In 2002, Jack Ma stood before a group of young entrepreneurs and investors and told them that the future of the world is digital. They thought he had lost his mind as the .com bubble had just burst and many across the globe were seeking refuge from the internet and everything related to it.
As young Jack looked his skeptical audience in the face, he was faced with two choices – accept what they had said and take his 3-year old business offline or stand his ground and his belief in the future of the internet. Mr. Ma chose the latter, thereby placing a huge bet on the future of the internet and his business, Alibaba.
His friends who stood with him in that room bet against the internet and retreated to the safety of the offline world, a decision that proved to be a huge mistake in retrospect.
As of this writing, Alibaba Group of Companies is worth $480 Billion (USD) and Jack Ma is worth $47.6 Billion (USD) all from his ability to correctly see the future of the internet and online businesses.
Another defining moment is before us and this time, the world is looking to Africa. Numerous financial experts have called Africa the New Frontier and have said that Africa is very capable of becoming a hugely successful region if we adequately utilize what we have.
What we currently have are the active minds of our youths who are seeking answers to questions placed by their parents. What we have is a population of over 200 million young people. What we have is over 200 million able-bodied young people who are eager to make a change in their lives and continent. What we have is more than enough to make the change Africa needs.
This change will only happen when these young people are aware of the importance of digital entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is well embraced here, but more digital entrepreneurs to make the change we desire. The digital world and the opportunities they bring is to every entrepreneur what the hammer is to Thor – power, ability, success.
Someone once said that the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago, the second best time is now. Allow me rephrase that: “the best time to go into digital entrepreneurship was 30 years ago, the second best time is now.”
With a passion to digitally empower young people across Africa with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, Global Wissen Consult was born. We researched and found the African youths have embraced entrepreneurship much more than their parents did, but many of these businesses are lacking the advantage of the digital world. This means that many of them are delving into entrepreneurship, but a far smaller number of them are enabling their businesses with the digital world and tools, hence crippling their businesses with the limitations of the offline
world. Take Covid-19 as an example, the businesses that thrive during this pandemic are the businesses that leverage on the internet.
In a response to enabling digital entrepreneurs across Africa, Global Wissen Consult has launched a Digital Entrepreneurship Program for young people in Africa. This program is self-paced and it is for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as already existing entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses, increase their customer base, learn how a digital business works, and in turn, boost their revenue and cash flow.
We teamed up with successful digital entrepreneurs from across Africa to make this program comprehensive enough so that everyone who takes this program will benefit from it. Some of the digital entrepreneurs you would find in this program are: Joke Silva, Steve Harris, Kehinde Balogun, Blessing Abeng, Uwem Uwemakpan, Nancy Nnadi etc.
The DE Program is broken into 3 chapters made up of 26 modules. In this program, we cover topics like:
- · To create a compelling brand story
- · Find your competitive advantage
- · How to maximize your sales and profit
- · To influence your customers
- · To perform digital market research
- · Create a digital business plan and digital elevator pitch
- · Create a successful digital marketing promotion.
- · The necessary skills for a digital business
- · Some profitable digital business ideas
- · How to position your market offering
And so much more…
Allow me paint an illustration on the necessity of digital entrepreneurship. This illustration isn’t far fetched, but something that happened these past weeks as the impact of Covid-19:
Solake and Yemisi are make-up artists based in Lagos. Prior to Covid-19, Solake made a lot of money offering her services to to-be-brides in Lagos, while Yemisi made just a fraction of Solake’s weekly revenue, but Yemisis has leveraged on the internet to open her skill to a wider
range of customers. Solake never bothered with the internet and she would often say: “My customers know where to find me, They know my studio address.”
Covid-19 hit and globally, businesses were paralyzed, but Yemisi had an edge because she had capitalized on the digital space. She seamlessly moved her services completely online and began to host online classes for budding make-up artists.
Solake on the other hand was badly squeezed by the pandemic as brides-to-be didn’t have any use for her services. Soon, no one came to her studio and she had no income. Subsequently, her business closed down, but Yemisi’s business strengthened.
This is one of the effects of the pandemic to businesses around the world, and only the well-positioned businesses thrived. This is what Africa needs now – digitally-enabled businesses that would thrive in spite of the circumstances.
The time is now and the cause is urgent. What will Africa give to the world?