Kenneth Gyamerah on Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Leadership for African Start-ups. Episode 1

Starting a new business, enterprise, organization is very difficult in the beginning but with determination, focus and the right information, you can suceed.

Find a nitche(specialize in one area)
Many young entrepreneurs, activists and leaders focus on so many things at a time and as a result, end up gaining nothing. To become a good entrepreneur or  leader, you don’t have to be jack of all trade. You should specialize in a field that your strength lies and then stay focus on the issue you are addressing , product and service you are rendering. In our generation, there is a competitive market and almost every young person is doing something but to achieve your aim, you should focus on a specific area that you think many people are not eyeing. Make sure you work at that area very well that, you become a resource person at that.Find an interesting area and develop yourself to become a specialist in that.

Research thoroughly in your  field of work.
Research is very important for every entrepreneur or leader. No matter what you do, there are many resources online that you can tap to enrich your work. Many people are into a particular business or field but don’t read about industry leaders, competitors, resources, monthly or yearly statistics, profit, new ideas etc about what they do. As a leader, if yours is public speaking, you have to identify those who are already doing  well in that area, read about how they started and made it and stay current all the time. With the internet at our advantage, we have to harness it to the fullest. Moreover, before you venture into any new business, enterprise, organization or an area, you should gain in-depth knowledge about that area so that you will always be able to convince people, customers etc.

If you are the boss or a team leader of an organization solving problems in the community, you should be more knowledgeable in the subject area and flow easily whenever called upon.That’s why you should set a good elevator pitch.
 Everything about what we do can be found online. Let’s engage the search engines.

 Find a mentor
There is an African adage that a problem shared is halved. This adage is still relevant in our generation. Leadership or entrepreneurship is an area that nobody is forced to venture. Many people enter voluntarily.
Did you know that about 2/3 of startup companies fail in the first three years. Have you asked yourself why?
Sometimes, most of these people lack what is called mentorship.
Many successful leaders, or entrepreneurs once in their life time had mentors.
A mentor is someone who is willing to help shape your dreams by rendering continued support,guidance, encourage and gives strong network to tap into.
These days, you can search for people in your country or community that you are doing similar things and ask them to mentor you. You can also attend capacity building seminars where most of these wonderful people are easily to be found.
The best mentor is the one who has already gone ahead of you especially the field you are working around or have started a business on their own.

There are online resources available that you can find mentors. If you don’t get a physical mentor, the power of Tech has made it easily to find mentors globally.Many good  people are always ready to help you succeed. Notable among them is Adepeju Jaiyeoba from Nigeria, Javnyuy Joybert from Cameroon, Gideon Marcel Commey from Ghana , Frehiwot Negash from Ethiopia and many wonderful YALI network members doing incredible work in their communities. You just have to approach them and share your stories with them.
You can  also search for Mara Mentor an online mentorship platform.

Make use of technology
Nowadays, you don’t have to sit in Harvard University to learn computer science. We are living in a global village and technology is changing the world. No matter what you do, making use of technology especially the social media will enhance your work, market your brand, spread your campaign, reach donors, people from all walks of life and also get access to great network and partners you never thought of. Showing your work on facebook, LinkedIn and twitter doesn’t mean you are showing off. It’s a great way of telling the world what you do and also motivate others to be up and doing.
Pictures speak volumes .After events ,find  time and give  comprehensive reports on social media using pictures and short but concise write-ups.
Consistently post something about what you do .
Make use of online fundraising. Sometimes, the people around us may not believe in our work.Finding money to implement projects are difficult but there are many good people online looking for  projects to sponsor.
You can create online fundraiser. Search for betterplace. org, gofundme and indiegogo.

About the Author
Kenneth Gyamerah is a Ghanaian Writer, Teacher and the Country Ambassador to CELBMD-Africa. He is a YALI West Africa and Royal Commonwealth Society Fellow. He is a member of the International Society of African Youth Activists.

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