Ghana

The future of entrepreneurship in Ghana is very bright, thanks to innovators and ecosystem facilitators working tirelessly to create lasting change. As we round off what has been the best year in Ghana’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, I want to share some predictions for 2019.

The Blurb: Startup funding will triple, new startup clusters will emerge, and Ghana will be a hotbed for FDI. Click To Tweet

About this time last year, I wrote that the Ghanaian entrepreneurship ecosystem will see an incremental growth from this year, 2018. Well, true to that prediction, the ecosystem has, indeed, flourished. There’s been remarkable projects like Google’s AI center, U.S-Ghana Business forum, Vice Chancellor Merkel’s visit, Germany Ghana Investors Forum, UK-Ghana Investment Summit, the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship WeekEuromoney Conference, Prince Charle’s visit and so on.

From an increased funding to new startup clusters to foreign direct investment, below are my predictions about the future of entrepreneurship in Ghana.

Number 1: An upward funding trend – Startup funding to triple

Startups in Ghana raised about $20.4M in 2017, an improvement from the $8.67M raised the previous year. As at January 2018, African Tech Startups Funding Report released by tech startup news and research platform Disrupt Africa recorded that startups in Ghana had already raised $22.3M. By the end of December 2018, interest in funding Ghanaian startups may have increased by more than 150% from last year.

With this in mind, my prediction is that the startup funding revolution will continue to unwind. In fact, I think there will be three times more investment in Ghana’s tech ecosystem in 2019. Unsurprisingly, we shall see more interests in fintech, followed by e-commerce (e-commerce could reach a growth margin of 56% by  2020) and agri-tech. Also, with the increasing need for innovation in Ghana’s education system, I foresee a spike in education funding by 2019.

Number 2: Beyond Silicon Accra – An emergence of new startup clusters

There are three major players that make up every functional ecosystem: entrepreneurs, investors, and enablers (tech hubs, universities, corporates, and the government). The future of entrepreneurship in Ghana will go beyond Accra.

For a very long time and often to the concern of various stakeholders, many activities and innovations in Ghana’s entrepreneurship space take place in Accra. In fact, most of the startups that raised funding in Ghana this year work in or from Accra. More so, a greater number of events in Ghana’s entrepreneurship space happens here, in Accra.

However, there has been a progressive argument on the need to decongest the metropolitan city to make these opportunities equally distributed across the country.

I predict that from 2019, we shall see a sprout of startup clusters elsewhere like Kumasi, Tamale, and Takoradi. In my opinion, Kumasi is prime for a considerable amount of the action. Hapa Space and Kumasi hive – two of the active hubs in Kumasi – are laying the bricks through partnerships with institutions like British Council, The Indigo Trust, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)Tamale is known for its clean air, good road network and is only 618.22 km from Accra. These are some of the merits for a “peace of mind” for entrepreneurs seeking to escape the high cost of living and traffic congestion in Accra.

Number 3: A hotbed for FDI and increased multi-stakeholder collaborations

With Nigeria going into a definitive Presidential election, I foresee that Ghana will be the focus of many foreign direct investments in West Africa in the New Year.

According to provisional figures put forward by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) for Ghana from January to September has hit 1.3 billion dollars. The IMF records that Ghana experienced a 6.3% economic growth in 2018 and is among the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent.

On the heels of Chancellor Merkel’s visit in August, three German companies – Volkswagen, Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH, and Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co KG – signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Ghana to invest in economic transforming projects such as energy, health, and automobile. Nissan was also reported to have signed a MoU to work with the Ghanaian government to set up an automotive manufacturing industry in the country. 

Granted, the recent shake-up in the banking sector and consistent fluctuations in the exchange rate has left some investors in doubt about the future of entrepreneurship in Ghana. Nevertheless, I think Ghana will see more international economic transactions as well as an increased multi-stakeholder collaboration in 2019. The recent Accra SDG Impact Investment Fair organized by the Ministry of Finance and GIPC is the beginning of such collaborations for driving change at scale.

Conclusion

Once again, I believe the future of entrepreneurship in Ghana is very bright. It is not a surprise that President Akufo-Addo has declared 2019 as ‘year of return for Diasporans’. Indeed, 2019 will not only see Ghana being the focus for millions of African descendants tracing their ancestry and their identity, but it will also see the country being the focus of many development leaders and investors around the world.


About the Author

Tom-Chris | #Readyforwork

Tom-Chris Emewulu is the President & Founder of SFAN. He is an education enthusiast, entrepreneurship and career coach, and an aspiring venture capitalist. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Accra, Ghana  (July 20, 2018) – As part of the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana taking place from July 26-28, 2018 at British Council & Kempinski Hotel, Stars From All Nations partnered with Echo VC PartnersVenture Capital for Africa3rdfloor Digital, Workshed Africa and MEST Africa to launch Young Money Business Pitch competition.

