Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015

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Image source: http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2015/07/24/akon-global-entrepreneurship-summit.jpg

Last week, Kenya hosted the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which brought entrepreneurs, business professionals, government officials (including U.S. President Barack Obama, a co-host), and celebrities (such as singer, Akon) to the country’s capital for the weekend.

The event gathered many inspirational African entrepreneurs. One Congolese woman, Ange Bukasa, founder of  ChezAnge Connect, an investment and entrepreneurship firm, was one such participant. She discussed the challenges African entrepreneurs face such as connecting with investors.

With such a high-youth population in Sub-Saharan Africa (with 10-12 million people entering the labor force annually), many young people are turning to entrepreneurship for employment. Ali-Sha Jivraj, from Uganda, who founded the $15 million Royal Electronics, is an entrepreneur who turned to this field when he was unable to secure full-time employment. His success earned him a spot on this year’s Forbes’ “30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.” He notes further challenges of being young and starting a business, such as that so many people did not take his ideas seriously.

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit sought to help entrepreneurs surmount such challenges. For example, it included a forum for youth and female entrepreneurs “where participants shared their stories, took part in skills training, pitched ideas and heard from various leaders in the entrepreneurship space.”

President Obama underscored the importance entrepreneurship on the continent. “Entrepreneurship empowers people to no longer be subject to aid agencies, but to be part of something to pursue their dreams. Entrepreneurs like you can change the world one idea at a time.”

Bukasa agrees. “I dream of a time when young people are idea owners who come forward and just produce things and impact hundreds of people on the streets or in the town. That’s for me.”

For more information on the summit, visit the Global Entrepreneurship Summit’s website.

Source: Morgan Winsor, International Business Times