This is the best time in history to be young and African. We live in an era characterised by an abundance of opportunities and young people starting sustainable businesses across the continent. The conversation about Africa is gradually shifting from that of poverty to one about creativity, business, and investment.
“Entrepreneurship is having a transformative effect across the continent as more and more young people are starting their own businesses rather than waiting to be employed by someone,” notes Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World, a global startup competition. “Many governments, corporates, investors and ecosystem builders have understood that, which is why you’re seeing co-working spaces, accelerators and all kinds of startup programmes pip up everywhere from Morocco to Mali, to Ethiopia and Mozambique, and anywhere in between.”
Countries like Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and many others have taken centre stage as some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Contributing to the continent’s economic growth is a vastly growing number of hungry young entrepreneurs doing wonders across various sectors. Let’s get to know some of them:
Olatorera Oniru is fast becoming one of the prominent names in Nigeria’s booming e-commerce sector. The 29-year-old is the founder of Dressmeoutlet.com, a Lagos-based online fashion retailer. Equipped with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration, Olatorera has worked for a series of top global companies including Ericsson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and General Electric.
Motivated by the endless opportunities in Africa, Olatorera decided to put her gleaming career with multinational firms on hold and delve into entrepreneurship. While she continues to fund her business from personal savings, offers have reportedly already started coming in from investors, including prominent Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu.
Mike Chilewe Jr.
Mike Chilewe Jr comes from a family of entrepreneurs. The 26-year-old business owner is the son of Malawian business magnate, Mike Chilewe. Learning from his father, the younger Mike is making enviable strides as a media entrepreneur. In 2015, he acquired Lilongwe-based Star FM, a struggling radio station that he’s slowly turning into a fruitful venture.