The purpose of the pitch competition is to give student entrepreneurs with technology-based businesses or business ideas access to startup funding, business development, and marketing opportunity support.

After critically reviewing the 51 applications, our judges whittled down the shortlist to 10 business ideas. These businesses were then shared on SFAN’s Facebook page for a very transparent public voting. In no particular order, below are the top five student entrepreneurs that made the final list:

Amma Sarkodie, CEO & Founder, HealthOnline

Business:
Health Online is a premier pharmacy application in Ghana that aims to connect the end-user directly to the pharmacist in order to digitalize the selling and buying of medicine and foster stronger bonds and interactions among customers and pharmacists.

Problem solved:

Most Pharmacies are not mobile. Thus the customer in need of medicine has to find a way of covering the distance between himself and the pharmacies. Health Online is an intermediary service provider to connect the customer(s) to pharmacies to reduce the costs, time-consuming and cumbersome nature of client moving to a pharmacy to purchase drugs.

Dziwornu Kofi Norbert, Co-founder, KofiExpress

Business:

Kofiexpress is a one-stop-shop online real estate platform where people can list properties for sale, rent, lease, have access to a wide range of services such as financial, legal, property development, improvement, management etc, an inbuilt online shop for products such as construction tools, materials etc, virtual technologies to help people build their dream properties virtually.

Problem solved:

Kofiexpress solves the stress people go through to have access to products and services in the real estate and construction industry. They also aim at solving the inconveniences people face outsourcing their investments and investments in the hands of third-party exploits.

Baffour Adu Boampong, Founder, AppGharage

Business:

AppGharage seeks to engage students & fresh graduates in internship opportunities working on real-world Software engineering projects.

Problem Solved:

AppGharage seeks to address the increasing need for software engineers to pioneer the growth of technology whilst reducing youth unemployment.

Rodney Assan, Founder, Uni-Connect

Business:

Uni-Connect is a web application that computerizes the college/university application process to make it simpler. The intended audience for this web application will be students who wish to apply to any of the universities [in Ghana]. Secondary audiences will include both university and high school administrators who wish to upload relevant information pertaining to their institutions.

Problem solved:

The primary objective is to create a suitable interface to help prospective students to research and apply to the universities of their choice in a simpler and shorter way. By eliminating the need to travel the long distance to submit envelopes enclosing application forms and essays and eliminating the need to have to make trips to the bank to make payments, this application centralizes the entire university application process to make it a less cumbersome one.

Michael, Samuel and Collins, the Hypacart Team

Business:

Hypacart is a multi-vendor e-commerce platform, where shops and service providers on and off KNUST campus can come under one umbrella and be connected directly to their consumers (students).

Problem solved:

The cost and stress of getting access to shops and services on campus and the high cost of items on campus as well as the stress of going to the market to buy foodstuff to cook during the weekend. Shops and event advertisers won’t have to go through the stress of selling tickets or posting fliers around campus.


What happens next?

These entrepreneurs will battle it out before an expert panel of judges at SFAN Business Breakfast Meeting on July 28. Three Young Money Business Pitch winners will stand a chance of getting equity funding, an opportunity to join MEST Africa training program, as well as up to $3k worth of business development and market opportunity support (Ts&Cs Apply).


To find more information on the selection criteria, click here.

Join thought leaders and investors at the Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel. You can get tickets at the event website.

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The semi-finalists have been chosen!

SFAN (Stars From All Nations), with support from MEST Africa, 3rdfloor Digital, Workshed Africa, Venture Capital for Africa and Echo VC Partners, launched the Young Money Business Pitch to help enterprising students in any accredited Ghanaian University get access to business development, marketing, and funding support.

After many submissions, ideas were whittled down and 10 semi-finalists were selected. It was a tough decision, with most of the entrepreneurs putting in great pitch, but we could only choose 10 for this stage!

Here are our top ten businesses:

  • Ama Serwaa Sarkodie-Mensah (University of Ghana, Law(LLB), Third-year)

Business:
Health Online is the premier pharmacy application in Ghana that aims to connect the end-user directly to the pharmacist in order to digitalize the selling and buying of medicine and foster stronger bonds and interactions among customers and pharmacists.

Problem solved:

Most Pharmacies are not mobile. Thus the customer in need of medicine has to find a way of covering the distance between himself and the pharmacies. Health Online is an intermediary service provider to connect the customer(s) to pharmacies to reduce the costs, time-consuming and cumbersome nature of client moving to a pharmacy to purchase drugs. 

Progress:

Health Online has developed the idea to an extent to cater for any issues that may arise. They have developers on board who are seeing to the development and availability of the app on android play store for initial users to get access to it. They have been in contact with pharmacies and also have conducted surveys.

