[BLOG] African Entrepreneurs need the helping professions
Coaching and mentoring are fast becoming essential aspects of modern managerial practice. Surround yourself with experts and mentors in various fields you know nothing about. I am never too proud to say I do not know something and because of that I am privy to many amazing people who and organizations that assist me with business.
A successful entrepreneur is not afraid to say so when they do not know something and is humble enough to ask for help. It is the only way to learn.
In Africa, entrepreneurship has been lauded as the answer to unemployment and a mechanism of redistribution of wealth. But in practice this proves to be difficult to achieve due to the low levels of entrepreneurial activity and a concerning number of entrepreneurial ventures failing.
Also the low entrepreneurial behavior can be attributed to poor education level. Furthermore, the African educational system does not prepare adequately entrepreneurs to cope with the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Apart from education, a number reasons have been proposed for start up failures. This range from lack of management skills, poor access to finance, a lack of mentoring and coaching as well an inadequate knowledge of marketing and business development.
I suggest African governments should consider setting up a national mentorship fund, managed by competent and experienced people with a proven tract record in small business support and management. Provision of finance to start up businesses must be coupled with on going mentorship, training and access to support services.
Entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients includes the willingness to take calculated risks in terms of time, equity or career.
The ability to formulate an effective venture team, the creative skill to marshal resources, the fundamental skill to build a solid business plan and finally the vision to recognize opportunities where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion.
This article was originally posted on West Africa Business Communities