AkooBooks Audio, Neat Eco-Feeds awarded at African Entrepreneurship Awards

The African Entrepreneurship Award Program held in Casablanca, Morocco, is a Moroccan based awards organization.  Its objective is to honour African entrepreneurship.

This year’s event was the 4th edition so far. It had a prize pool of USD1million, and the two Ghanaian start-ups won USD125,000.

Ama Dadson’s start-up, AkooBooks Audio, won in the High Potential Innovation Award in this this year’s edition of the Annual African Entrepreneurship Award Program. Miss Dadson took away USD25,000 from the High Potential Innovation Projects category.

AkooBooks Audio CEO, Ama Dadson said, “I am so grateful to the AEA Presidential Jury for their support and belief in our businesses.  The untapped potential of digital distribution on mobile devices, to provide access to all the African books.” Miss Dadson continued that these books are “needed by young Africans for their growth and inspiration is enormous. Audiobooks can be listened to anytime, anywhere.”

Lincoln Peedah, CEO of Neat Eco Feeds also remarked, “Build a heart to contain the shocks and glory when they come on your entrepreneurial journey!”

The African Entrepreneurship Award Program board

The African Entrepreneurship Award Program has a Presidential Jury, which nominates and selects the AEA Winners. The jury is comprised of industry doyens.

They include Othman Benjelloun (Morocco), chairman & CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa, Deborah Ahenkorah (Ghana), Founder of Golden Baobab. Also, Amadou Gallo Fall (South Africa), NBA Managing Director for Africa, Gong Li (USA), Retired Chairman Accenture Technology Innovation,

The others are JB Duler, (France/Silicon Valley), French-American Silicon Valley Executive and Aubrey Kent (USA), Founder of Sports Industry Research Center.

Swimming with Sharks: Simple business guidelines for a complex world By Gavin Moffat

Drowning in the business deep? This book is the line you need, packaged in quick, bite-sized reference points. 

Did you know that over 80% of the world’s oceans have yet to be explored, mapped and observed? Scuba diving is a way to come closer to knowing a fraction more of the intricacies of the sea. It symbolises the human quest for knowledge of that which is vast. But, the technicalities of diving, the strategies needed for deeper exploration and the trust in acquired skills creates order where there is limitlessness. 

Swimming with Sharks: Simple business guidelines for a complex world is not about scuba diving. Well, not entirely. 

The aim of scuba diving is coming face-to-face with bounty and beauty. Achieving the business equivalent requires a scuba diver’s approach, says the animated and skilled author of the book, Gavin Moffat. ‘There’re remarkable parallels between my two passions: consulting to businesses as they navigate through change, and scuba and technical diving,’ says Moffat. 

The author has worked with companies that have hit Silicon Valley, international brands, one-man outfits and fledgling small businesses. ‘These businesses each have their unique natures, as though they are living coral reefs,’ Moffat adds. He’s spent nearly three decades helping leaders build their business, plan their growth, and engage with their audiences. 

The scuba-diving metaphor is masterfully maintained throughout the eight sections of the book: plan the dive and dive the plan (and you’d do this in business); having the right kit (like your technology and business tools); the brief and the debrief either side of the dive; the five Ws and an H (essentially, the building-block questions of a successful business). Topics dived into include dealing with millennials, the value of friction and the concept of the Beta culture – or that which is ‘good enough’. 

Moffat is a natural essayist, and his insightful, simple ‘pockets of thought’ explain sometimes complicated subjects in a few hundred words. It’s like having a conversation over coffee with a wise friend or swimming with dolphins. 

Swimming with Sharks: Simple business guidelines for a complex world is certainly not a stuffy manual. 

Here’s what some fellow business people have said: 

‘It is not often that you find a single book that covers so many topics and yet get to the essence of each. Gavin Moffat has created a book full of nuggets, gems that provide you with insight in business and self. His years of work with countless companies has guided his thought process and brought the realization that we make things too complicated. His job, to make business human. Great read.’ 

