Delivering the opening keynote at ScaleUp Africa’s IGNITE Entrepreneurship Growth Festival, Chair and CEO of Africa.com, Teresa Clarke shared that ”Africa supports over 400 companies that generate revenues over $1bn. Entrepreneurship is an important element of Leadership and brings with it a certain level of power that comes with financial independence. I applaud ScaleUp Africa for their efforts and for mastering technology so well to pull off an event of this calibre and reach.”
ScaleUp Africa Ignites A Global Growth Movement For Black Enterprises
ScaleUp Africa organised one of the biggest international virtual Africa – Diaspora targeted entrepreneurship events earlier this month, attracting Entrepreneurs, Business Growth Experts, Investors, Creative Artistes and Innovators from North America, The Caribbean, Europe and across Africa.
Einstein Ntim, CEO of Global StartUp Ecosystem, the main sponsors of ScaleUp Africa’s Festival: ”ScaleUp Africa has truly set the bar for curating such impactful virtual international convening of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. We just witnessed a powerful, well-organised Africa-focused virtual business event and we’re very proud to have been able to sponsor such a historic event.”
With over 40 Virtual Panels, Workshops, Interviews, Presentations and Artiste Performances featuring seasoned experts from a wide range of fields, the Festival shone a spotlight on bottom-up Policy Frameworks, Tech, Agriculture and Creative industry opportunities as well as business insights from African music labels, artistes and professionals from around the world; the Festival has been well received. In addition to the need to integrate market research, data and analytics, there were also calls for more support for entrepreneurship development and acceleration service providers from government, corporations and international development partners.
The Role of Corporations:
African Angel Investment veteran, Tomi Davies of African Business Angel Network (ABAN) said: ”Corporations must understand that one of the best ways to innovate is to tap into the early stage entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is not to be viewed as old fashioned CSR or Charity. Engaging with and supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem should be viewed as an integral part of Innovation, R&D and overall Strategy.”
Joe Mensah, former President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana and Senior VP, Country Director of KOSMOS Energy Ghana – ”We must all lend a hand to support this effort and encourage more boards to report on entrepreneurship and innovation programmes as part of their Environmental, Social and Governance metrics.”
Bohani Hlungwane, Absa Group’s Head of Sales for Trade: ”We need to see more support for Business Development Service Organisations.”
For the conveners of this iconic virtual event, ScaleUp Africa, a women-led entrepreneurship advisory and business support firm based in Accra, Ghana, the message is simple: “Let’s build up the trust, systems and partnerships required to grow stronger, profitable, job-creating businesses while delivering on social impact. There’s an entire community of entrepreneurial leaders that have built world-class talent, tech and solutions but it’s important to connect them to distribution channel opportunities that governments and corporations hold the keys to. Even investors are innovating to boost the growth and performance prospects of this community. This ecosystem has so much value, data, insights, new business models and potential solutions to offer. We facilitate deeper engagement with corporations, foundations and DFIs to promote the growth of our most cutting edge small businesses.” Amma Gyampo, Co-Founder, ScaleUp Africa.
New Breed Of Black & African Business Leaders
The Festival attracted over 3000 registered attendees and streaming viewers including active Investors that shared their insights about their current deals in Africa during the Pandemic. In attendance were a number of leaders and influencers from the African creative sector and Black entrepreneurship ecosystems from countries including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius, South Africa, UK, Canada, USA. Attendees were encouraged to study macro-trends like digitalisation, self-reliant agriculture, tech and industrialisation as a way to boost their chances of growth and sustainable business success. There was also an emphasis on building profitable businesses from the start and promoting venture investor community building to improve access to funding for Black founders globally.
International Black-African Venture investor contributors included Maya Horgan Famodu, Eric Osiakwan, Rodney Sampson with global brands, affiliates and personalities in attendance: Fuse ODG, Paul C Brunson, Chocolate City, Afropolitan, Ubiquitous Games, RocNation, Afrochella, OHUB, Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN), IFFAC (Roberta Annan), The Adinkra Group, Year of Return, Africa 2.0, The Office of The President of Ghana (Diaspora Affairs), The Tony Elumelu Foundation (Parminder Vir, former CEO) and GUBA (Dentaa Amoateng MBE) among others.
Support organisations like ScaleUp Africa play an important part in the global, African and Diaspora conversation around bridging the racial wealth gap and the need to provide better, longer term support for Black and African Entrepreneurs.