  • Justin Uto-Dieu (Lancaster University, Final year)

Business:

Zuduo solves the success challenges faced by creatives and artists in different areas and gives organizations and companies a tool to find talented individuals to contact for artistic projects.

Problem Solved:

The platform aims to bridge the supply and demand gap with regard to upcoming artists and international success and acknowledgment.  

Progress:

A working android demo has been developed with basic social media functionality like posts and private messaging.

  • Maxwell Sam (University of Mines and Technology)

Business:

Bus Gem is a bus ticketing and bus seat reservation app. Easy, Simple and Really cool to use. Passengers book for a bus ticket at any time, anywhere and at their own comfort zone. Pay into a designated mobile money number and get a QR code to be verified with a QR scanner before boarding.

Problem Solved:

Mainly passengers need to visit bus terminals to purchase a ticket for a particular date. They, therefore, have to travel to the bus terminals on the day of departure to board and that just a waste of time and money. What the app tend to solve is to allow passengers to be able to make advance ticket purchases at their comfort zone and board on the day of departure.

Progress:

The app is currently ready and being used by students of the University of Mines and Technology. Students are able to book and reserve a seat with STC intercity buses.

  • Rodney Assan (Lancaster University Ghana, Law Year 2)

Business:

Uni-Connect is a web application that seeks to computerize the college/university application process to make it simpler. The intended audience for this web application will be students who wish to apply to any of the universities [in Ghana]. Secondary audiences will include both university and high school administrators who wish to upload relevant information pertaining to their institutions. 

Problem:

The primary objective is to create a suitable interface to help prospective students to research and apply to the universities of their choice in a simpler and shorter way. By eliminating the need to travel the long distance to submit envelopes enclosing application forms and essays and eliminating the need to have to make trips to the bank to make payments, this application centralizes the entire university application process to make it a less cumbersome one.

Progress:

Documentation of the web application has begun, and market research is underway.

  • Wisdom Foli (Institute Of Chartered Accountants Ghana, part two student)

Business:

NUFFE accounting and consultancy is a business which is established to carry out both accounting and consultancy services in Shai Osudoku and its environs in Ghana.

Problem solved:

Under the Shai Osudoku district, businesses don’t keep proper records of accounts, they lack qualified accountants to perform the accounting job hence they don’t comply with Tax laws in the country.

Progress:

The business has commenced operations with a team of three. 

  • Dziwornu Kofi Norbert (University For Development Studies, Integrated Development Studies)

Business:

Kofiexpress is a one-stop-shop online real estate platform where people can list properties for sale, rent, lease, have access to a wide range of services such as financial, legal, property development, improvement, management etc, an inbuilt online shop for products such as construction tools, materials etc, virtual technologies to help people build their dream properties virtually.

Problem:

Kofiexpress solves the stress people go through to have access to products and services in the real estate and construction industry. They also aim at solving the inconveniences people face outsourcing their investments and investments in the hands of third-party exploits. A one-stop shop where people can easily have access to the best and right products and services from trusted services providers.

Progress:

Kofiexpress is currently at the idea development stage. Our website is 90% complete. Business has also been registered. They also have some partners on board and are still working on getting more partners and service providers.

  • Baffour Adu Boampong (Knutsford University College, Computer Science, 3rd Year)

Business:

AppGharage seeks to engage students & fresh graduates in internship opportunities working on real-world Software engineering projects.

Problem Solved:

AppGharage seeks to address the increasing need for software engineers to pioneer the growth of technology whilst reducing youth unemployment.

Progress:

AppGharage began operation on 1st May, training and working on projects with 3 other students.

  • Nyame Michael (KNUST, Petroleum Engineering, level 300)

Business:

Hypacart is a multi-vendor e-commerce platform, where shops and service providers on and off KNUST campus can come under one umbrella and be connected directly to their consumers (students). 

Problem:

The cost and stress of getting access to shops and services on campus and the high cost of items on campus as well as the stress of going to the market to buy foodstuff to cook during the weekend. Shops and event advertisers won’t have to go through the stress of selling tickets or posting fliers around campus.

Progress:

They have organized a survey on the needs and views of students concerning this project, which has proved very fruitful. The business website is still under construction and is about 50% complete. They are currently recruiting suppliers that will render their services or sell their products online. They have secured a partnership with Unilever Ghana (NAN Group), and in talks with Woodin, Topman Shoes, Watch and Dine, Avros and other business firms. They have also partnered with other shoes and electronics suppliers on and off KNUST campus.

  • Eric Vondee (University of Cape Coast, B.Sc. Actuarial Science, Level 400)

Business:

My Home Teacher is a business organization that connects teachers to parents who need private tuition for their wards at home.

Problem solved:

For a high-quality education in Africa and the world at large, there must be a one-to-one learning environment for students that are weak in their academics. My Home Teacher provides parents the opportunity to give their wards a one-on-one teacher-student experience in the comfort of their homes.

