Africa needs entrepreneurship that works. We need to support the mass growth of SMEs to aid the development of the formal economy in each country on the continent. We need to break down the barriers to entrepreneurship that force so many young people to run their businesses “on the side” or keep them trapped in zero-hour contracts that do not support their futures.
As the business eco-systems continue to form and innovate on the continent, there continues to be a need to democratise the opportunity for formal entrepreneurship among the general population, not just the 1%.
There is a need to equip and empower young people living on the continent so that they can contribute to the economy by building formal businesses that not only help them individually but sow seeds into the future growth of the continent.
My mission is to create opportunities for Africans to build businesses that create well-paying jobs for themselves and others.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 10 years.
I’m an academic with 2 Masters degrees from one of the most prestigious universities in the world; London School of Economics and Political Science.
I’m also a multi-award winner.
For example, I was chosen by the Higher Life Foundation and Oxford University as one of the top 10 African entrepreneurship innovators of 2017 based on a worldwide competition. Higher Life Foundation is a leading organisation in African providing programs for young people interested in entrepreneurship. Oxford University is on of the top 3 universities in the UK.
I was also hand-picked by Baroness Martha Lane Fox as one of the up and coming women in tech entrepreneurship. Martha Lane Fox is one of the most successful and influential female entrepreneurs in the UK. She is on the board of Twitter, among other large tech corporations and is the entrepreneurship and tech representative in the House of Lords advising the government on the field of her expertise.
In the first couple of years of my entrepreneurship journey I fell into many avoidable traps and took the scenic route to solving critical problems, unknowingly.
Since then, I have coached 1094 startup founders through the most difficult times of their business journey. Now I’ve created a program fit for the trials and tribulations facing African entrepreneurs based.
My passion is the development of African communities.
It is my belief that entrepreneurs with the right training and support will be able to build the type of businesses that will create stable jobs and healthy incomes thereby contributing significantly to the development of the nation.
I created Do it Now Now to play a role in that movement.
Do it Now Now is solving the problem of high youth unemployment rates. Young people in Nigeria and many other African countries are not properly equipped and empowered to create their own jobs via entrepreneurship. There are not enough formal companies in any African country to hire and properly pay and provide benefits to the large population of young people in the country. By providing young people with the tools they need to start and sustain healthy, scalable businesses, they are not only creating jobs for themselves but also for their peers.
Currently, we provide an entrepreneurship education service that is built on a free/premium model. For example, our trained staff of business coaches host free workshops for Nigerian entrepreneurs on the topics of branding, marketing, ideal development and fundraising as well as team building and pitching. These events are our way of sowing into the ecosystem and identifying startups that are ready to take their business to the next level. At which point we invite them to join a year long online based coaching scheme at a subsidised rate of £49.99 per month for the 1-year long program. By the end of the program each business should have a sustainable business and consistent income for the founder. Thereby contributing to lower levels of unemployment and higher input into the country’s formal economy.
In Nigeria’s current ecosystem, churches and commercial organisations alike are trying to solve the problem for their constituencies by either up-skilling members of their network or providing avenues for employment through employability training.
The international tech world has also seen the potential of the booming youth population in Nigeria and has begun investing in the erection of incubators and accelerators that not only support the development of startups, but also invest in the training of novice coders. For example, Andela, Kiteka, MEST, Seedcamp and so on. All of these are useful additions to the landscape, however, we’re approaching it from a new and exciting vantage point.
Do it Now Now is providing much needed education that empowers young people in the country to achieve the creation and sustainment of real businesses that will create jobs for them and their peers. Our sector agnostic approach allows us to meet the individuals at their point of interest. We teach business skills, not business industry. With the transferrable skills we offer, every young person should be able to start their own business, if they are willing. The beauty of our solution is that we are well suited to collaborate with other organisations. We have worked with Facebook and Google to bring our training to life. They provide the industry know how, and we provide the entrepreneurship know how. But we tap even further into the proletariat, reaching university graduates, out of employment (or underemployed); people who are ready to learn.
With approximately millions of young people in Africa and the majority of those young people grossly underemployed or unemployed, Sub-Saharan Africa’s youth population is either a ticking time bomb, or an opportunity, according to the UN.
We currently have 1094 people enrolled in a program of ours, and by 2024, we will raise that number to 1 million. It may seem like a big jump, but that is our conservative estimate. Over the past 2 years we have worked to create the tools and resources needed to not only ensure that we can properly support the development of real businesses for real people on the continent, but we can help them create at least 4 employment opportunities in that business within 24 months of working with us. Our work on branding, marketing, team building, fundraising, idea development and so much more is easily transferrable to any sector and any education level. By forming partnerships with states in Nigeria, we will be able to create the necessary packages needed to carry out this expansion plan. We will be launching the expansion with 6 states in Nigeria in 2018 maximising penetration via online and offline resources.
There are approximately 51 million young people in Nigeria. 42% of these young people are unemployed or underemployed. the market opportunity in Nigeria is huge as it is also one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Tapping into the readiness of Nigerians to build businesses of their own, and giving them the skills to build healthy, scalable and sustainable businesses will raise employment rates and contribute to a boom in the economy.
Do it Now Now’s social impact is primarily based on the trajectory of the business within 24 months of working with us and partaking in at least one of our key programs. Within those 24 months, the business will be gauged according to assessments developed internally that measure their brand implementation, marketing strategies, fundraising abilities and expansion development. The fundamental measure is the number of “healthy” jobs created in the organisation during those 24 months.
Our aim is to aid the addition of at least 4 well-paying jobs that also provide adequate employee benefits that not only match with the country standards, but also provide a suite of other benefits such as medical insurance and continued professional development that are necessary to the sustainable growth of the business and the continued engagement of the employees.
By 2024 we expect to have engaged with 1 million founders and created 4 million jobs in Nigeria. This is based on the partnerships that we have formed and will continue to form in the country. Our current market access gives us the confidence that we will reach this milestone.