__I want to showcase your business on Kwesé Inc.
Over the last twelve months, I’ve spoken a lot about the need for you to use the Internet and mobile phone technology to develop new businesses, as well as to boost an old business. I have also tried to demonstrate our own efforts using these new tools, as we have developed a new business called Kwese TV.
My interest this week is to showcase the efforts that some of you have made using the Internet and mobile phone technology to grow amazing enterprises (including not-for-profit). Even if you do not have an enterprise yet, I want you to participate by voting for those who showcase themselves this week, because I want to show the best on Kwese Inc.
Just to remind you why it’s so important:
# The largest businesses in the world today such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent, are businesses built using the Internet and mobile phones. Even older businesses that continue to thrive such as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have re-designed their business models to integrate themselves into the Internet and mobile phones.
Here are four examples of what young entrepreneurs in Africa (including my own daughter) have been doing:
# Twiga Foods: There’s no industry which can’t be developed using the Internet and mobile phone systems. When I was in Tanzania, I showcased an agri-business started by young people in Kenya called Twiga Foods, one of the fastest growing businesses in that country.
This “business to business” company supplies and delivers agricultural products like bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes (and more) direct to retail vendors like market stalls and kiosks who place their orders via mobile phone. http://twigafoods.com/
__I was serious when I said I would invest in their business any time and, better still, I know many people who will invest in such businesses.
# Sendr: A group of young entrepreneurs in South Africa have launched a mobile-based venture called Sendr, which uses motor bikes driven by a “personal concierge” to help individuals and all kinds of businesses pick up and deliver letters and small parcels, taking them from here to there, asap. A smartphone App (kind of like Uber) helps make the whole process fast and safe. http://www.sendr.co.za
# Simba Education: One of my daughters and her co-founder have started a social enterprise called Simba that leverages mobile technologies to help kids get access to quality early childhood education, and helps teachers, too. I’m so proud of her because she left her job at an international organization in New York to start this “not-for-profit” company. They started working on it when they were Master’s students. https://www.simbaeducation.com/
# Cellulant: One of my favorite ventures is a company called Cellulant, started by Nigerian and Kenyan entrepreneurs. These guys built the “E-Wallet” platform which, among many E-payment services it offers, helps the Nigerian government pay smallholder farmers! When I first learnt about what they do, I asked them to come and see me in London. I was truly humbled to learn about how they met and what inspired them to start building this type of business. http://cellulant.com.
__YOUR TURN: There are hundreds of such ventures mushrooming across Africa, and we want to know about them! This contest will hopefully give you exposure, and will certainly help spur others to get going with their ideas.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. CONTESTANTS – For the next four days (until 30 July 11:59 pm CAT) I want those of you who have already built something — either as a social or for-profit enterprise — to tell us about it. Please post NO MORE than 100 words, plus a title, your website address and African country. NOTE: Only post your entries in the dedicated Afterthought below or your entry won’t be considered valid.
2. VOTERS – You can all take part by clicking “like” next to the idea that inspires you the most. My team will then review and choose the most “liked” ones, and then we’ll shoot a short video to showcase that business on Kwesé Inc.
I’m also planning a huge competition in a few weeks to choose the Interns who will not only come to work at my office but will also get an investment into their venture! We’ll use a similar approach to the selection, so this is an opportunity for everyone to practice, and for us to get our “processes” ready.
Lights, camera, action… Let’s get started!
Image credit: MTN and Kwesé go live in Ghana! July 2017