African Entrepreneurs: Nelson Tugume

Nelson Tugume, CEO Inspire Africa

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Nelson Tugume, CEO Inspire Africa, Chairman of Uganda Motor Vehicle Importers Association and overall achiever at the 2011 Young Achievers' Awards.

Nelson Tugume is a real inspiration to all Africans. His desire is to help Africa realize its potential. He believes entrepreneurs are a route to development through job creation.

As Africans we need to share positive stories to inspire one another. Tugume went through hardships earlier in his life, but this did not deter him from fulfilling his dreams. Success can be attained, if one has a dream, and focuses on achieving it. Tugume is a perfect example.

Nelson Tugume: Inspire Africa Video Profile

Nelson Tugume had an interview with Business Times, and one of the questions was about the reason for starting Inspire Africa:

What is Inspire Africa and how did the idea of a reality show come about?

Inspire Africa is a human capital started by a group of young and enterprising Ugandans, 12 months ago after they were all shocked by the news that Uganda had the highest business mortality rate across the world........and the aim was to create and empower a fresh generation of African entrepreneurs with practical entrepreneurial experience, while extending to them; sufficient financial head start, practical business exposure, and developmental mentorship.

Human capital development is still not understood in Africa especially in East Africa, which has made another fiddly area to venture in. What is your trick at Inspire Africa to see this achieved?

At Inspire Africa, we believe that successful entrepreneurship holds the best answer to the unemployment crisis of today.

We therefore see a movement of young, able minded and business oriented people transforming the African economy through a progressive and innovative entrepreneurial approach.Read the full interview

This is an exceptional project that the whole of Africa needs to follow to be inspired. Entrepreneurs have a key role to play in the development of Africa.

African Entrepreneurs: Mohammed Yusef

 Mohammed Yusef of Somaliland, Founder of Invicta Capital

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Mohammed Yusef, Founder of Invicta Capital

In his words: Advise for someone who wants to start a business:

"Control your fear and never give up because you will fail more than you succeed, and I think that's the thing that my father taught me more than anything else, and that's that ultimately you will prevail if you take your losses as well as your successes and learn from the losses. We learn nothing from success and everything from failure."

"I think the thing that separates the natural businessman and, let's say, a business consultant, is the tenacity that is required. Many people give up on their dreams and their ideas faster than they should, and even when they do fail, they should figure out why they failed and then look for the next opportunity."

Mohammed Yusef of Somaliland, Founder of Invicta Capital

Invicta Capital Ltd was established in 2001 and has since raised over £1.4 billion of investment capital. The company has built a strong reputation for structuring investment opportunities for both private and institutional investors. Invicta’s expertise in funding and managing complex commercial transactions that invariably require an understanding of cross-border legal, tax and accounting issues, provides the company with the knowledge and experience to deliver superior asset based investment opportunities to its clients

BBC has a great article on this trail-blazer. A dignified man who was not afraid to start a business, and did not let the negative input of people discourage him. He is truly inspirational.

Read BBC's full article

African Entrepreneurs: Kofi Dadzie

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Co-Founder/Managing Director, Rancard Solutions Ltd.

Kofi Dadzie is a co-founder and the managing director of one of Ghana’s cutting-edge technology firms, Rancard Solutions Ltd. Established in 2001 with his business partner Ehizogie Binitie, Rancard develops innovative software and services that allow blue-chip clients such as Google, the BBC, Voice of America, Tigo, Vodafone, Glo, Zain and MTN to connect to their mobile customers. Dadzie attributes much of the firm’s success to his board of directors. He explains, “Their expectations and advice from the beginning to cut down the scope of activities and focus on the few that were more mature to get the business off the ground have changed my career and the business entirely.”

Kofi Dadzie talks about his work

Kofi Dadzie was recently featured on BBC, and the things that stood out for me in that interview are as follows:

1. Do not let age be a barrier. He started at a young age in his industry, and at times was undermined by other experienced people in the industry. His confidence and trust in his abilities made him break any barriers. Believe in yourself, havea dream and follow the road to success diligently. Never look for excuses, every human being can do great things with the right focus.

2. Learn how to manage your business efficiently, and surround yourself with people that add value to your business. Make a great team.

3. Plan well and understand the business your getting into. People fail at times because of poor planning. Study the industry your getting into before tackling it aggressively.

4. Patience at the beginning is important.

His BBC interview

African Entrepreneurs: Comfort Adjahoe

Comfort Adjahoe,CEO of Ele Agbe

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Comfort Adjahoe, CEO, Ele Agbe

Ele Agbe is a skin care business where everybody is important, special and unique. Ele Agbe is a daring company that is not afraid of innovations and using technology to push business forward to satisfy the customer.

Comfort Adjahoe was not afraid to use her talents to start a business. To be an entrepreneur one has to be bold, ambitious and confident in their abilities. Adjahoe is doing a great job and has wonderful ambitions, like she wants her company to be a leading supplier of African products in the world.

Africa needs people with an exemplary character like hers. These are the people who are going to develop Africa. Read more about her wonderful company.

Comfort Adjahoe gives an insight of how she started:

African Entrepreneurs: William Kamkwamba

The boy who harnessed the wind

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Case study, William Kamkwamba

The extraordinary true story of a Malawian teenager who transformed his village by building electric windmills out of junk is the subject of a new book,The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind These are the ambitious minds that Africa needs to seek development.

