Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Business of Africa | Topic Tuesday | TedxEuston

If you’re serious about investment, it’s clear that the question is no longer whether you do business in Africa, rather how to start and what to consider.
As many of us are already aware, Africa presents an incredible opportunity if you are willing to invest in high-growth economies.  

There are some key facts which haven driven the economic growth of the Continent in the last few decades. Here are some:
  • Over 1 billion people live in Africa. That is 15% of the world’s population.
  • More than 60%, 700 billion people, have a mobile phone, and the entire continent is undergoing connectivity leapfrogging.
  • Africa’s combined economy is over $2 trillion, with this forecast to more than double by 2025.
  • Economic growth is 2% above the global average, and has been since 2000, currently standing at 6-7%.
  • 60% of the population are younger than 30 years old, creating the world’s largest labour force by 2035.
  • Nearly 50% of the population live in cities, with increasing amounts of urbanisation underway.
Over the years several African entrepreneurs and economists have given talks at TEDxEuston – providing salient advice and wise information about the continent’s business environment – food for thought for our TEDxEuston’ers who are considering returning, setting up anew, expanding their enterprises or bootstrapping their start-up for major growth, and even simply if you are looking at increasing your involvement by investment.

There are many ways to take advantage of the opportunities across the continent. Here are a few suggestions, of which certain themes emerge from our previous TEDxEuston speakers.
  • The continent beats to its own rhythm, with a distinct culture and way of operating which differs from Western markets.  Appreciate and have a perspective, and respect the differences.   As our speaker Frances Mensah Williams discussed – allow everyone at home their own way of expression to you.

  • Focus on local dynamics as reflected by our TEDxEuston speaker Kene Mkparu. There is no single Africa strategy.  Each market is unique – the continent comprises a rich tapestry of countries. Markets present opportunities in a different way, and business products and services should be offered according to these consumer requirements.

  •  Commitment to long-term and to standards, as mentioned by Dolika Banda at our Facing Forward event in December.

  • Planning – deciding your time period for growth, reviewing your sector, market and objectives for success, as well as planning our business activities, positioning, country launch selection, as well as creating a specific hub for business development.

  • Perseverance – a critical characteristic for all business, and remarked by Jason Njoku, keep failing until you succeed, and understanding the reality of Africa may be, as stated by Ali A. Mufuruki, very different to the Africa Rising narrative.

  • Relationships and Partnerships – working with local, experienced management and partners, including government, community organisations and other players in your field, will yield long-term gains.
  • Local Talent and People – invest in your local team, and over the long-term, understand the role of training in broader society, mentioned in Tutu Agyare’s talk.  As the pace of commercial expansion will be significantly greater than the growth of formal education and training mechanisms.

While each country on the continent has its own set of laws, regulations, political system and cultures this ever-changing environment of systems and rules post the greatest challenge.   Each market should be considered and adapted to accordingly.  Africa’s complexity creates investment challenges and it is important to be adaptable and test traditional business models. 
The consumers within the Continent vary greatly from the new wealth, to rising middle class, and include the basic survivors, living on low or no income in urban slums or rural areas. Due to the connectivity explosion across the continent, this has enabled a range of other services to grow

The TEDxEuston team is committed to inspiring ideas about Africa and being a catalyst for our community and those wishing to engage with the Continent.    We’re actively seeking to connect members of our community to move forward. So please tweet us @tedxeuston, or me on @FeliciaTedx you want to stay in touch, or find out more.
elicia has been a key active organising team player for TedxEuston over the years. With a MBA from the esteemed London Business School, she holds a specialism in emerging markets. Currently a member of the foundation board, Felicia splits her time and career between Asia, Africa and UK.  

Monday, 27 April 2015

TedxEuston Salon 2015 - Facing Forward: Harnessing Energy

Prepare to be blown away on Saturday 13th June 2015, as the latest instalment of TEDxEuston’s Salon takes centre stage. The Salon combines inspiring speakers, the trademark of all our events, in a more relaxed setting alongside drinks, food, friends, music and of course a dance floor!

In order to deliver such a special experience, we have moved The Salon to the beautiful Crown Plaza London – The City, set within London’s iconic Square Mile. Here, conversations will be carried over from this year's 'Facing Forward' conference with a focus on 'Harnessing Energy’ - an increasingly hot topic in a continent as naturally abundant as Africa.