– Michael Jordaan, ex-CEO FNB, venture capitalist 

‘I always tell people that the best lessons I get for running my business happen when I’m not actually running it, but rather when I’m busy with other things I’m passionate about. Gavin takes this to a whole new level. Swimming with Sharks is a series of learnings wrapped up in a very powerful analogy – his love for SCUBA. The author’s passion is clear, and the lessons come through fast and hard. This is one of those rare books that you need to read with a highlighter in hand. I started reading, and hardly came up for air.’ 

– Rich Mulholland, A motorbike-riding, board-game-playing, punk-rocking, kung-fu-fighting, kettlebell-swinging, business-running, microphone-abusing inked-ellectual gentleman 

About the Author 

Gavin Moffat is a speaker, writer, common-sense evangelist and an accidental specialist in the field of marketing and communication strategy. As the co-founder and pothole spotter of join.the.dots, he teaches game-changing techniques for busting through ‘it’s complicated’, cultivating clear thinking, and boosting common sense. 

He leads workshops and trainings that bring clarity to individuals, teams and workplaces. His focus is on creating real-world results in which teams cut through the clutter and meaningful productivity skyrockets. 

Five world-class speakers set to inspire South Africa to be the solution

Driving growth and prosperity in South Africa with a positive mindset and excellence in effort is the purpose behind a two-day Real Success 2019 ‘Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever’ event, which features five inspiring South African multi-millionaires and is scheduled for 19 and 20 January 2019 at Gallagher Convention Centre.

The event, which is free of charge and will accommodate 4000 people at the venue and at least 2000 watching online, is designed to inspire and empower South Africans and guests from all over the world participating online, to make 2019 their best year regardless of their circumstances. The focuses will be on mindset, financial independence, business, and overall quality of life.

Brian Walsh, a leading authority on entrepreneurship and human behaviour, the founder of The Real Entrepreneur Institute, and the organiser and host of the Real Success 2019 event, says it’s time for all South Africans to be SNP people – Solution Not Problem people, empowered and not victims. “Five successful South African entrepreneurs and speakers have stepped up to contribute to this effort to drive a national transformation to a positive mindset and real action that impacts our communities. Our aim is to motivate South Africans across the country, from all walks of life, to see the potential in the country and within their areas of influence, and to embrace it and build success at every level.”

The speakers include:

  • Ann Wilson, best-selling author of The Wealth Chef, trainer, speaker, entrepreneur, and financial empowerment activist, who helps people to master money and use it to create the life they want. All royalties from her book are donated to The Small Enterprise Foundation, which empowers women through micro-loans and financial literacy training. Ann has students in 57 countries and after achieving complete financial independence herself 13 years ago, wants to help other “ordinary” people achieve it as well. “Now my life is committed to empowering others to find their version of financial freedom by sharing these recipes. By liberating others from financial repression, I know that together we will create an unstoppable force for good that will ripple out into the world – to your family, your community, and your country, making the world a better place for all.”
  • Billy Selekane, author, award-winning internationally acclaimed inspirational keynote speaker, and Executive Chairman of Billy Selekane & Associates, an action learning, strategy formulation, team organisational effectiveness and leadership development organisation. He has worked with world, sports, and corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, and everyday people, unlocking their passion and setting their dreams on course. Billy is an inspirational story teller with the ability to bring powerful and practical messages that deliver amazing results. “A vision becomes the driver of the manifestation of your purpose. It gives you a place to go. A destination to look forward to and a journey that is embedded in your subconscious mind at all times.”
  • Brian Walsh, founder of The Real Entrepreneur Institute, a private research and education organisation dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs to live lives of true wealth, freedom and meaning. He is a self-made millionaire and a leading figure in the personal and business growth industry. “I believe that most people start a business in order to live a better, more fulfilling quality of life. However … most become despondent and lose sight of their original intention. The real entrepreneur on the other hand, lives a fulfilled, exciting life that is truly rewarding, both financially and spiritually, generating effortless wealth and has masses of free time to do truly meaningful things.”
  • Justin Cohen, author of Pitch to Win and other books and audiobooks, host of a CNBC Africa TV show, an authority on human potential, a speaker on motivation, sales, customer service and leadership, and a Southern African Speaker Hall of Fame inductee. “Any time you influence anyone to do anything, hire you, promote you, marry you – you’re pitching them on a course of action. If you can’t pitch, you can’t influence. And if you can’t influence, you’re powerless. The greater the difference you want to make in the world, the greater the pitch you need to be able to make. Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Theresa – these people made a difference because they knew how to pitch people on the difference they wanted to make.”
  • Robin Banks, an international leading authority on mind power and personal mastery, has dedicated his life to the transformation of global consciousness, and his desire is to empower people to take charge of their lives and create a brighter future for themselves, their community, their country, and planet. He has a diverse background in construction, sales, and retail, and in 1995 he discovered his passion for people development while working as Programme Director for a youth leadership programme. “Success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. You need the mechanics but you have to have the right psychology for success. If you don’t have the right mindset you are not going to create an abundance of money.”

