What does your company do?
100% black woman owned entity. African Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEi) is a consulting and entrepreneurship education training company with a focus on the youth within the African continent. Entrepreneurship has been recognised as the most important tool to eradicate poverty and inequality. But with the current statistics on the failure of start-up entrepreneurs in the continent AEi has created a unique solution that ensures inclusivity and allows the youth; potential and existing entrepreneurs to access financial literacy and entrepreneurship education. Our solution encompasses the ability to execute our training and education in different African languages by multilingual experts. This ensures that language is not a barrier to access to information and skills. Our solutions look at the holistic value chain of entrepreneurship development and education.
What has been your biggest success?
- ICT Start-up Programme; this ran for 4 months with 50 black youth entrepreneurs as part of the programme. The objective of the programme was to assist these entrepreneurs who most of which were at ideation phase, to execute their business ideas, 7 of the entrepreneurs that graduated have since secured 12 more months of business coaching and 3 million rand in seed funding Zinde Zinde secured the business coaching and funding and is administering it. - AEi Legacy Leadership Challenge; the challenge identified 40 black youth in 2 townships in Gauteng. These were young people that had ideas for social enterprises in their communities or were already operating social enterprises. The challenge was in the format of a competition that was for 4 weeks - The content was delivered in numerous languages to accommodate the audience The top 3 winners received 6 months of mentorship and cash prizes.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
New business development is always difficult and identifying corporates and government that are passionate about our vision. We don't just want to consult and deliver training as a tick box exercise; we want to create sustainable and thriving enterprises in the continent. Create programmes that change lives and communities. Our business model stems on the beneficiaries not paying for our services and the investment coming from the corporates and government institutions we partner with. It's a challenge at times convincing potential investors of our passion and what value it will have on their long term strategy and create greater good for our continent.