In order produce new set of entrepreneurs in Africa, Felix King Foundation has unveiled a new initiative tagged ‘The Startups Africa’ that will groom and reward young and vibrant African youth with great entrepreneurial ideas with $10,000 startup grant.
From inception, the foundation had launched several empowerment initiatives such Market Moni, WeProgress, WIFARM and Woman Cooperative to empower rural women and widows.
The launch of ‘The Startups Africa’ in partnership with Trinity International University of Ambassadors, Georgia has added fillip to the already existing programmes launched to alleviate poverty, empower trade and provide employment.
Speaking at the launch, the founder Felix King Foundation, Dr. Felix King said, “I strongly believe in the ability of young Africans to birth the innovative business ideas that can change the world for the better.”
He added, “We are willing to provide the help and support needed to actualize this. I have always believed that if you are a billionaire and all you think about is about your immediate family; how your children would attend the best schools, ride the best cars, live in the best of luxuries without a thought on how to lift others, then you are a poor person in your soul.”
“We are not in this project because we have a surplus. On the contrary, we are driven by our conviction and belief in the saying that “we can only rise by lifting others. Africa can only be great when we lend the hand to lift one another,” Dr. King emphasised.
Explaining how the new initiative with pan out, the founder of the Foundation said, “Today, we are formally announcing our initiative to potentially give a $10,000 grant to the best revolutionary business idea. What you need to do to partake is, go to foundation website and summit your pitch with not more than 500 words about your business idea,” adding that “If your ideas is unique you are qualified to be selected for the final event in Lagos.”
He said Nigeria is challenged in so many fronts but the most dangerous of these challenges has been the inability of a vast majority of the populace to be economically relevant. Talent and skills abound in this country. With a strong population made up of 65 percent young and able people, Nigeria should be a bustling beehive of thriving businesses and innovations.
According to him, “It is important to emphasize the importance of evolving a homegrown solution to our entrepreneurial challenges. As an African with global exposure, I have a strong conviction that we don’t need the world to help us; only Africans can help develop Africa and we need to start by empowering our women in the rural communities and our teaming talented youthful population with entrepreneurial dreams.”
Speaking on the importance of entrepreneurship, Dr. King stated that entrepreneurs are the key drivers of any sustainable economy. They are the pillars that support the long terms goals of individuals, families and nations. Those who are in various universities today should either be dreaming of starting up businesses of their own or getting jobs in businesses already started by entrepreneurs. But once we allow the pool of entrepreneurs to dry, any index showing economic growth can be noting but false.
Dr. King stated that let me quote a British actress and fashion muse, Audrey Hepburn, who was credited as having said that “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. The same could be said about entrepreneurs and startups. “In a lot of ways, the willingness for individuals to embark on the startup journey – whether as founders, team members or investors – is a willingness to believe in tomorrow.”
“The very human motivators of fear and greed are inevitably intertwined into the decision to invest, but the return on investment can be much more than fiscal. It’s not so much a question of why we “need” to invest in startups, as it is why we should want to,” he said.
Startups are hyper-innovators driven by ambition and insight to charge into the unknown. The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI), had clearly stated that entrepreneurs improve economies and people’s lives by creating jobs, developing new solutions to problems and creating technology that improves efficiency.
The entry for ‘The Startups Africa’ opens on November 15th, 2019 and closed on January 31st, 2020 with grand finale holding on March/April 2020.