would otherwise be absent.” ~ Lauren Dallas, Co-founder of Future Females.

Source: Ideas Cartel

Apart from the obvious numbers-based growth, the real power of their rise comes from what underlies it: a shared vision for a platform that empowers female entrepreneurs to connect, be inspired, inspire others, and feel supported to create, fail and ultimately win. The movement is underpinned by a framework that helps members to maximise their four scarce resources – time, money, energy and relationships – to transform their businesses, careers and lives.

Also Read: Interview with James Lawson, Founder, Intergreatme; A RegTech Company Helping You Create Your Own Digital Identity

The Future Females community isn’t only forward thinking in what they work for, but also how they work. Inner City by Ideas Cartel (http://bit.ly/2Rl9DKq) has been a crucial growth partner in this regard; providing a beautifully curated, inspiring work environment in which the company could not only comfortably scale, but thrive in the process.

“We’re so proud to have Future Females as part of the entrepreneurial community at Ideas Cartel. Their story is inspiring, and has also acted as a proof point for us – that the Inner City spaces we’ve built are doing their part to create connection, drive innovation and support growth.”
~ Schuyler Vorster, Founder of Ideas Cartel

As one of Ideas Cartel’s four business pillars, Inner City focuses on creating thoughtful, resilient workspaces for ambitious entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives and business travellers. These inspiring spaces are intentionally crafted to facilitate an essential element of innovation: connection—connection with people, places and spaces; of ideas, perspectives and purpose.

Source: Ideas Cartel

In September 2019, Future Females moved into their own private space to launch one of the first female-focused South African workspaces, at Ideas Cartel’s 113 Loop Street premises. The design of the space was based on feedback from a co-creation workshop held with potential tenants, to ensure it met the requirements of the community it would serve.

Launching on 1 February, 2020, the expanded coworking space includes Hot Desks, Fixed Desks and Private Offices. Future Females members can also access the rooftop pool.

Source: Ideas Cartel

“You become like the people you surround yourself with. We’ve created a space where everyone shares the same vision and is there to support one another on the entrepreneurial journey.”
~ Sasha Zakharova, Program Manager of Future Females

Source: Ideas Cartel

Future Females and Ideas Cartel share a belief in the entrepreneurial lifestyle—a wholesome, holistic approach to working life, fueled by passion and a desire to drive change in the world. The Future Females coworking space is a reflection of this belief, where everyone is supported in working towards their goals. If you want to become a member, sign up here (http://bit.ly/2TsZP3C) or email [email protected] for more information.

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Banking / Insurance

Financial Inclusion: Ecobank Group And Alipay Partner On cross-border remittance

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Alipay users to benefit from Ecobank’s cross-border remittance solution

LOME, Togo, February 12, 2020 – The leading pan-African bank, Ecobank has signed a cross-border remittance agreement with Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, that aims to bring more inclusive financial services by providing a fast, safe, affordable and convenient way for workers to transfer money back home.

The partnership will facilitate instant transfers from Rapid transfer, Ecobank’s remittance solution, to users of Alipay, which serves more than 1.2 billion people globally together with its local e-wallet partners. This provides an additional channel option which will increase options available to users, help lower transaction costs and enhance the quality of service in the market.

Also Read: How Tech Is Enhancing Recruitment: An Interview With Sandy Simagwali, Co-Founder Of Graft Africa

Nana ABBAN, Group Consumer Banking Head said: “Our panafrican cross-border remittance solution, Rapidtransfer, has over the years been delivering transparent, convenient, and affordable services to the African diaspora and their African-based dependants. So, it is a natural extension for us to use it to deliver the same advantages to migrant workers across Africa. Through our partnership with Alipay we are further leveraging the scale and capacity of our unified payments ecosystem on the global stage.”

“We are excited to partner with Ecobank and use our technology to bring fast, affordable, and convenient remittance services to more users globally, especially workers who are living far from home,” said Ma ZHIGUO, Alipay’s head of the global remittances business. “We are committed to working with partners such as Ecobank, using innovative technologies to help global consumers gain access to inclusive financial services, creating greater value for society and bringing equal opportunities to the world.”

The solution will be rolled out across our entire footprint, subject to required local approvals.

Ecobank

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank

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From Right to Left: Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB) at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum – Africa’s largest entrepreneurship conference. (Source: Tony Elumelu Foundation)

AfDB Joins TEF Programme Catalysing Entrepreneurship Across Africa

Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.

The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursement from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648 entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly, and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiaries of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000, to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

 With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing list of global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year “Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.

