ScaleUp Africa organised one of the biggest diaspora targeted entrepreneurship events in August 2020 attracting Entrepreneurs, Business Growth Experts, Investors, Creative Artistes and Innovators from North America, The Caribbean, Europe and across Africa.
According to Einstein Ntim, the CEO of Global StartUp Ecosystem, main sponsors of ScaleUp Africa’s Festival, ”ScaleUp Africa has truly set the bar for curating an impactful international convening of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. We just witnessed a powerful, well-organised Africa-focused virtual business event and we’re very proud to have been able to sponsor such a historic event.”
With over 40 Virtual Panels, Workshops, Interviews, Presentations and Artiste Performances featuring seasoned experts from a wide range of fields, the Festival put the spotlight on bottom-up Policy Frameworks, Tech, Agriculture and Creative industry opportunities as well as business insights from African music labels, artistes and professionals from around the world.
On The Role of Corporations:
African Angel Investment veteran, Tomi Davies of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) said: ”Corporations must understand that one of the best ways to innovate is to tap into the early stage entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is not to be viewed as old fashioned CSR or Charity. Engaging with and supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem should be viewed as an integral part of Innovation, R&D and overall Strategy.”
Joe Mensah, former President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana and Country Director of KOSMOS Energy said,”We must all lend a hand to support this effort and encourage more boards to report on entrepreneurship and innovation programmes as part of their Environmental, Social and Governance metrics.”
For Amma Gyampo, the Co-Founder ScaleUp Africa, a women-led entrepreneurship advisory and business support firm based in Accra, Ghana and the conveners of this event, the message is simple: “Let’s build up the trust, systems and partnerships required to grow stronger, profitable, job-creating businesses while delivering on social impact.
“There’s an entire community of entrepreneurial leaders that have built world-class talent, tech and solutions but it’s important to connect them to distribution channel opportunities that governments and corporations hold the keys to. Even investors are innovating to boost the growth and performance prospects of this community. This ecosystem has so much value, data, insights, new business models and potential solutions to offer. We facilitate deeper engagement with corporations, foundations and DFIs to promote the growth of our most cutting edge small businesses.”
ScaleUp Africa: A New Breed Of Black & African Business Leaders
The Festival attracted over 3000 registered attendees and streaming viewers including active Investors that shared their insights about their current deals in Africa during the Pandemic. In attendance were a number of leaders and influencers from the African creative sector and Black entrepreneurship ecosystems from countries including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius, South Africa, UK, Canada, USA.
Attendees were encouraged to study macro-trends like digitalisation, self-reliant agriculture, tech and industrialisation as a way to boost their chances of growth and sustainable business success. There was also an emphasis on building profitable businesses from the start and promoting venture investor community building to improve access to funding for Black founders globally.
International venture investors that were present at the event included Maya Horgan Famodu, Eric Osiakwan and Rodney Sampson.
Global brands, affiliates and personalities in attendance were Fuse ODG, Paul C Brunson, Chocolate City, Afropolitan, Ubiquitous Games, RocNation, Afrochella, OHUB, Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN), IFFAC (Roberta Annan), The Adinkra Group, Year of Return, Africa 2.0, The Office of The President of Ghana (Diaspora Affairs), The Tony Elumelu Foundation (Parminder Vir, former CEO) and GUBA (Dentaa Amoateng MBE) among others.
Support organisations like ScaleUp Africa play an important part in the global, African and Diaspora conversation around bridging the racial wealth gap and the need to provide better, longer term support for Black and African Entrepreneurs.