Get set to be motivated by listening to speeches from people who have made a real difference, as they share their ideas and experiences by addressing some of the most pertinent issues facing the continent.

Confirmed speakers include:

- Andrew Hunt – the founder and MD of Aduna, a unique African-inspired health and beauty brand and social business.

- Olasimbo Sojinrin – Nigerian Country Manager at Solar Sisters, a fantastic organisation that eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity.

Cultivating an engaging environment to consume the ideas of astute thinkers and doers, it was important for us to find a location that would serve as a catalyst for motivation and inspiration, yet improve on last year’s successful conference at the British Museum. The Crown Plaza London has all the modern facilities for a great event as such, and with an extra little touch from the TEDxEuston team, it will be an energising hub of activity come the 13th June 2015.

The proof is in the pudding they say, so we invite you to seize this opportunity to be part of this intimate event that aims to inspire a new generation of African leaders.


“I found it really inspiring & it gave me food for thought. 
Also had opportunity to network & met really great people”

Pictures from last year’s event can be viewed here. Waste no time in securing your seat by purchasing a ticket here today!

As many have come to expect, an enlightening evening awaits.

TEDxEustonSalon is supported by our Principal Partner, Shell Global

Thursday, 23 April 2015

#ThrowbackThursday - Pascal Dozie

As we gear up for our Summer Salon, we take a look back at one of our oldest (read wisest) speakers to take the TedxEuston stage - Pascal Dozie. Prolific for being a consistent visionary, Dozie's run of achievements include being the founder of Diamond Bank, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Chairman of MTN Nigeria to name a few.
A experienced executive with a wealth of experience, find out 5 more facts about
Pascal Dozie.

1. Dozie celebrated his 74th birthday, 7th day of the 7th month birthday on the day of his TedxEuston talk
2. He retired in 2005 from his chief executive position in Diamond Bank, which he founded nearly 15 years prior.
3. Dozie has 5 sons, one of which Uzoma Dozie recently took over the helm of Diamond Bank as MD and another, Chiekezi Dozie opted out of the banking world and pursued the creative route by setting up a photography agency. 
4. In 2013, Dozie received a Lifetime Achievement Award of the year at the All African Business Leaders Award in Nigeria.

5. He once said that when he set up Diamond Bank “The first customer was my wife”

A charmer, a seasoned business man, a family man and now a #ThrowbackThursday speaker - watch the talk below.

Friday, 3 April 2015

You said it! TEDXEuston! Wow...

The atmosphere was wonderful, a lot of positive and energetic people. The talks were thought-provoking and inspiring. There was a good mixture: hilarious performances and challenging speeches. The two MCs did a great job in introducing the speakers. The location was beautiful. I also liked the goodies in the bag. TEDXEuston!  Wow...

CHUDE JIDEONWO was articulate and inspiring. He told his story with so much conviction that you could picture yourself in his tale and journey. I was inspired by his story and vision for his country and Africa as a whole as well as his effort at engaging and empowering young people. I was really moved!!!

Dolika Banda: instilled in my mind the fact that you can lend a hand to someone, whoever it might be and that could make a whole lot of difference. Her story was one of nostalgia and serenity of the African continent amidst all the present chaos and uncertainty. 

 Ali Mufuruki challenged my impression of the "African rising" dialogue and motivated me to not settle for less.

Zain Asher introduced a philosophy of creating as an alternative to competing. Interesting…

Sunday Oliseh brought a simple, yet very different and inspiring perspective on life after sports 

Binyavanga Wainaina is the one who challenged my thinking the most. I realise it is okay not to agree on issues and to still work together.

Tutu Agyare referenced seminal authors I would want to read more about, inspired me to look into doing a PhD on the topic he raised

Chi-gurl proved that Africans are not too shabby at standup comedy. It was very refreshing to laugh at the tragicomic issues that directly concern my environment and heritage.

Kene Mkparu shared his journey with us. He took a risk, a leap of faith and followed his dreams. Times got hard, but he perservered. I was moved by his story and it gave me the motivation to push towards my dream

The great choice of truly inspirational speakers and the slick coordination throughout the day.