From the 1st to the 4th of August Celine Fabrequette ACP YPN Secretary General and SDGs 5 Expert took part in the Accelerated Africa organised by the African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe (ADYFE) in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. The Four days conference was an opportunity for African Diaspora entrepreneurs to interact and exchange with Africans based entrepreneurs (Diaspora Business Talks), internationals and regionals policy makers (Panels Discussions). The conference had also a capacity building element to it, which had for purpose to provide participants with tools to understand; create & develop their own Pitch & Business Model Canvas (Diaspora Startup Award program). The capacity building training and workshop was provided & facilitated by Theodore Khoury with concur of five Africans based entrepreneurs (Rotimi Williams (CEO Kereksuk Rice Farm), Vongai Chekanai (Agronomist), Affiong Williams (CEO Reelfruit), Geraldine (Consultant), Ivan Mworozi (Akiba) .
The first groups exchanged with the entrepreneurs concluded on advice on what elements are needed to be taken into account when going into entrepreneurship. Need to be passionate about what they are doing and not be afraid of the unknown. When developing their idea must first determine a need, the idea/product must respond to need; it must bring a value or create a value. They also need to calculate the risk which means knowing their markets and competition. When searching for funds first, they must start by looking in their surrounding (family, friends)/ network, this will create a frame where there will have to start small before scaling up. To conclude entrepreneurs need to constantly keep learning, and to always heal the advised of other while being aware of what is out there.
A total of 20 pitches were made in which Celine got the opportunity to pitch (Diaspora Start-up Award program) ACP YPN SDGs Mainstreaming bottom-up approach before her peers and experts. This was a very good learning experience, but also a good test run and ways to already take the temperature among our targeted audience. The interests by the audience lead to a useful interaction, which she took, into account when learning how to develop a Business Model Canvas. ACP YPN idea respond to the question how while making profit entrepreneurs can have a social impact. In the seconds workshop participant had to first identify three social issues then identify mechanisms to counter those social issues and thus create a sense of responsibility in regards to keep safe social rights by entrepreneurs. Celine’s’ group identified Youth Unemployment; Gender Inequality & Xenophobia has the pressing social issues to be resolved. The group identified that to take a step toward reducing Youth unemployment four elements needs to be put in place: Awareness, Empowerment, Youth social actors of change & Free Education. For gender equality, they propose anonymous CV & gender pay parity in every occupation and to fight against Xenophobia, awareness need to be made from childhood.
The conclusion that can be made from these four days is that “entrepreneurship, migration and unemployment are all link to each other. In other words: finding solution for one requires to find & developed solutions for the others. In that the diaspora has a crucial role to play in the development of the solutions but also their implementation.” By its Excellency Honorable Alpha Souleymane Bah ECOWAS.
By Celine Fabrequette