Progress:

My Home Teacher is in the sales stage. My Home Teacher is making an impact in the lives of 50 students socially. Students are being trained not only in their academics but also trained on how to be entrepreneurial.

  • Kwabena Baffour Awuah (Kumasi Technical University, Pharmacy Technician, Level 300)

Business:

High Schools Society is a startup company with a virtual community of students and a digital and student networking service based in Accra, Ghana. The aim of High Schools Society is to create a huge brand for quality educational networking and innovations through the establishment of a student community through which high school students can interact with each other on all areas of student life. 

Problem solved:

The goal of High Schools Society is to establish a virtual community of young boys and girls, mostly between the ages of 7 and 19 for community service, career orientation, personal development, and networking.

Progress:

Currently, High Schools Society runs advertising services, writing services and social media management and marketing services to institutions and persons through our digital platforms.


What happens next?

The above businesses will be listed on SFAN Facebook Page for a public voting starting tomorrow, Monday, June 25 and end on Saturday, June 30.

Top five voted business ideas shall proceed to the final stage to pitch before an expert panel of judges at SFAN Business Breakfast Meeting on July 28. Three Young Money Business Pitch winners will stand a chance of getting equity funding, an opportunity to join MEST Africa incubator, as well as up to $3k worth of business development and market opportunity support (Ts&Cs Apply).


To find more information on the selection criteria, click here.

Join thought leaders at the Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel. You can get tickets at the event website.


Special thanks to our judges: Tobi Lafinhan from MEST, Sterre Nomazwe Mkatini from EWB, Andrew Bimpong from Workshed, Amma Aboagye from USAID.

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Accra, Ghana  (June 09, 2018) – Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is delighted to announce that Mr. Samuel Darko Appiah, former British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Correspondent for Ghana will deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at British Council, Accra.

Mr. Darko Appiah will deliver the third keynote address for the opening day of the student entrepreneurship week on ‘The Future of Media and News’.

The media, in all its incarnation, is undergoing a constant change. Online streaming, social media, artificial intelligence, and smartphones are creating new preferences and diverting interests of consumers from traditional media platforms like radio and TV.  Nevertheless, with these constant evolution comes major challenges. On many social media platforms, bots are being used to spread misinformation and fake news as evidenced in the recent U.S Presidential election.

Darko, who until December 2015 was BBC’s Correspondent in Ghana and currently works as a Freelance Broadcast Journalist for the Corporation, will dig deep into: what constitutes shareable and credible news, how to navigate the constant maze of misinformation on social media, the difference between news and noise, the impact of big data and technology on news and storytelling, what the media and news will look like in the next ten years, and so much more.


To register or learn more, please visit the event website at www.sfanonline.org. For partnership opportunity, please send us an email at info (at) sfanonline.org.

For more information about Sammy, please visit www.sammydarko.com

See you soon!!


 

Accra, Ghana  (June 03, 2018) – Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is thrilled to announce that the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr. Yofi Grant will be speaking at SFAN Business Breakfast Meeting. The business breakfast meeting will cap off the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at Kempinski Gold Coast City, Accra.

As an entrepreneur with vast experience in fundraising, a passion to encourage, promote and facilitate investments in all sectors of Ghana’s economy, and an incredible talent for engaging a room full of people, Mr. Grant will join an expert panel that will take a deep dive at exploring the state of startup funding in Ghana.

According to Quartz, startups in Ghana raised about $20.4M in 2017, an improvement from the $8.67M raised the previous year. Despite this remarkable improvement in startup funding, under-capitalization remains one of the leading causes of business failure in Ghana.

The expert panelists will shed lights on various strategies and channels that entrepreneurs can utilize to raise capital for their businesses, with a major focus on Venture Capital, Your First $100k – $1M, Term Sheets, Pricing & Valuation, Negotiation & Deal Closing. The panel will be moderated by Ms. Leticia Browne, Director of Intelligent Capital Group.

Previous editions of SFAN breakfast meeting have hosted prominent figures like the Corporate Affairs Director of U.S Embassy, the Founder of Petronia City, a member of Microsoft Africa & Middle East Team, and so on. This being the graduation edition, we expect to have a good mix of an audience including high profile executives from major multi-nationals, diplomats, start-up and student entrepreneurs, investors, and the media.

To learn more about Grant and his work at Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, please click here.


To register or to learn more about the breakfast meeting, please visit the event website at www.sfanonline.org. For partnership opportunity, please send us an email via info (at) sfanonline.org.

See you around!!


 

Accra, Ghana  (May 18, 2018) – Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is pleased to announce that the Minister for Business Development, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal will deliver the welcome keynote at the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at British Council, Accra, Ghana.

The Minister’s remarks on The Future of Entrepreneurship in Ghana” will open the event as SFAN welcomes attendees to the brilliant student entrepreneurship week.

