Shaping Africa’s future

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Entrepreneurs across Africa are transforming the economy with sustainable and ethical business models. Supported by initiatives like the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) and the Africa Academy, and platforms like JamiiTrade, this shift towards innovation and sustainability signals a promising future for the continent.

The transformation of Africa’s economic and social landscape is in full swing, driven by a vibrant generation of entrepreneurs who are redefining the continent’s future. These change-makers are setting new benchmarks for ethical and sustainable business practices, underscored by a commitment to creating shared value and aligning profitable business strategies with societal benefits. Indeed, the continent’s 1.2 billion potential consumers, underexploited intra-African trade, and a GDP exceeding $3 trillion present a fertile ground for innovative SMEs and start-ups.

The narrative of Africa’s future, now being rewritten by its entrepreneurs, stands as a testament to the power of shared value business practices. This is a future where economic growth and social well-being are intertwined, promising a brighter, more prosperous continent for generations to come.

Capacity Building for a New Era

Over the past year, the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) has been hard at work to expand it entrepreneurial capacity building initiatives. With a particular emphasis on the crucial role of SMEs in economic development, the SVAI has championed strategic advocacy, developmental activities, and targeted learning engagements. Central to these efforts is the Shared Value Africa Academy (SVAA), which has empowered young leaders through a variety of programs designed to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and networks necessary for driving sustainable development and promoting inclusivity across the continent.

The SVAA’s diverse programs, such as the Shared Value Purpose Playbook Training, Africa Entrepreneurs Forum, and Investor Readiness Workshops, have been pivotal in shaping the leaders of tomorrow. These initiatives have bridged knowledge gaps and ignited innovation, fostering job creation, economic stability, and competitiveness across Africa.

Success stories from SVAA alumni, like Kiru Energy’s expansion into new markets with clean energy solutions, Food Solidarity International’s efforts to reduce food waste and Border Frontier advocating for sustainability, underscore the transformative power of entrepreneurial leadership in creating sustainable and impactful business models.

Kiru Energy, a clean-tech firm led by founders Chibunna Ogbonna and Benedict Okpala, which successfully expanded its business and developed innovative energy solutions for Africa after participating in SVAA’s Purpose Playbook Training. This program provided them with insights into integrating Shared Value principles into their strategy, reviewing their overall purpose as a business, to enhance their business model and societal impact. Similarly, Nicodemus Omundo of Food Solidarity International and Lungiswa Mzimba of Border Frontier have leveraged SVAA’s training to embed purpose into their ventures, focusing on reducing food loss and waste and advocating for sustainability.

The experiences of these entrepreneurs underscore the academy’s role in inspiring entrepreneurs to pursue ventures that contribute positively to society and the environment, marking a significant shift towards sustainable and impactful business practices across Africa.

Networking and Collaboration

Throughout the year, we also host the African Entrepreneurship Forum, a pivotal series of webinars that, since 2021, has brought together more than 3000 African entrepreneurs. The forum amplifies the role of entrepreneurship in driving societal change and creating economic value. With a diverse network of speakers, engaging presentations and interactive sessions, the event sparked meaningful discussions on the transformative potential of entrepreneurship in Africa. The platform provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses and shared stories of innovation, resilience and community engagement. The forum also encourages mentorship, enabling experienced entrepreneurs and key sustainability players to guide the next generation.

In 2022, the development of our collaborative trade community and ecosystem for entrepreneurs, JamiiTrade, was conceived. The online collaboration and networking platform presents a rare chance for entrepreneurs from across Africa to meet, share, and learn from each other. We are excited to announce that the initial version of JamiiTrade, known as MVP1, is set to launch this month, marking a significant step forward in our mission to support and propel African entrepreneurship and economic development.

Looking Ahead

As we move into 2024, the ongoing commitment of SVAI to empower entrepreneurs by championing shared value principles is a testament to the belief in the transformative power of African entrepreneurship as a cornerstone of the continent’s sustainable development. By engaging with and empowering the next generation of leaders, there is a unique opportunity to catalyse a wave of positive change that will not only transform Africa but also contribute to a more sustainable and equitable global future.

Join us on this journey!