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Entrepreneurs Talk Africa

Author: Gerald, Jason, and Marc

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Inspirations & Actions from African Leaders and Founders
39 Episodes
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Anyone who has setup an e-commerce site or a retailer who wanted to use a modern payment system has faced challenges and high fees. Not counting the numerous technical issues with foreign credit cards and currencies. MIPS, Multiple Internet Payment Systems, has been created after this idea by Sebastien Le Blanc.In this episode we talk about payment systems in Africa, the relationship with regulators and financial institutions, and innovation in the finance space. It's a fast and fun discussion, with some smalltalk but no censorship. An uppercut right into the jaw. Have fun, no listeners will be harmed!Some wisdom from Gandhi we discussed: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." 
Originally from Zimbabwe, Guy Daines is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur and coach. In this episode, Guy shares his years of experience as an entrepreneur and business strategist. From early stage ventures to long-term strategies, from simple successes to failures, Guy distills his unique wisdom.The life of an entrepreneur is often seen as dangerous and glamorous. However, Guy reminds us it's first and foremost a question of freedom of choices and decisions. Therefore, Guy gives us some keys to transform this freedom of choices and decisions into financial freedom. Enjoy!
Education is one of those industries that require a total revamping. Jade Li founded Katapult to tackle the issue of STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and bring a fresh approach to education.In this episode, Jade walks us through her company, Katapult, unique approach to education and how she started and grew her business.Starting the acceleration program of Turbine, Mauritius Incubator and Accelerator, Katapult will expand its footprint, so stay tuned!Note to listeners: we faced a couple of tech issues during the interview including a complete crash of Zoom. We edited as much as we could to avoid too many distraction, but as you'll hear, this is the real life of an entrepreneur too. Thank you for your kind understanding.
Money is a crucial part of any company, but probably even more for startups who generally start their operations on a shoestring. In this episode, we discuss with Abu Cassim, founder and CEO of Jozi Angels, a business angel organization in Johannesburg, South Africa.Abu has invested in dozens of startups on the African continent and bring a wealth of knowledge when it comes to picking up the right venture to invest in. In this interview, Abu walks us in what is the secret sauce that makes a startup successful, what business angels look for before investing and the red flags that stop any further due diligence.If you want to be in your best shape to raise capital, start a new company or expand it, look no further and spend the next hour or so listening to my conversation with Abu. Enjoy!
Are you born an entrepreneur, can we learn entrepreneurship or are we made entrepreneurs? To answer this question, we welcome a young professional who is in charge of the student venture project at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. Coming from a liberal art and alternative education background, nothing predestined Lucy Scott to be in charge of developing the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of students at ALU.This podcast is all about Lucy’s story, before, during (and after…) her tenure at ALU. Lucy goes over her learning experience of building Student Ventures at ALU, her challenges of being part of an ecosystem of startups and why entrepreneurship leadership is so important in today’s world.ALU has been founded by Fred Swaniker and watching his TED talk, titled The leaders who ruined Africa, and the generation who can fix it, will give you a wonderful idea about why leadership is core and center to ALU. "In Africa, more than anywhere else in the world, the difference that just one good leader can make is much greater than anywhere else," Fred Swaniker. But before you click on the link above, enjoy Lucy’s interview about leadership education and why entrepreneurship education matters!