Determined to change the economic fortunes of Ghana, the government of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has undertaken several bold initiatives to promote the growth and development of entrepreneurship and job creation in Ghana. Hon. Mohammed Awal shall, therefore, enlighten SEWGH guests on what the future holds for entrepreneurs in Ghana, how multi-stakeholder collaborations can go beyond rhetorics to progressively create opportunities for young Ghanaian innovators, and the contributions of the government in building local capacity and facilitating sustainable development in Ghana.

The first-ever Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana will bring together the best and brightest entrepreneurs from Ghana, Nigeria, the U.K, and Silicon Valley for a 3-day mind-bending alternative education on how to build and grow sustainable businesses. These professionals will discuss best practices in business development, achieving scale, technology innovation, and fundraising as well as how to develop the knowledge and skills of today’s workforce, new methods for delivering learning in Africa among other topics.

The event will end with a pitch competition where five student entrepreneurs with tech-based businesses or ideas will battle it out for a chance of getting equity investment from Echo VC Partners, opportunity to join MEST Africa incubation program, and access to more than $3k worth of business development and marketing support from VC for Africa, 3rdfloor Digital and WorkShed Africa.


To register, apply for the competition or to learn more, please visit the event website at www.sfanonline.org. For partnership opportunity, please send us an email at info(at)sfanonline.org.

See you around!!

By: Joseph-Albert Kuuire, Creator, and Editor of TechNovaGh

Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is hosting their Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel on the 26th to 28th of July, 2018.

Tech Nova is doing a series of interviews with some speakers coming to the event. Our first interview featured Samuel Mensah, Senior Designer at McKinsey Digital, and the subsequent one featured Gina Kloes,  an Award Winning Author, Game Changer, Leadership Expert, & Peak Performance Strategist.

Our third interview features the international speaker, Damilola Thompson.

Background

Damilola Thompson

Damilola Thompson is Corporate Counsel of EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund. Before this, she worked for a top-tier law firm in Lagos, Nigeria for over 3 years, with core competencies in Corporate, Venture Capital and Private Equity transactions. During this period, she drove seed/early-stage financing transactions for startups and represented African and international investors.

Ms. Thompson is passionate about startups and venture financing and providing early-stage companies with much-needed mentorship required for scaling. She has a graduate degree from the University of Lagos and has completed various post-graduate courses including the Kauffman Fellows Academy’s course on venture capital. She is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom and a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria.

Interview

Tech Nova(TN)It would appear that a number of students coming out of universities are opting to be more entrepreneurial by starting their own businesses rather than opt for the 9 – 5 desk job. Why do you think that is?

Damilola Thompson: I think there is general interest by young people to be different and stand out, and quite a number of success stories that inspire youths to be the best they can be. In most cases, a major part of their thinking about entrepreneurship is misguided and flawed, in that some believe success should be immediate and easily achievable, and when that does not happen, they get discouraged or lose hope. But those who stay in there, slugging it out and constantly reiterating their businesses, emerge as winners.

WAEC has become to a hit or miss target for students so much that it has become a routine to gain admission to a higher institution. A number of the educational institutions do not educate students around solutions that solve our everyday challenges neither is the education sufficiently practicable that it can be implemented into our daily lives


Tech Nova (TN)Some would say that young people are just seeing entrepreneurship as a way of just making money instead of actually trying to solve problems in their environment. Do you agree/disagree with that statement and why

Damilola Thompson: As I earlier mentioned, I think it may be a mix of both. For example, some youths want to be entrepreneurs because they see how wealthy Kwadwo Kantanka is and therefore aspire to be as wealthy, while some are really looking to solve societal challenges and are looking for ways to make things better. While I do not see anything wrong with being an entrepreneur and having a mindset to make money, that should not be the only driving force, because when things run aground and the business seems challenging, and it will, such people will fall by the way.


TN: The current education system in Ghana does not appear to be teaching students how to sell or be marketable. The system is still stuck on the “Chew and Pour” concept where students memorize just to pass exams. If you could, what would you add to their current curriculum to make students more competitive when they come out of school?

DT: This is not just a problem in Ghana, it is also the same in Nigeria and most West African countries. WAEC has become a hit or miss target for students so much that it has become a routine to gain admission to a higher institution. A number of the educational institutions do not educate students around solutions that solve our everyday challenges neither is the education sufficiently practicable that it can be implemented into our daily lives. For practical steps in reforming our education system, I would suggest institutions focus and teach the latest Information Technology education from primary school up to the first year of College/university and then make it optional for all other years, inculcate vocational skills training into the curriculum, promote sportsmanship by encouraging communal efforts in tackling societal issues.


TNWhere do you see Ghana in the next 5 years in terms of entrepreneurship? Will we be seeing more successful startups being funded? Will schools and universities be more open to starting entrepreneurship courses? What are your thoughts on the matter?

