Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AFRICAN ENTERPRISE

Africa stands at the cross-roads as once again we have become the attention of the whole world as we now offer a new surge in natural and human resources. Ours is a continent blessed by God in ways many continents can only dream of. However, we also face great challenges such as poverty, HIV/AIDS orphans, street kids, poor education and health standards, poor governance and economic policies to mention a few . I have been looking for practical ways to solve these problems and I’ve come to the conclusion that enterprise is a great starting point. Enterprise is defined by the American heritage dictionary as “the industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed toward profit.” Enterprise is usually undertaken by individuals and not governments. Therefore, economic change comes from the bottom-up. However, government has a part to play in ensuring that the economic environment and policies support and sustain enterprise. America is a great example of how enterprise can build and sustain a nation.

Entrepreneurs are simply individuals who are involved in enterprise. They form businesses that provide services and products to the public while creating a profit. Entrepreneurs also create jobs and lead in innovating new products to solve emerging challenges. Entrepreneurs are an integral part of the development of any nation and as such should be supported. I believe that Africa must promote entrepreneurship as a solution to problems such as poverty and that we as Africans must realize that governments exist not to provide our daily needs but rather facilitate our efforts to meet our needs. This shift in thinking is necessary if we are to develop into a great continent that solves its own problems. Of course I do believe that governments have a responsibility to take care of their citizens but how this is achieved is certainly not through handouts. Handouts impoverish while incentives empower. This is why Africa must promote and support African entrepreneurs.

THE ENTREPRENEUR DNA
All entrepreneurs have certain traits in common and I want to show you that this person exists in you. Yes, there is an entrepreneur in you. Many Africans I’ve met think they need to be really special to come up with an idea that will dazzle the world. They think entrepreneurs come from somewhere else other than their own backyard. These are misconceptions we must deal with as Africans. We are intelligent, hardworking, creative and certainly world-class material. We are entrepreneurs. Here is how you can recognize the entrepreneur in you. Entrepreneurs are:

1.CREATIVE: Entrepreneurs are creative people. They are always thinking of how to do something better and make a business out of it. They solve problems by being creative. Creativity is not hard. All you need is the time to sit down and think through an idea. Brainstorm ways you can do something better or simply create a new product all together. Creativity is part of your DNA as a human being, therefore, use it.

2.PASSIONATE: Entrepreneurs are people who pursue their ideas with passion. They put their all into an idea to make it a success.

3.VISIONARY: Entrepreneurs are people of vision. They develop a clear mental picture of their future and pursue it. They can see what is coming down the road and prepare for it. They re visionaries.

4.RISK-TAKERS: Risk is part of the definition of an entrepreneur. They are always pushing the envelope and trying out new things. They are not gamblers but rather strategists who carefully weigh their risks and know the consequences of their decisions. They gladly embrace adversity and see it as an opportunity to improve themselves and their ideas. They realize that in adversity lie great opportunities.

5.CONFIDENT: They are sure of themselves and of their ideas. They do not listen to naysayers but rather maintain a positive attitude even in the face of failure. They are confident in their abilities and take the time to develop and use them. They realize that they are their greatest asset.

6.DETERMINED: They never say die. When they fall and fail, they simply get up and try again. They never give up and never take no for an answer. They are determined to make their ideas a reality.

These and many more are traits of an entrepreneur. Now this person exists in you and I ask you to simply believe in yourself. Begin to see this person in you. Look beyond the negative notions that have been planted in your mind by the naysayers in your life. Look beyond the damage caused by a low self-esteem that developed as a result of hearing people repeatedly say to you; “you will never amount to anything.” Look beyond the wounds caused by failure and begin to dream again because there is an entrepreneur in you. You were meant for greatness and in you is the next big idea.

I am absolutely confident that if we can have a few Africans dedicated to becoming entrepreneurs, our continent will never be the same. A band of young men and women whose sole desire is to see Africa rise above her troubles through the idea of enterprise. I challenge you to begin finding peers that are like minded and begin to pull resources together and venture into business. As we will learn in a few weeks, there is power in “WE”. So go ahead; dream, create, innovate and change the face of Africa.

To African’s Success,

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greetings, my sincere apologies for not having communicated on you blog in quite a while. My guess is that I last shared before the death of president Mwanawasa. Well Zambia is voting again, and my question is, where is general Miyanda. That man is prudent and discrete; plus morally upgraded. He might need vocal subodinates to mrket his cause, please do reply Campbell. God's blessings.

Anonymous said...

As I stated about a month ago, it would be just lovely if this blog was to be put on the mainstream of Zambian trafiic. Continue deleting the vulgar posts though, thats honourable. Keep the criticisms, even mine hahahahahaha. Blessings.

Campbell Lumbila said...

Great to hear from you. I was also wondering the same thing about Genreal Miyanda but I guess he feels the time is not right or that Zambia is not ready for his brand of Leadership.

I personally admire his integrity and I feel that he would make a great leader.

Campbell Lumbila said...

Concerning going mainstream. My blog is also linked to www.azaonline.org
These are Zambians in Atlanta and they publish my stuff as well. I was thinking of going to the post as a columinst. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Hello, thank you for your prudent reply. As always I was surfing then alighted on the article of Dr. Nevers Mumba. Plus I left comments for both you and Cho. My friends should be joining this blog as soon as they are convinced it is worth it; that is just a matter of Time. Thank you for starting it though it is what we have needed, for so long a time. A breath of fresh air. Just as I was done typing, today to my surprise Mr. Miyanda has filed his papers for presidency; another welcome event for it keeps him in our sights. It is time we moved his cause forward; connect this thread to the masses for this year and 2011. Godbless you.

Anonymous said...

I posted more on Dr. Mumba's article. Be my guest to respond or add to it. Brig. general Miyanda has added his name to the candidates list. Wow! and we wrote of him yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Greetings, how do you disappear from your own blog? LOL just making conversation; thought you would like to know, but there is a site called Lusaka times, traffic is heavy, though a lot of strange people reside there too.

Mwanza said...

Good Job Campbell. Very educative and encouraging articles.