If you ever had a coach, be it a professional or life one, you probably know how valuable his or her sessions were to you. Generally, most of us are skeptic about coaches until you meet a real life-changing one. Then you become afficionado. Our guest today had a few coaches that really made a difference and, while working on the continent, realized very few professionals were offered coaching sessions by their employers. Coffee Chat was born.Today, we welcome Chris Suzdak, the founder of Coffee Chat, a coaching platform " for the next generation of leaders across emerging markets". Chris walks us on his entrepreneurial journey, how he moved from idea to execution, his main challenges as en entrepreneur, his grit and resilience.Enjoy this new episode that will change forever the view you may have had on 1-on-1 coaching,
When, as an entrepreneur, you need money, you know have multiple options without requiring to go through the classical banking system. One of them that is available to businesses and individuals is crowdlending or peer-to-peer lending. In this episode, we have the pleasure to interview Paul Perrier, the founder of FundKiss, the first crowdlending platform in Mauritius.Paul comes back on his entrepreneurial journey and particularly the creation of FundKiss. Timing, resilience, determination, focus, openness, public-private partnership are may of the themes Gerald and Paul discusses in this first episode of the fifth series of Entrepreneurs Talk Africa.Great lessons of grit and willingness to change the world for the better. Enjoy! And remember to leave us 5 stars on your favorite podcast network. It means a lot to us!
We wanted to end this short season with our thoughts, about the bazaar and our MVP approach to interviews, as well as our key insights. Stopping, thinking and reflecting about what happened is a nice way to learn and improve.In this final (and special episode), you will hear from the three of us. We are sharing our key learning with a smile after a great day, meeting cool and courageous startupers. We wish you a Merry Christmast and a Happy New Year. Enjoy!
One key element of any ecommerce web site is its payment page. One key element of any retailers is its card payment system. But cards are no longer this only digital payment way. Phones are getting ubiquitous in this space. Based on this, MIPS, Multiple Internet Payment Systems, was created to fill that void.In this episode, Xavier, from MIPS, walks us through the importance of a payment system in the internet and retail spaces, as well as the simplicity they wanted to focus on. It's all about the customer experience! Enjoy!
This episode is somehow different from others. It's the first time we welcome a "builder" in Entrepreneurs Talk Africa. Ruben loves music and recycling objects into musical instruments. He transformed his passion into a side hustle, that he's sharing with us today.It's a little bit unusual interview with a musical twist and a Mauritius flavor. Enjoy!
How to have more kids interested by STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics? Jade wanted to provide an answer to this question to be able to transmit her passion for STEM. What did she do? She created Katapult, a company aimed at having kids play with STEM to make them love STEM.Then, recently, she created a game to help kids discover electricity in a fun way, Squishy Circuits. In this episode from the Xmas Short Series, we learn how Jade came to entrepreneurship and how she learned along the way. A refreshing and fun interview! Enjoy!
In this second episode of the Xmas Bazaar short series, we welcome Shamir, co-founder of AVR Plato, a startup focused on augmented reality technology and editor of AR Games. Shamir explains what AVR Plato was founded, his challenges and difficulties as a startuper, and how he overcame and got stronger! A story of determination and resilience!Enjoy!
We inaugurate this short series with Hisham, co-founder of Met Enn Koste,  a Mauritian Startup. Because they were an online service, they got turned down by Xmas market organizers. This did not get them down, instead they decided to create their own, the Met Enn Koste Xmas Bazaar.We hear right from Hisham, how they came up with the idea, with his co-founder, and how they execute. Pure MVP approach, pure startup thinking, pure simple execution! Enjoy!
Fintech is one of those buzz words that everyone has heard one day or another. A couple of years ago, Mauritius founded the Mauritius Africa Fintch Hub and hired Michal Szymanski to lead the organization. Michal has been in a startup ecosystem for a while and "speaks" fintech, blockchain and payment gateway fluently. In this interview, he comes back on the fintech ecosystem and the importance of building one, as well as about the power of the network. Known for his no-BS direct approach, I'm sure you will enjoy Michal unplugged.
"The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." –MichelangeloIn this episode, we welcome San Bhaskaran, the CEO and founder of Upilot.com, an innovative CRM aimed at changing the CRM landscape. Serial entrepreneur, San is walking us in his personal journey about value creation and overall growth and scale!In this interview, San distils his wisdom and sound advice to all entrepreneurs and aspiring ones. Enjoy!A special offer from SanFor the first 100 of our listeners, San is doing a massive discount on Upilot, his innovative CRM. You can test Upilot for a full quarter for just 1 (yes one!) US dollar a month. Click here to learn more and see if you need a CRM.