The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the mission to empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating

 billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.

The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.

Tony Elumelu Foundation

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Family Owned-Businesses, SMEs Fail Because Of No Succession Planning

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Small Businesses are the future of Africa. This sounds like a bold statement because when we think of small businesses or our family businesses, we think of our “tuck shops” and “Misika” and the “bottle stores” that we find across the sparse savannah. And the concept itself sounds like a laughable concept built on dreams.

However, closer inspection of this fact proves that it is these small and humble beginnings that have made the huge corporations that we know today. It is family businesses that have their foundations built on value systems, and the financial dreams of families (to be independent and build wealth for future generations) that have built nations.

In Africa, the dream of enterprise and entrepreneurship has been dashed, by what has been dubbed by many as “generational curses,” where family businesses seem to run to ground as soon as the founder passes on and the financial freedom of the family gets buried with the founder of the business. A staggering statistic shows that the majority of the world’s wealth is created by family-owned businesses. 85% of start-ups worldwide are established with family money (FFI Global Data Points). Estimates suggest that businesses that are majority-owned by a single family’s members contribute to 70-90 percent of the world’s GDP (Tharawat Magazine, Volume 22, p. 36)

New business is fueled by family involvement.And family business is within the category of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) globally, whether in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and the USA. However, some family businesses are large multinational corporations that operate in many countries such as Ford Motors and McDonald’s, which originates from the USA.

The survival rate of most African family businesses beyond the first generation is extremely low. It has been found that globally 33% of family businesses have survived past the first generation (the founder) onto subsequent generations. However, in Africa, only 2% of family businesses last past the first generation.

You may be wondering how this applies to you and your business. If you are a business owner, then you should be very concerned when you hear of such statistics. It means you may fall under the 98% of failed family businesses that are currently on the continent. Your company may be making money at this moment, but if you have not started planning for your SUCCESSion plan, then it is 98% guaranteed that your business will no longer exist once you exit that business, either by incapacitation, illness, retirement or death.

How so? Simply put; as a business owner, your responsibility is to start planning for the life of your business after your departure from that business. This further simplified means that you must see a future in your business where you are not managing it or involved in the day to day runnings of the business. Yes … After you. At some point in the life cycle of your business, you have to be outside the everyday running of the business, allowing it to grow independent. You have to make yourself useful as either a chairperson who oversees the vision or completely walk away and allow others to take the lead.

To most SME founders, this seems like impossibility, and indeed it is if you do not plan this properly and use the right tools to get to this momentous event.

A business is not its owner, and the two must be separated. The owner is similar to a doting parent who is nurturing their child to become independent. However, we have found that in the African business space, SME business owners have made their businesses extensions of themselves and their egos. Which, in turn, leaves the business unable to grow. 

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Some Red Flags that you should know about that are crippling your business may include:

  • The lack of official operations manual for any of your business functions
  • No set formula or method to your activities
  • Your business Values, Vision, Mission are just words on your brochures but do not form part of the culture of your organization
  • You have no Values, Vision, Mission
  • You are the sole signatory to all accounts
  • Only you know your major suppliers
  • Only you know and handle your major customers
  • If you are ill or traveling your business is closed, or certain functions cannot be done.
  • You don’t trust any of your staff
  • Your staff do not trust you
  • Your family members who are part of your business are not qualified or trained (You are just helping them out)
  • Your children or spouse are not involved in your business, and you are the only person who is interested in the business
  • Your Company Directors are just family members who you put on the paperwork, but they know nothing about your business.
  • You are not quite sure what your company structure means, and the various registration documents came standard with registration.
  • You have a Will, and you believe this will protect your family and your business.
  • You do not have any written plans for your business
  • Your business and personal finances are the same
  • Your business has no governance structure

At first glance, you may feel that you have already failed and that your business may never reach the heights reached by the huge corporates that you now see across the world. However, Africa has significant success stories similar to Econet, Pick and Pay, and Dangote. These businesses were started by families, and that started as small operations providing goods and services to their communities. But as they started envisioning the future of businesses, they also secured the futures of generations in their families. And with the right planning and direction, your family Business could be the next corporate giant. You are the person who will make this happen.

Over the next few weeks, we will unpack the SUCCESSion of small businesses and the steps that must be taken to secure this future. The first most crucial step you have made is to be in business.

Author 

Tsitsi Mutendi is a Family Business Expert specialising on Family Governance. She is the Founder, African Family Business Association, AFF – African Family Firms.

Email: [email protected]

Visit: Tsitsi Mutendi

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