A tremendous entrepreneurial energy has taken hold of the African continent. From north to south, from west to east, we see the creation of many startups every day. At the origin of this revolution, a youth who decided to engage in self-employment, in order to solve the lack of employment that they face.
According to a study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) published in 2015, 60% of young Africans surveyed, aged 18 to 34, say they are “optimistic about the economic potential of entrepreneurship and believe they have the skills and knowledge required to start a business ”
No wonder that young entrepreneurship is more popular than ever in Africa. To breathe new life into employment, support growth, but also transform large organizations, African youth have decided to take charge by adopting the entrepreneurial posture, because being an entrepreneur means adopting a new posture of he employer by developing new reflexes, by allowing himself to be bold, by becoming an economic player which allows many families to feed themselves, to clothe themselves, to pay for the children’s schooling thanks to a decent salary. For those who saw the term startup overused, African youth respond by providing job solutions, innovations in terms of consumption of goods and services.
“Young Africans must be aware of their potential and be enterprising in order to come out of precariousness, and to solve the problem of youth employment which remains a challenge in our countries. We must free ourselves from these ideas, according to which, diploma in hand, we must work in the public service at all costs. Or that to be an entrepreneur you have to have diplomas. These are just misconceptions that prevent us from taking charge, ”comments Steeve Ndone Sakiessemutie, a young entrepreneur, winner of the Great Entrepreneur competition, organized by the British Consul in Senegal. With his company Athome center, he offers the opportunity for many young people in Senegal to be self-employed.
Like him, there are millions of young people across the continent offering jobs through startups they have created themselves. Some have become real success stories, with dozens of young people as employees. This is the case for example of: Ouicarry in Senegal, launched in 2013 by three young people (Labissi Adjovi, Youssou Ndiaye and Pape Oumar), Propertuily in South Africa created by Jonathan Liebman, of Netflix created by the Nigerian Jsason Njoku also founder by Iroko, the distributor of African films, Africab in Ivory Coast, created by Vangsy Goma, or even Mergims by the young Rwandan Antoine Muhire… “The examples of success are numerous, and it is very motivating for young Africans. We have to believe in ourselves and fight to make our entrepreneurial dreams come true “, explains Bénédith Kessany, a young Gabonese girl, who has just launched a Startup specializing in consulting and coaching.
In the wake of this wave of young entrepreneurs, digital technology and in particular e-commerce occupies an important place. It must be said that in this regard, there are many inspiring examples among young people, including Jumia, a pioneer of e-commerce in Africa. “Young Africans are talented and competent, and e-commerce can be an interesting opportunity for them in terms of entrepreneurship. This has been shown in recent years. There are huge opportunities in digital entrepreneurship, ”says Paul Midy, CEO of Jumia Travel.
To encourage young people to embark on this path, investors are not short of ideas, many creative competitions, are funded by multiple actors such as BBC World Service, to encourage young people to demonstrate their entrepreneurial capacities with innovative solutions, corresponding to the needs of the populations.