As her LinkedIn profile says, Marie Espitalier Noël is passionate about sustainability, she believes in a new form of business model which reconciles profit and impact optimization. Leading Inco in Australia after working in Mauritius and Reunion, Marie is focusing on making a difference in people's life by supporting  innovative companies to maximize their social impact and upskills diverse individuals to reach their full potential.In this episode, we focus on impact investing. What it is, how different it is from "normal" investment and why it matters in the world, particularly nowadays. Marie tells us about her journey from finance and economics to impact investing, a crucial activities particularly in emerging economies.
Today, we step into business expansion and particularly geo expansion, by welcoming Adefolu Majekodunmi, co-founder and managing director of Asseco Nigeria, co-founder and non-executive director of Capricorn Digital and President of European Business Organisation Nigeria.Expanding a company geographically on the African continent can be tricky and costly. How do you operate a company far from its headquarters? Where and how to start? When to pull the plug if necessary? Those are some of the questions we have been discussing with Adefolu.With over 15 years of experience in expanding geographically digital businesses in Africa, Adefolu four principles: People, Process, Platform, Patience are pure practical wisdom!
This episode is a little bit special. We are honored and humbled to host Gaetan Siew.World citizen, Gaetan Siew’s leadership and his vision of a world of sharing allows him to mobilize and inspire political and business leaders around a creative consensus unleashing the full potential of our resources.President of the International Union of Architects from 2005 to 2008, he travelled the world to meet international institutions and governments promoting greater solidarity. With his in-depth understanding of men, cities and global issues, he continues his mission through the Global Creative Leadership Foundation.In 2013 he is made Chevalier of the Ordre National du Mérite by the President of the French Republic for his international contribution to the profession and to architecture.In June 2013 he is appointed as Board Director to the Future Cities Catapult UK.Appointed Chair of the National Construction Industry Council in Mar 2015 by the Government of Mauritius. Chair of State Land Development Company - Smart Cities Initiative Mauritius. As you can see, this episode is bringing deep expertise and the discussion is enlightening the ways to shape Africa's future with technologie and urbanism, with a twist. Cities in Africa are different from the rest of the world and force us to look at them in a new way, to learn and think differently. Enjoy this unique episode!
Attracting and retaining talent are jobs in themselves, especially for startups and small entreprises. In this episode, we have a the pleasure to welcome Eric Van Gils, Partner at Holbourne Advisory, an Africa focused Executive Search firm. After a career in Finance, Eric decided his passion for talent management was stronger that his for numbers.An organisation without its people is nothing. When the times comes to hire employees, the founders are generally faced with multiple questions. One of them being to attract the best and the brightest to help drive an accelerated growth. But a startup is full of promises but not necessary cash, and it's a risky business, even it's well funded. How to attract talent, where to find them, how to think compensation, are a few question Eric is sharing. A must listent episode if you want to make the right choice when it comes to hiring!
In this episode, we welcome Yvonne Bettkober, from Cameroon, who is the General Manager of Amazon Web Services Switzerland. We cannot but think about all the young professionals in Africa who dream about having a great career in tech and drive their own success! Yvonne is a real role model!Yvonne discusses at leanght how technology can be an enable for many challenges faced by Africa. She explains how Africa is a startup,  and why we need a more connected economy to the needs of the people.We come to the root of the startup way of thinking: Think Big, Invent and Simplify, Start from the Customer.  We explore what makes success in life. Yvonne describes simple ideas: working hard, being obsessed, not looking for the easy path, being resilient, making a difference and an impact...And we explore what those ideas mean through three dimensions:  Intelligence, Energy, and  Integrity. An episode packed with powerful words from one of the top African women leaders. You can find more on Amazon in Africa at aws.amazon.com/local/africa
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