The event will also be partnering with B1G1 Business for Good to collect donations in the room, online, and from speakers, that will be given to a group of community charities around the world, based on votes by delegates. 100% of the funds collected will be donated.

Walsh says, “Our greatest and most motivational leader, Nelson Mandela, made a crucial point that every South African should take to heart daily, when he said, ‘What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.’ This conference has the power to set the nation on a path of positivity rather than negativity, on contributing rather than breaking down, on success and prosperity for a wider proportion of the population, which will have a strong ripple effect in the fight against poverty. It has the potential to impact South Africa’s collective mind and give hope and motivation to take action and make a difference to their own lives – and in turn to the lives of others.”

To book your place at the conference, http://realsuccess19.com/.

Entrepreneurship key to unlocking Africa’s economic development, says Tony Elumelu

Entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic development, one of the continent’s industrialist has revealed.
Speaking to over 5,000 African entrepreneurs, private and public sector leaders and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem convened in Lagos recently, Mr Tony Elumelu reiterated his commitment to championing Africa’s economic development by supporting and training a new generation of entrepreneurs, whose successes can transform the continent, delivering opportunity, job creation and social impact.

“Africa’s future is in African hands,” he said before adding that his Tony Elumelu Foundation its unique approach of training, mentoring and funding has proven that entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking economic transformation of our continent.

“I believe so strongly that success can be democratized and if we can match ambition to opportunities, this extraordinary generation can achieve anything,” he said.

Now in its fourth year, the Forum marked the graduation of the 2018 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, following a rigorous nine-month period of training, mentorship and funding, which brought the total number of beneficiaries of the Programme to 4,470, with over 300,000 applications received to date. Uganda this year had 126 successful applicants.

“With TEFConnect, we have created a tool that provides a digital platform to host ideas, champion success and demonstrate Africans ability to use the most advanced technologies to take charge of their economic destinies,” he said.

Ghana president Nana Akudo-Addo underlined the importance of galvanizing the broad entrepreneurship eco-system, calling on public sector representatives to encourage, support and replicate the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in their respective regions.
Speaking on the importance of putting the right policies in place, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “Nothing is changed or developed on its own. People must get up, speak, have discussions and change the dialogue.”

Since its inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered African entrepreneurs across the continent with a USD5,000 non-refundable seed grant, a bespoke training programme designed specifically for the African environment and access to a dedicated group of mentors, significantly contributing to economic growth, job creation and revenue generation. Over 300 budding Ugandan entrepreneurs have benefitted from the programme.

African youth the future of the world economy and entrepreneurship – Al Sisi

With a majority of African nations diversifying from traditional sources of income, entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a key to economic growth. Leading business forum Africa 2018, which kicked off in Sharm El Sheikh today recognised this fact by hosting Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED) which brought Africa’s most inspiring business leaders as well as renowned captains of industries and key actors from the tech world to provide first-hand insights on business, leadership, technology and disruptive business models to support young entrepreneurs developing their business skills.

