I’m very excited to be speaking at the AWESOME upcoming INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future, Campus Outreach Event at Addis Ababa University on May 18, 2012. ( INDIAFRICA a Shared Future on Facebook )
This is a fantastic event and a must attend for anyone interested in hearing about what the state of entrepreneurship is from an Ethiopia AND Indian perspective.
I will be speaking at both sessions:
- The first session runs from 10.00 am - 1.00 pm and is an Interactive Session with Entrepreneurs from India and Ethiopia called "Building youth innovation and entrepreneurship together" ****Please note space for THIS SESSION IS BY INVITATION ONLY !!!!
- The second session runs from 3.00 pm - 4.30 pm and is an Interactive Session with Entrepreneurs from India and Ethiopia "Success stories from India and Ethiopia to inspire the youth" *(This session is OPEN TO ALL BUT SPACE IS LIMITED SO ARRIVE EARLY!!!)
Both sessions will BE web cast LIVE!!!
During the program we will also be talking about the INDIAFRICA Young Visionaries Program. This is a very unique initiative identifying promising young entrepreneurs in India and Africa and offering them opportunities for growth and collaboration AND A CHANCE AT being awarded one of FOURTEEN Grants of $10,000 USD !!!!!!!!!!!
And no conference should be complete without ENTERTAINMENT. So from 6.30pm onwards on May 18 at Addis Ababa University, THERE WILL BE a musical performance by India's super HOT 9 member rock band Parikrama.
Parikrama will jam with a HOT up and coming addis based band whose name will be revealed in the coming days and who will add some serious spice to the whole event…
And best of all IT'S ALL FREE !!!!
Yesterday I had the great honor of being been awarded the prestigious Most Valuable Entrepreneur (MVE) award during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 events taking place here in Addis this week.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 is the world's largest celebration of entrepreneurship, and features millions of people participating in thousands of events in more than 100 countries and all 50 United States. Events are held November 14-20, 2011, to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. Now in its fourth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) brings together aspiring and inspiring entrepreneurs, helping them embrace originality, imagination and ingenuity through local, national and global activities.
The Most Valuable Entrepreneur (MVE) award is given to one Entrepreneur a year in the context of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The Award was given to me during a panel seminar at the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Business and Economics. The audience was comprised of up-and-coming business and economic students [ both under graduate and post graduate ], faculty, and assorted big wigs including those from the Global Entrepreneurship Week committee, all very excited to hear about what entrepreneurship can do to further enhance Ethiopia’s development.
I spoke about the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship that I had experienced in building soleRebels into the planet's fastest growing African Footwear brand!
I also discussed the idea that being a successful entrepreneur is not simply about hard work. Its also about having good fortune [ too often we underestimate the role good fortune plays in ALL our success ] and also about having a great team beside you!!! These multiple factors, I explained, have allowed me to build what I have built so far and will allow me to take soleRebels to the next level.
And really That is the true power of entrepreneurship - it involves not only an idea and a single person, but also those who will follow that idea, dedicate themselves to it and make it a living and breathing reality. It is within this process that greater shared prosperity for the many can be achieved.
My final thought to the audience was that in the near future I hoped to hear that people from that room were now leading their very own companies that were creating world class products and well paying jobs! Because After all isn’t that every entrepreneurs dream!!!
Build your dreams . Spread the wealth.
This interview was for the national broadcaster here in Ethiopia. It was on Friday this week (October 7) and was broadcast live.
On ARHIBU people get to phone in from all over the country and ask questions of the person being interviewed. It was a great opportunity to share what soleRebels have been up to and hear back what people here think about all of it.
There were quite a few calls from aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted some guidance on moving a business forward, which I was very pleased to give!!
Watch the interview in the videos embedded below:
Part 1 of the Interview
Part 2 of the Interview
I have just returned from Dalian China and the World Economic Forums SUMMER DAVOS meeting which I was privileged to attend in my capacity as a Young Global Leader and as a panelist.
The official spiel for the meeting says that the meeting: “… provides a platform for emerging, high-growth companies to work alongside already established global companies and top political and academic leaders to identify fresh new ideas and innovative new technologies that will lead to further global growth….” That’s another way to say it’s a hyper meeting featuring the planet’s most high powered bankers, mega business people, political honchos, super techies, [and of course , a shoemaker ]…. all coming together to mega wheel and deal and throw out various ideas on how to improve the state of the world.
The whole thing is inspiring. It’s enlightening, and a bit intimidating, and even infuriating. Let’s face it: it takes some kind of OOOMPH to say you’ve got answers to the world’s problems.
The overall theme of this year’s jamboree was MASTERING QUALITY GROWTH.
My Panel was titled New Frontiers of Consumption. Our aim with this panel was to examine emerging and frontier markets, youth consumer attitudes, the role of technology, and how to satisfy the demand for quality and sustainability. It was a discussion that was as dynamic as the subject and the forum itself.
Prior to your panel its full rock star treatment as you are sequestered backstage waiting to be brought out onto the stage.
Once onstage, you realize there are people here. Lots of them. To see me!!!?!?! and listen to what I have to say!!!?!??!?? And wait a minute, is that the founder of GOOGLE ?!??!?! and Facebook ?!?!?!? and INFOSPACE !!!?!?!?!!?????? Ok. Quickly realize this thing is BIG. Then there is a long pause and, mercifully, the adrenaline kicks in….. so on we rolled!!!
I think I did ok [ ]
But there were some loud thuds in the audience during my talk - must have been marketing people falling off their chairs when I suggested that we stop looking at consumers as consumers and start looking at them as what they are: people!!!
Here are some more highlights:
- Future trends in consumption are being defined by emerging markets, whose demographic strength is shifting economic power away from the West.
- The spread of technology is allowing consumers, especially the young, have a greater say in what they consume, and has increased knowledge of the social impacts of production.
- The current model of consumption growth is environmentally unsustainable. There are simply not enough raw materials in the world to provide billions more consumers with the level of material consumption traditionally enjoyed by the West.
There is a debate over whether a shift to sustainable consumption should be driven by governments or consumers. While more informed consumers lead to more demand for sustainable consumption, advocates for government action argue that strong regulation – as well as accurate pricing of environmental and social costs – is needed to shift consumption growth from dwindling finite resources to non-material growth.
The United States Peace Corps Volunteers (they call themselves “PCVs”, kinda corny ) in the Amhara region of Ethiopia have teamed up with the Rotary Club, Ethiopia, to create a girl’s leadership camp.
Camp GLOW [ their name - we told you they are kinda corny!] is a week-long camp with five programmed days and two travel days. around 35 to 40 young women, ages 14-17, come from West Amhara, and most of them are from small towns. The camp is organized into theme-based days: Leadership Day, Environment Day, Health Day, Career and Entrepreneur Day, and Gender Day.
The programming of each day follows the theme. And I was fortunate enough to be asked by the US peace Corps members to give the Entrepreneur Day address …..
I spoke about the origins of soleRebels including
- The environmental aspects of the company – taking materials that are available locally, and creating a cool product out of it.
- The idea of risk – how scary it was starting a company.
- Last, but not least, about being a woman in the business world – and challenges associated with this
of particular interest to these up and coming young women was when i showed them what we are doing online including our brand new e*commerce website ! the idea of ecommerce was one they knew very little about BUT one which they became deeply interested in as i showed how it all worked . their reactions, were amazing as this truly showed them the possibilities that lay within , around and beyond the computer
It was an honor to be able to address these up and coming young woman and maybe , just maybe, i may have sparked some ideas that might flourish into the next generation of “soleRebels”......dare to dream!!!!!