DT: I believe the wave of entrepreneurship will see more entrepreneurs solving actual and real problems, and with that comes exposure, press, and funding because good businesses attract funders and the right talent. This will, therefore, drive institutions to see entrepreneurship as a course that needs to be taught and practiced, in order to remain unique and differentiate themselves from other institutions. Institutions who are not teaching this course will seem outdated and out of touch with reality, and eventually may lose relevance.


TN: What are you hoping that the Student Entrepreneurship week event hosted by Stars From All Nations (SFAN) will achieve?

DT: I certainly hope that as many more organizations like SFAN engage youths to develop their entrepreneurial skills and create awareness about the possibilities of entrepreneurship, there will be a proliferation of innovation and development of a solution-driven society, which is required for Africa to thrive.


Come and meet investors at the Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel. You can get tickets at the event website.

This article is part of SFAN x Tech Nova Collaboration towards Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana and was first published on TechNova.

Stars From All Nations (SFAN) is hosting their Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel on the 26th to 28th of July, 2018.

There will be a wide array of speakers at the event from Ghana, Nigeria, the U.K and Silicon Valley.

Tech Nova is doing a series of interviews with some attendees coming to the event. Our first interview featured Samuel Mensah, an Experience Designer at McKinsey.

Our second interview features international speaker and high-performance strategist, Gina Kloes.

Background

Gina Kloes is an Award Winning Author, Game Changer, Leadership Expert, & Peak Performance Strategist. She ignites the entrepreneurial spirit, unleashes passion and accelerates success for entrepreneurs, executives, and teams around the globe.

As an international thought leader, Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship Mentor, Tony Robbins Trainer & Deepak Chopra Vedic Master Educator, Gina is a catalyst for exponential leadership, massive joy and creating lives and business enterprises we are proud to pass on to future generations.

You can find out more about Gina at:  https://wwginakloes.com

Interview

Tech Nova(TN)It would appear that the number of students coming out of universities are opting to be more entrepreneurial by starting their own businesses rather than opt for the 9 – 5 desk job. Why do you think that is?

Gina Kloes (GK): There are so many paths after college. As children, we are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Why choose only one thing?

One statistic found that people will have at least seven careers in their lifetime.  Another research study shows that people change jobs on average 15 times in their life.  It seems there is not just one set direction for anyone.

Most of us are unaware that we can change our imprints and change the internal maps that lead our lives.  We often believe, “this is just my life, the way it is.” That is far from the truth.

Whether you become an entrepreneur or choose a 9-5 job is a very personal choice.  There are different skill sets attached to each.

While becoming an “entrepreneur” can sound glamorous, it requires grit, a mindset that will move you forward when the odds and others say you can’t do it.  You need passion, determination, and the desire and ability to get out of your comfort zone. You need to be able to fail and fail and fail again until you succeed. The “entrepreneur” path is awesome for people who are self-starters with a vision and a mission to get it done. Is this your path?

Instead, you might enjoy being part of a bigger organization where your talents can shine and where you can have more structure and predictability.  There are success stories in a 9-5 job also.

Know that you can choose one path today and it will most likely change in the future.  The key is to get started out of college and learn about your own strengths and weaknesses.  Some graduates freeze and can’t decide, thinking it is their one and only choice in life.  In fact, it will be one of many choices!

Just choose a path, learn from it and take charge of your own life journey.


Tech Nova (TN)Some would say that young people are just seeing entrepreneurship as a way of just making money instead of actually trying to solve problems in their environment. Do you agree/disagree with that statement and why?

Gina Kloes (GK): I believe that people can both make money and solve world challenges including the problems in our environment.  I don’t believe that you have to choose one or the other.

Many of us are taught that to be happy we have to do more, be more and have more which can lead people to focus more on the money.  Young people might believe that the more money they make, the more successful they will be.  While this may be true, success in life does not always lead to fulfillment.  There are many people with lots of money that are unhappy.

Success in life is 80% mindset and psychology and only 20% skills.

What I have learned working with thousands of executives and millennial entrepreneurs is that beyond financial success, people crave meaning in their life. Often this meaning and true fulfillment come from doing things (a business or otherwise) that serve something beyond yourself, whether its the environment or other humanitarian efforts.  The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals define ways to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. I believe that the entrepreneurs that can integrate these higher goals into their businesses will be the ones that are both successful and fulfilled.

Check out the U.N. Goal below: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/


TN: The current education system in Ghana does not appear to be teaching students how to sell or be marketable. The system is still stuck on the “Chew and Pour” concept where students memorize just to pass exams. If you could, what would you add to their current curriculum to make students more competitive when they come out of school?

GK: I think this is not just a challenge for Ghana, it’s a challenge in many educational systems worldwide. Success in life is 80% mindset and psychology and only 20% skills.

