The new trend for most millennials in Africa is entrepreneurship. When you ask any young Nigerian today, you hear something like “I am the founder of this, I am the co-founder of that”. The truth is entrepreneurship is becoming a way of life and we all seem to enjoy doing what we have chosen to do. Presently, many young Africans are building various solutions that would go a long way to solve the teeming challenges that our continent face. Already there are solutions like Instabug, Flutterwave, WaraCake, Fuzu, and Paystack, just to name a few.
No wonder Tony Elumelu (one of Africa’s 50 richest men) launched the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2015 aimed to fund 10,000 businesses in 10 years.
The budding question should be, why did many African millennials choose entrepreneurship as a career path?. Well to me, I would say its simply called “survival” that is, growing a tough skin in a die-hard economy. An ordinary cac registration is war in Nigeria.
There is this Jayz’s lyrics in Empire state of mind that says and I quote, “if you can make it here (Newyork), you can make it anywhere in the world”. To me, that line is false and here is the truth: “If you can make it in Lagos or any major city in Africa, you can make it anywhere in the world”, and am not talking about South Africa here, am sure you are wondering why. Please don’t ask me now, that’s another post for another day.
To be candid, if you can make it where as an entrepreneur you throw a fist punch in the air when the power comes back on, or you ask for seed money from even your enemies, or a place where just 9.4% of the total population are internet users or bad policies that sets your new business for doom, then you can make it anywhere in the world.
African entrepreneurs are grand hustlers due to the realities of life that has plagued the continent for a long time. To be called a hustler sometimes can connote a wrong impression especially when you are been called an African hustler. To me, hustling is simply an act of earning something out of nothing, and Africans are good at getting things done at all cost. We are always exposing ourselves to positive chances until we hit that big thing.
Here are few reasons why African entrepreneurs possess the hustle DNA:
1. We are Jack of all trade: This is something I have seen in many Nigerians. We are mostly serial entrepreneurs, which makes us to be good at multi-tasking.
2. We are street smart: Africans are literarily born to be street smart, because we find every possible ways to achieve our goals and we hardly take no for an answer.
3. To Stay Alive: With about 50% African youths unemployed, young graduates leave school to stay at home for years. This led so many of the millennials to start their own businesses in order to have something to live on.
Although just only 25 African entrepreneurs are billionaires this year, we have greatly seen an increase in the numbers of millionaires over the years. This clearly shows that even though the economy is not as favorable as it used to be, we have grown a resilient skin to bullshit and multiplying the amount of millionaires that spring up in the continent.
Have you interacted with an African entrepreneur recently? what are your thoughts about them, do you think they were remarkable?, please do share your thoughts.