Africa, african entrepreneurs, African: Seen and Heard, barclays, entrepreneurship, Gaurdian, KPMG, unicef -

UNICEF, Barclays Team up to Assist Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs

Africa, african entrepreneurs, African: Seen and Heard, barclays, entrepreneurship, Gaurdian, KPMG, unicef -

UNICEF, Barclays Team up to Assist Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs_AfricaThe African continent is booming with entrepreneurs starting businesses of every size and type. At a roundtable discussion held by the Guardian and sponsored by Barclays, senior representatives of business, academia, NGOs and the financial sector discussed entrepreneurship in Africa and the challenges many young entrepreneurs face.

The lack of livelihoods for young people in Africa was considered one of the world’s most significant challenges, according to David Bull of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency. “A quarter of young people are out of work and education,” he said. “This is both a waste and dangerous. If they have nothing constructive to do, they are at risk of drugs, gangs and radicalism with an impact on themselves and society.”

To combat this problem, The Building Young Futures project, run by UNICEF and Barclays, is targeting 74, 000 young people in six countries, working with governments and other organizations, to provide them with the skills and confidence to start their own businesses. The  Barclays staff in those countries will act as mentors.

Greg Fischer of the London School of Economics believes that it’s not about training those who live in poverty and have low skills.

“There has never been a history of any country developing, where it is about low-skilled people starting a business,” said Fischer. ” Entrepreneurship is about highly skilled people.”

Michael Hastings of KPMG spoke about the very high interest rates that he feels is the single most significant systemic reason that entrepreneurship  was not developing in Africa.

“The banking interest rate for businesses is 26-29 percent on average,” he said. “The continent is flush with opportunity, with ideas, it is highly educated, there’s a consumer boom, opportunities galore, infrastructure, investment from China, but a person wanting to expand from selling eggs to selling meringues to British supermarkets can’t get the investment capital they need. That is a systemic failure.”

Emphasizing the importance of  entrepreneurism for the poverty-stricken, Bull reiterated, “That is where we make the absolutely biggest difference in terms of infant mortality, education and so on. We can’t wait 20 years for economic growth to happen.”

Winifred Adeyemi of Africa: Seen and Heard, spoke on the large number of highly educated African graduates who are un- or underemployed or had to work outside of the continent because they weren’t able to find jobs that used their skills.

Adeyemi wants to match graduates with human resource departments: “Then we would find a lot of leadership that is lacking could be created within the countries. It is important to create and incubate the potential leaders of the future,” she said.

Richard Phelps from Barclays added, “This is a huge opportunity. We are all doing our bit. If we can all come together, it will be a major step forward.”


Leave a comment

Related Posts

Freshen Up Your Board Game Collection With This One-Day Amazon Sale
It’s not quite as jam-packed as Amazon’s Black Friday board game sale, but their 12 Days of Deals strategy game sale ...
Read More
It’s an Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl rematch: Alcorn State vs. N.C. A&T Braves win SWAC title and and now bring their high-powered offense to bowl game
Well, it’s all set. The matchup for the Dec. 15 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta is actually a rematch: ...
Read More
HBO’s ‘Say Her Name’ has few answers about what happened to Sandra Bland But new documentary gives her a voice, even in death
The mother of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman who committed suicide in a Texas jail after being hauled there for bac...
Read More
Meghan Markle ignores negative news, believes British press out to get her
Meghan Markle has developed a way of dealing with negative press: She doesn’t read it. After a tough week in the medi...
Read More

Tags