The key to marketing and sales is learning to build rapport, make meaningful connections, and effectively communicate with your audience.  These skills can be learned, whether it’s for in-person meetings or connecting through technology.

Ghana itself has been welcoming to the startup ecosystem.  With the creation of the Accra Digital Centre, the government is showing its desire to support an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.  Accelerators and Incubators like MEST are also supporting the growth of entrepreneurship.

You may be an exceptional person or have an extraordinary business idea but if you can’t convey that message in a way that is impactful, you won’t have a chance at succeeding.

Gina Kloes. Image Credit: ginakloes.com

Additionally, it is crucial that students understand their own mindset and how their own beliefs and thinking to shape their lives.  From the time we are born throughout our entire life, every word we say or hear, every thought we have, every experience in our life leave an imprint in our mind and our body that will determine whether we are a success or a failure in life. Those imprints create a map that guides our life.

Most of us are unaware that we can change our imprints and change the internal maps that lead our lives.  We often believe, “this is just my life, the way it is.”  That is far from the truth.

By learning some simple skills, students can immediately shift their mindset starting right now! Check out two of my videos below that show the impact of learning the power of your mind while unleashing the energy in your body:

*Gina Kloes: Game Changer Leadership Event for future leaders in Johannesburg:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbqwcWHnQ8Y

*Gina Kloes: Say Yes! Gina Inspires her Audience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyrcm5aWH8


TNWhere do you see Ghana in the next 5 years in terms of entrepreneurship? Will we be seeing more successful startups being funded? Will schools and universities be more open to starting entrepreneurship courses? What are your thoughts on the matter?

GK: As technological advances continue to integrate our world, geographical boundaries are falling away.  Countries that were once more challenging to reach are just a click away.  Entrepreneurs and startups are more easily able to connect to funding sources.

Most of us are unaware that we can change our imprints and change the internal maps that lead our lives.  We often believe, “this is just my life, the way it is.” That is far from the truth.

While angel investors and venture capital were the dreams of many in the past, there are so many more options for fundraising.  Crowdfunding and ICOS can be great options for people.  Government authorities are still deciding how to best regulate ICOs and it remains to be seen how this will shake out. There are a whole host of angel networks looking for great deals also.

Image Credit: ginakloes.com

Sovereign wealth funds, including those in Ghana, also provide more options for startups.

Last year, venture capital funding in the continent of Africa topped $560 million, up 53% year on year.  While each of the 54 countries in Africa is unique, funding overall is increasing as a trend.

Ghana itself has been welcoming to the startup ecosystem.  With the creation of the Accra Digital Centre, the government is showing its desire to support an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.  Accelerators and Incubators like MEST are also supporting the growth of entrepreneurship.

Accra Digital Center

While other countries in Africa might have a more established startup ecosystem, Ghana is making its mark as a more integrated ecosystem for startups beyond those in Accra.

As demand for talent increases, schools will need to begin to train the next generation of students to meet these needs.  There are more and more schools and universities worldwide focusing on entrepreneurship. There are also more and more specialty programs on entrepreneurship all around the world.  I am one of the key educators at the Draper University of Heroes, founded by Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley Venture Capital Icon.  Every year we are hosting more and more entrepreneurs from all around the world who come to our 5-week program to become immersed in entrepreneurship and what is possible.  Startup entrepreneurs with the right mindset, dream, and passion can really achieve anything!


TN: Evidence from nine Sub-Saharan countries shows that youth generally have positive entrepreneurial attitudes and perceptions. How can young entrepreneurs unlock their potentials for greatness?

GK: Greatness is a decision. As I said earlier, success is 80% mindset and only 20% strategy, yet when someone wants to be “great” at something they often focus on the strategy first.

Here are some very quick tips for unlocking greatness:

  1. Understand what drives you. At the SFAN Student Entrepreneurship Week, we will explore the themes of your life and how they impact every decision you make.  What drives you every day?  When you understand what has motivated you or not motivated you in the past, you can begin to create new motivations to get where you want to be.
  2. Have a mission beyond yourself. If all you focus on every day is yourself, you will be alone on the island. Doing something beyond yourself and for the greater good creates a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose.  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them and a greater vision.
  3. Know that Leaders Go First. Unlocking greatness often requires that you go 1st in any challenge. Go first in life.  Be the leader, not the follower. Take risks.
  4. Fail and fail and fail again until you succeed. This is part of the Hero Oath at Silicon Valley’s Draper University for Heroes where exceptional entrepreneurs are born. You have to be willing to fail so that you can get the lesson to succeed. One of Facebook’s original mottos was: Move Fast and Break Things. Facebook knew that you will learn if you are willing to fail and break things!
  5. Create Success Habits. Small things done consistently create major impact.  Successful habits imprint in our brain and inspire others to do the same.
  6. Commit to Constant Learning. Our world is changing at an exponential speed. We must create space in our day to continue to learn and grow.

