Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|December 21, 2021|6 Minutes|In Billionaire Tomorrow

Billionaire Tomorrow

"Happy festive season risk takers!"

It has been a tough year for all you entrepreneurs all over Africa from Tet to Lusaka, Nairobi to Lagos;  it has been harrowing as the world lurches through the pandemic.

Billionaire Tomorrow hopes and wishes all your hard work and dreams make it through 2022– so, this time next year, we really will be celebrating festive times.

For this continent of ours is blazing a trail with hard work and the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world.

One-in-five Africans are entrepreneurs, according to the African Development Bank. African women are twice as likely to start their own business as women elsewhere in the world.

Small and medium enterprises  are now the biggest employers in sub-Saharan Africa and will play a big part in the 53 million jobs Africa is expected to create by the end of 2022.

Yet, it is a far cry from the 122 million jobs needed to keep everyone busy and stave off the risk of the devil finding work for idle hands.

Another caution in this story is that small business has a high failure rate of 8% in sub-Saharan Africa. On top of this only 20 %, according to the ADB, of African entrepreneurs are offering new goods and services. Sadly, many of Africa’s entrepreneurs are so-called “survival entrepreneurs” who are pushed into it because of unemployment or hard times.

With all of these caveats in mind, Billionaire Tomorrow wishes the entrepreneurs of Africa a happy and restful festive season (OK, we know entrepreneurs never rest!). Whatever you do  think of being an entrepreneur in Africa as a badge of honour and wear it proudly. In the coming year Billionaire Tomorrow will be looking to binding together  this powerful community.

No matter what, we hope you entrepreneurs leap into the new year with the power and grace of a thoroughbred race horse!

We leave you with a word of inspiration from three African entrepreneurs  who will be out there making it in 2022.

Neil Koen, Swagefast, South Africa.

“Most people don’t know what a swagebolt is,” says Neil Koen of Swagefast, a South African-based engineering and tooling company. “But if you’re a company serious about securing and fastening your steel, mining, rail or agriculture infrastructure, you will know our products are key to the safety, security and continuity of factories and businesses across the country”, says Koen. He believes the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure roll-out in energy, infrastructure, mining, transport, agriculture and solar power will require the installation of swagebolt technology, which significantly increases safety and reduces theft risk in large steel installations and construction. Koen was part of the South African delegation at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban recently, where almost 12 000 visitors and delegates gathered to look into import and export opportunities across the continent.

Mohammed Kontagora, NASPAN, Nigeria.

It makes no sense that the consumers living in the world’s largest Shea butter producing countries in Africa should buy the final product bottled and imported from Europe and the US, with expensive labels on them. Mohammed Kontagora is the President of the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN) and confident that closer collaboration between buyers and sellers in African countries will see the Shea butter industry flourish. “Shea butter is one of the most natural and organic skin products on earth,” says Kontagora. An entrepreneur with his roots in the Vitellaria plantations and trees that produce the Shea butter nut, he sees other African countries as a natural fit for downstream processing and packaging of the 100% pure Shea butter products from West Africa.

Roselyn Benson Agboola, N.O.R. Investments, Nigeria.

Producing new clean burning energy solutions from sustainable resources is not only the responsible thing to do. It is a necessity for millions of households across the continent of Africa. It is with this message in mind that Roselyn Benson Agboola, the Managing Director of N.O.R. Investments recently travelled thousands of kilometres to the Intra-African Trade Fair in South Africa. “Myself and a few women started the company almost by chance a few years ago when we started investigating more durable, sustainable alternatives to charcoal and coal, which often produced pollution and toxic air when burnt within homes,” says Agboola. “We found coconut shells, rice hulls and other materials offered clean-burning and non-toxic alternatives, and we have been promoting and producing this as a safe heat generating product ever since”. From her base in Abuja, Nigeria, she hopes to export her eco-friendly, clean-burning energy product to more markets across East and Southern Africa.