Finding the right partners, mentors and investors is paramount for successfully scaling up your business. YED offered young entrepreneurs several opportunities to meet leading angel investors, venture capital firms, accelerators, incubators and policy-makers via its spectacular DealRoom.

The YED concluded with an intergenerational dialogue attended by 5 start-ups and also Presidents Al Sisi of Egypt and President Kagame of Rwanda.

President Al Sisi said that “we are increasingly sending a clear message to the world that Africa is the future of the world economy and more so entrepreneurship.”

He highlighted the laws that have been promulgated in the country had been done to encourage youth to establish companies and empower them, and called for the youth to never waver from following their dreams.

President Kagame said the growth of Africa’s population was really not a threat but an advantage for Africa, but right investments are required to make it work. “The right investments are in our people but we need facilitation to get us where we want to go.”

With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, sub-Saharan Africa is already the world’s youngest region today – and, by 2030, will be home to more than one-quarter of the world’s under-25 population. As this young population, the best-educated and globally connected the continent has ever had, enters the world of work, the region has a demographic opportunity.

“Today more than ever, we need to realize the economic potential of the continent’s young entrepreneurs and innovators to create millions of high quality jobs and promote inclusive economic growth continent-wide”, said Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation about the importance of nurturing and promoting young entrepreneurs.

It is evident that the African entrepreneurship scene is sizzling and a lot of foreign and local players are helping to spice it up. Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO, AppsTech said, “What I would look for in an entrepreneur is grit, because I think being able to sustain in a very difficult business environment is essential. Business environment in the continent is quite challenging. You need to spend your blood, sweat and tears to succeed.”

President Sisi concluded “We know you face challenges but these can be overcome with perseverance and creativity and by being self confident and your determination to turn these dreams into reality,”


South African students win R50,000 in the Universities Business Challenge

The Overlings from Mangosuthu University of Technology are the 2018 winners of Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE). The winning team of four students are walking away with R50,000 to turn their business idea into reality.


Launched in July this year, the UBC has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.

When the competition launched, all teams were challenged to form virtual companies and to virtually manufacture and sell bicycles.


The final 10 teams were from the University of Limpopo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and North-West University.


During the two-day final, the teams played six rounds of simulations. Each simulation gave the teams a chance to re-evaluate their progress and better certain areas that needed improving. The winning team realised during one of their simulations that in order to maximize profits they would need to introduce two new products and market it differently from their initial product. They paid special attention to their customer’s needs. 


The aim of the UBC was designed to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.


Nkosinathi Sokhulu from the winning team said, “Even though we didn’t have a great presentation we made the most profit. This experience taught us a lot about ourselves and business. Most of the decisions that we made came from serious debates. We learnt that market research is crucial when starting a business. We learnt that marketing starts and ends with the customer.”


“Based on this market research information we realised that it was important for us to introduce two new products and this, in addition to the main product we were selling, helped us to maximize profits. We saw an opportunity to add more products and it paid off” said Mbali Tshozi.


Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory said, “All the teams showed tremendous promise and I was very impressed by their levels of engagement with one another and their tenacity.”


“We really want to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to not only start a business but to run it effectively. While we have selected one winner, our hope is that each team has benefitted by having learned the skills needed in the workplace.”


“The competition is designed to develop the ‘soft skills’ that are important for those wanting to set up their own business or simply be successful at work. With rising unemployment and ongoing talent shortages, having these skills is crucial for those wanting to get a job.”


The UBC, now in its second year in South Africa, will continue into its third year in 2019 and will run as the Africa Enterprise Challenge (AEC).

The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative Calls for Applicants

AWEC is a one-of-a-kind, high-touch, 12-month business and management development learning program. AWEC focuses on applied learning and collaborative experiences to ensure immediate business impact and the creation of a pan-African network of entrepreneurs, experts, and allies.

The program is open to women who were born in and do business in Africa; members of the diaspora are encouraged to apply, but their business or NGO must have an impact on the continent.