TN: What are you hoping that the Student Entrepreneurship week event hosted by Stars From All Nations (SFAN) will achieve?

GK: My vision for this week is that the participants leave with a #SayYES attitude for success and fulfillment in life.  I know they will have a week full of surprises, wisdom, and breakthroughs.  They will leave this week with tools to unlock the power of their mind, unleash the passion in their heart and breakthrough to the extraordinary success that is truly possible in life!


Come and learn from thought leaders at the Student Entrepreneurship Week at British Council and Kempinski Hotel. You can get tickets at the event website.

This article is part of SFAN x Tech Nova Collaboration towards Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana and was first published on Tech Nova.

Accra, Ghana  (April 20, 2018) – As part of the Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana taking place from July 26-28, 2018, Stars From All Nations has partnered with Echo VC Partners, Venture Capital for Africa, 3rdfloor Digital and Workshed Africa to launch Young Money Business Pitch competition.

This pitch competition is specifically designed to give student entrepreneurs with scalable businesses or business ideas access to pipeline opportunities for growing their businesses or launching their ideas.

We shall shortlist the top ten business ideas from the pool and open the selection process for a public vote in choosing the top five businesses that will advance to the next stage. Voting will take place on SFAN’s Facebook page.

The top five business ideas will pitch before an expert panel of judges at SFAN Business Breakfast Meeting – The Graduation on July 28. Three Young Money Business Pitch winners will stand a chance of getting equity funding as well as up to $3k worth of business development and market opportunity support (T&C Apply).

The judge criteria for the selection processes can be found here.

If you are a student at any accredited Ghanaian University with a technology-based business or business idea capable of creating tremendous social impact, if you have what it takes to be Ghana’s next big business owner, this is for you!!

Applications open from April 20th to May 31st.

Apply now

For more information, contact us via email: info@sfanonline.org


 

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SFAN is pleased to unveil the line-up of speakers for Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana taking place from 26 – 28 July 2018.

Participants will benefit from a range of insightful high-level keynote sessions, panel sessions, masterclasses, office hours, and one-on-one mentoring sessions presented by the best and brightest entrepreneurs and professionals from Ghana, Nigeria, Silicon Valley and the U.K.

This essential three-day event aims to create a platform for thought leadership on how enterprising young Ghanaians can build and grow sustainable businesses.

The first two days of #SEWGH is a confluence of education and entertainment and will be held at British Council Accra, with the world-renowned trainer and high-performance coach, Gina Kloes leading her transformative Game Changer Moment in the afternoon session of the first day!

The event will culminate in SFAN Business Breakfast Meeting – The Graduation at Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel on Saturday, 28th July. As part of the breakfast meeting, SFAN will provide a platform for student entrepreneurs with scalable businesses/business ideas to compete in the Young Money Business Pitch leading to investment opportunities, business support, and market opportunity.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Jarvis Anthony, Provost, Lancaster University
  • Gina Kloes, Game Changer, Leadership Expert & Peak Performance Strategist
  • Abdullahi Muhammed, Forbes Contributor & CEO, Oxygemat
  • Afua Osei, Co-Founder, She Leads Africa
  • Liz Grossman, Co-Founder, Baobab Consulting
  • Josephine Faal, Founder, Smart & Savvy Women Ltd
  • Sam Carter-Mensah, Senior Experience Designer, Digital Mckinsey
  • Andy Mensah, Human Resource Partner, ‎IBM Ghana Limited
  • Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital
  • Damilola Thompson, Corporate Counsel, EchoVC Partners
  • Leticia Browne, Director, Intelligent Capital Group
  • Bertha Logan-Owusu, Founder, Lumiere Couture
  • Kevin Nyame, Co-Founder, Meqasa
  • Dela A. Kumahor, Independent Consultant
  • William Senyo, Co-Founder/CEO, Impact Hub Accra
  • Timothy Kotin, Co-Founder, Superfluid Labs
  • Raindolf Owusu, Co-Founder, Oasis Websolft
  • Ethel Cofie, Founder, Edel Technology Consulting
  • Edem Kumodzi, Senior Software Engineer, Andela
  • Sydney Sam, Founder, Workspace Global
  • Lakeshia Marie, Founder, Ford Communications

More exciting speakers and guests will be added soon… Click here for more information about the Agenda and Confirmed Speakers.

The theme of this year’s Student Entrepreneurship Week Ghana is “Unleashing Possibilities.

This is not your conventional entrepreneurship event, this is an alternative education forum! Don’t delay – register today and get up to 40% discount on early bird ticket. Limited spaces available.

Group discounts also available, click here to purchase tickets now!

For more information or to secure a booth space, kindly get in touch with us by email at info@sfanonline.org.

With thanks to our event sponsors & partners…

 

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