The teenager had a dream of bringing electricity and running water to his village. The young entrepreneur was thinking big and was not afraid to put his imaginative mind to work. Truly inspirational.

More information on this incredible story

This great mind from Malawi is a real inspiration to all Africans. Africans can think their way out of many problems. Brilliant minds like William are true icons of Africa.

African Entrepreneurs: Andrew Rugasira

Ugandan entrepreneur, Andrew Rugasira

Rise of African entrepreneurs: Case study, Andrew Rugasira of Uganda

In 2003, Ugandan entrepreneur Andrew Rugasira had an idea; he believed that it was time for Africans to process and market their own products globally and use trade as a means to bring about the sustainable development so desperately needed by the farmers and communities.

He set up Rwenzori Fine Coffees, later renamed Good African Coffee (GAC), at a time of an ideological shift in global development that favored “trade not aid” as a way of ending poverty in Africa and elsewhere.

Although scholarly types like Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid, sang the same mantra, Rugasira was one of the African entrepreneurs trying to practice what they preached by trying to overcome trade and cultural barriers to add value to African exports to the west.

Six years after GAC was born, the company has a roasting plant in Kampala – the first in the country – served by a network of 14,000 farmers organized in savings and cooperative societies, and has its branded coffee on the shelves of UK supermarket chains Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

GAC is run on a social entrepreneurial model where part of the benefits of exporting value-added coffee are passed on to the farmers. “Our farmers get a premium for quality coffee of around 15-20 per cent above the prevailing market price for comparable coffees. When prices were depressed this percentage was higher.”

Good African: A selection of Coffee

For decades Africans have produced what they do not consume and consumed what they do not produce. With few exceptions, processing and value addition has historically taken place outside Africa.

Good African decided to address this by setting up a roasting and packaging facility in Kampala in July 2009. Processing the coffee in Uganda where it is grown allows the company to retain a greater proportion of the value addition thereby enabling the Company to better support the farmers and empower their communities.

Recently, Rugasira took his coffee to American shelves. The US is the largest coffee consumer market in the world; over 150 million consumers drink 400 million cups a day, a market worth $20b (about Shs51.7 trillion) a year – larger than Uganda’s entire economy.

It is fascinating how Rugasira wanted to change the whole dynamics of trade in Africa. He believes that Africa should process their own goods and sale abroad. This is the only way Africa can sustain development.

African entrepreneurs like Rugasira are an example to all Africans. Africans should think outside the box like this great man, and stay determined until a creative project flourishes. Africans are the ones who are going to develop Africa. Rugasira is setting a good trend to follow, a real generational thinker.

"We passionately believe that TRADE NOT AID is the only viable strategy for Africa's economic and social development"

African Entrepreneurs: Magatte Wade

Magatte Wade, African entrepreneur from Senegal

The Rise of African entrepreneurs case study: Magatte Wade of Senegal

Magatte Wade was born in Senegal, educated in Germany and France, and launched her entrepreneurial career in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she co-founded Adina World Beverages, a multi-million dollar beverage company that sells culturally authentic beverages from diverse nations around the world, after working closely with Silicon Valley start-ups.

Magatte left the multimillion dollar company this year to pursue a deeper purpose, the flourishing and re-branding of Senegal. She is convinced that just as Asia has become a hit with fashion and design, it is now Africa’s time. She exclaims, “Not the Africa of low quality products, nor the Africa of cute little tribal peoples growing crops and producing crafts, the way self important aid advocates like Jeffrey Sachs and other do-gooders who love to campaign on behalf of foreign aid for the poor see the continent, but a proud, globally competitive Africa.” Thus, Magatte is currently launching her second company,

The Tiossano Tribe, Inc., a lifestyle brand initially focused on fashion accessories and body care products targeted at the cultural creative demographic. Ms. Wade is fluent in, and conducts business in, Wolof, the predominant indigenous language of Senegal, French, and English.

Magatte Wade's innovative mind: How a Senegalese flower grew into a huge US business. [BBC}

Mrs. Wade was featured on BBC for her great entrepreneurial skills. She is one of the people setting a good tone for successful African entrepreneurs.

Africans should be inspired by her work, and think more creatively to develop the continent.

I admire her innovative skills, ambition, drive and enthusiasm. These are the kind of people Africa needs to grow.

The resources are there in Africa, creative minds like Mrs. Magatte Wade can help in unveiling the hidden treasures/potential of Africa.

African Entrepreneurs: Bethlehem Alemu

Solerebel's Bethlehem Alemu

The Rise of African Entrepreneurs: Case study, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu of Ethiopia

This Ethiopian lady, is a real inspiration. She believes in empowering her own community by creating jobs.

I am a staunch supporter of entrepreneurs because they create jobs, and I think Africa needs job creation to develop. Bethlehem Alemu is a good example to all Africans, especially those who want to see Africa develop. She believes in more trade and less aid. Check out her feature below on CNN.

Helping her community

"While the most of the locals were unemployed, Bethlehem discovered that several of them possessed remarkable artisan skills which remained largely unexploited. This observation drove her to brainstorm on ways through which she could transform the skills of her community members into a sustainable enterprise that could generate livelihoods for them, and create wealth over the long term." Africa's Most Successful Women: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

I think she is doing an outstanding job and her sandals are authentic and stylish. Check out for yourself. I made a Carousel of her wonderful products.

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