There is a new Africa in the making. Trendy and entrepreneurial. David Rosenberg, my partner in crime, and I noticed this during a session we facilitated with 6 young people from all over the world. It took place in downtown Kampala (in Uganda) in the Wild Coffee café. An ideal setting for a brainstorm.
We asked what drives them and listened to their stories. They have in common that each of them wants to make a difference here and has found that there is only way to have real impact:
Fulfilling their missions through entrepreneurship.
Each mission relates to big challenges in Africa: to become climate resilient, to give youth access to employment, to bridge different cultures and make the feeding chain circular. They joined forces and set up a company (ProTeen) with one unique ingredient to face those challenges: insects, specifically the black soldier fly. They tell so enthusiastically that I am starting to look differently at insects.
They might even be delicious.
The insects feed themselves on the tons of organic waste that Kampala produces every day. ProTeen processes the insects into sustainable protein-rich livestock feed and soil fertilizer. By providing a circular solution, they make farming more profitable throughout Africa. It also offers an alternative for the threatened silverfish of Lake Victoria.
While David and I critically ask about their strategy, we notice they have thought through every step and have a very clear guiding policy on how to get there. They can be a role model for a new kind of entrepreneurship. One of them, an Ugandan, has also set up a primary school for 200 children in his home district. He does this as a side activity and runs it from a distance.
It is amazing how driven, self-aware and committed these young people are.
Hopefully, they can inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs or help build bigger companies with business models that contribute to Africa’s prosperity. I am convinced that an important ingredient of success is to be more self-aware and to have a better understanding of your peers. That is why it helped these 6 people to explicitly discuss their stories about background, accomplishments and to talk about their unique drives and strengths.
At the end of the session we have lunch at the Wild Coffee Café: flatbread with grasshoppers and other insects.
We feel healthy and inspired!
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