By Amos Fofung
Not fewer than two dozen trailblazing entrepreneurs who are making a mark in their respective domains answered yes last Saturday at the Howard University’s Center for African Studies in Washington DC to share their story and stirrup entrepreneurial spirit among young entrepreneurs.
The top executives in IT fields, diplomacy, and governance, finance, energy, defense, healthcare, consultancy, and law among others, constituted part of the panelist who shared institutes into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and mitigating risk.
In its 8th edition, the StartUpAfrica entrepreneurship conference had as theme; “partnership for entrepreneurial success.”
Shelvin D. Longmire, chair of the Advisory Board of StartUpAfrica pointed out that the gathering sought to advance entrepreneurship among Africans thus mapping a fresh path for the continent.
“Such gatherings seek to invest in building an entrepreneurship community of tomorrow’s business leaders through training, mentoring and access to capital,” he said in a chat with this reporter on the networking session.
With panel discussions focused on; innovation and entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence-inevitable change business need to embrace, fostering global entrepreneurship through exchange programs and the role of government in building effective entrepreneurship ecosystem, the panelist where all unanimous that it is time good enough to spur entrepreneurial spirit and rally innovation for the next generation of African leaders.
The cross-section of panelists ranged from; Sibyl Edwards – CEO of Black Female Founders, Franklin J. Miles – Founder and Director AWE African Development, Rahama Wright – Founder and CEO at Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty, Adebisi Adebowale – Founder UPLIFTOLOGY, Rowan Fernelon – owner of Fine Royale, and Naomi A. Burrell – CEO and Founder of Be Inspired among many others.
Together, they each took turns to share their experiences, answering questions from attendees who were eager to grasp and tap from their wealth of experiences.
President and Chief Executive Officer of StartUpAfrica, Erastus Mong’are recounts that “for years now, such conferences have been geared towards bringing entrepreneur’s and aspiring entrepreneurs in one setting – one platform where they can share their stories, best practices, what has worked for them, and what they need to do if they are looking at getting into business.”
“Looking at the attendees, we have young university students who are here; why are we doing this, because we want to inspire the next generation of job seekers not just for the US but for Africa as well,” he said during an interview session with Pan African Visions reporter.
On the path covered so far, he remarks that they have indeed seen some great successes, citing one of the programs former attendees who benefited from the foreign exchange program and had come back to talk about the successful business venture he now manages between Kenya, US and the Caribbean.