“At the heart of AWEC is a cooperative of women entrepreneurs from across Africa who will not only gain the skills and network needed to advance their businesses, but also pay it forward to the next generation of innovators and business owners,” said Christopher Caine, president of the Center for Global Enterprise. “AWEC is a catalyst for impacting not just the individual business or NGO, but entire
communities all across the continent.”

AWEC’s innovative blended learning model leverages:
● Live video learning sessions led by world-class business and academic experts
● Peer sessions that apply new learnings, develop soft skills, and build a pan-African peer network
● Course activities – delivered through a highly-interactive online learning platform – that encourage knowledge application and cross-cultural collaboration
● Mentoring by senior business professionals
● Constructive feedback on assignments from instructors, teaching assistants, and peers
● Leadership Summits that take place twice per year in Africa and provide in-person training and networking opportunities

“What sets AWEC apart from other entrepreneurial training programs is our unique, applied learning model,” said Karen Sippel, managing director of the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative.
“Our cohort members immediately apply what they learn to their enterprises, creating instant impact.

This impact is evidenced in mid-program feedback from our current cohort, in which 60% of participants reported an increase in their level of business management expertise and 50% reported an
increase in revenue growth.”

For more information, please visit www.thecge.net/awec. Applications for the 2019-2020 program year will be accepted on AWEC’s website (https://www.thecge.net/awec/apply/) from December 5, 2018 to December 18, 2018. 

Philanthropic support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and other donors make it possible for CGE and AWEC to underwrite the program costs for all participants. 

About the Center for Global Enterprise 

The Center for Global Enterprise (CGE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute devoted to the study of global management best practices, the modern corporation, economic integration, and their impact on society. One focus of the organization is to develop insights that help current and future business leaders build enduring enterprises in our globally integrated economy. CGE designs and manages programs that enable individuals from around the world to have equal access to leading-edge business knowledge. 

21 Chinese companies eye investment opportunities

A thirty member business delegation from China arrived in Kampala on Monday afternoon on a mission to scout for investment opportunities and get local companies to appreciate the diversity their companies bring into the business space.
Days after this Uganda-China investment and trade forum, Mr Basil Ajer, acting executive director Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), said the forum is expected to spur more investments from China.

“They mentioned areas of interest in agricultural value addition, information communication technology (ICT) and tourism. As UIA, we mobilise counterparts in those sectors so we expect more inflow of foreign direct investment and more cooperation between Ugandans and their Chinese counterparts,” Mr Ajer said.
Progressively, China has been among the top two sources for foreign direct investment for the last six years, and this is expected to grow in future.

“Since 2011, we have licensed investments from China now worth USD1.2b and this is projected to create at least 45,000 jobs in Uganda,” Mr Ajer said.

Most of these investments are in agricultural value addition according to UIA. Mr Lyu Xinhua, leader of the delegation and acting chairman Council for Promoting South-South Cooperation (CPSSC), said the companies’ investments would tackle Uganda’s high import bill. “Like many developing countries, for its day-to-day products, Uganda relies on imports. If the local manufacturing companies can be established in Uganda, their products will not only be able to reduce Uganda’s import bill but also meet specific local needs,” Mr Xinhua said.
The companies were satisfied with Uganda’s investment climate and expect it to improve with the current incentives in place.
“I think your legal infrastructure is very comprehensive and you have very affordable labour. I heard of the tax holidays and profit repatriation, I think these measures will indeed be attractive for investors,” he said.

However, he hinted on private ownership of land, high cost of credit and high cost of manufacturing caused by absence of infrastructure as some of the things that could hinder investment.
CPSSC and UIA will now be cooperating to visit Uganda for detailed information on ongoing projects.

UIA expressed hope for joint ventures with local companies. Mr Xinhua’s thinking was that although working with local companies turns a profit because of their understanding of the business environment, the idea must be well analysed first.

Mr Michael Galabuzi, country director East African Entrepreneurs Association, said they are pushing for modalities through which joint ventures can come to life for Chinese investments to be more meaning to the economy.