Three Beninese Entrepreneurs talk Business

08:00:00


The entrepreneurial landscape is Africa is changing rapidly and the continent is now becoming a mecca for business growth and development. These initiatives are springing up to tackle the huge unemployment problems in the continent.  Geneafrique gets to talk to 3 entrepreneurs from the West African country, of Benin Republic who have decided to be their own boss despite the challenges faced.

Tiburce Chaffa: FounderKYMA Ventures

GA: What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses in Africa today?
TC: There is no doubt that small businesses in Africa have a great future and potentially can create millions of jobs and economic transformation but the simple fact we and our clients can’t have access to affordable reliable and fast internet in itself chokes up our ambitions and cripples our efforts to enlarge and take over regional markets, not to talk of competing on a global scale. I wish I could stop there but the complexity of the market requires more than just an affordable fast internet. We need all the players of the start-up ecosystem to play responsibly their part both individually and collectively. We need a stronger system of support to young entrepreneurs. There is no reason that can explain why we are failing to mentor, educate and fund youth business ideas that can potentially revolutionize the way we do business in Africa and spark the kind of economic revolution the world has never seen.

GA: What are your guiding principles as you have built the organization?
TA: Working alongside of the Global Youth Innovation Network has thought me few lessons. I have learnt that the best leadership is demonstrated by examples not lectures. The idea that young people are not smart enough to make history is being proven wrong. One action with demonstrated outcomes is better than thousands well written speeches. Finally everyone make mistakes. I have made a lot mistakes but I believe it was required as part of the right preparation that matches up the process I needed to go through to gain experiences and insights for the “Greater” coming ahead

Today as the founder of KYMA Ventures I am learning that your network plays a big role into your success or your downfall and at the core of my business the word TRANSFORMATION is an ever on-going process. You've got to be prepared for anything and be flexible to adapt and re-position.

GA: What made you decide to take the plunge and open your own business?
TC: Coming from an untraditional background as a college dropout, despite my big dreams, passion and hardworking abilities, disqualifies me to get a well-paid job in the mainstream job industry. I just knew I was born to be an entrepreneur. I use the creative power of my abilities to design innovative solutions even when in the midst of the most unbearable adversity.

GA: What do you love the most about owning your own business?
TC: I love the fact that I can use my business ideas to educate, inspire, and develop other young people like me that are living under the pressure of tick socio economic conditions across the world. I love the fact that I can be a millionaire under 30. It’s a goal I want to achieve.

GA: Describe your brand/business in 5 words?
TC: Passion, Transformation, Transparency, Accountability, Innovation,

GA: What inspires you?
TC: Human solidarity, courage, faith, persistence, perseverance, honesty

GA: What do you offer your customers?
TC: KYMA Ventures is a social business focused on agriculture (fish farming and coffee production), technology and youth empowerment. The idea of the business is not just to make money but to empower this left out in our communities and redefine social entrepreneurship.

I am an international public speaker focused on Youth empowerment, leadership, Motivation and social entrepreneurship with a significant multicultural and diverse professional background. I love going through the mental archives of my audience and resuscitate dreams, ambitions, and opportunities they have buried for one reason or the other. I believe anyone can be successful. Transformation begins with a renewal of the mind.

Régis Ezin: Founder, Pyramide Consulting

GA: What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses in Africa today?
RE: The lack of understanding of the market. Most of managers and/or entrepreneurs study in an occidental way of thinking, which can be very dangerous for the business. We, Africans, need to adapt ourselves and what we learn at school to our market. Also, I’d like to point out the weakness and inefficiency of most sales team. This is a field to strengthen for sure.

GA: What are your guiding principles as you have built the business?
RE: Be close to consumers and markets. Be smart by bringing things that exists but was not well exploited by others. And most of all, few staffs, but crack staff (I really pay attention to those I hire because I need them to be as good as I am or even better)

GA: What made you decide to take the plunge and open your own business?
RE: My first motivation is the fact that I love creating, setting up things and experiencing crazy things. I do think I can make my dreams come true by working for my own. Plus, as a megalomaniac, I know one does not become rich neither accomplish great things by working for someone. In a word the desire to build an empire is what set me forward.

GA: What do you love the most about owning your own business?
RE: The fact I can really try things out-of-the-box. I can innovate, create with boundaries and most of all manage my time. I am a businessman, a writer, a singer, a social activist too….so I really need to be the one writing down my timetable every day. I can dream BIG too and I can work 24 a week, because it is “my thing”.

GA: Describe your brand/business in 5 words
RE: CREATIVE-CRAZY-LIMITLESS-MEGALOMANIAC-TRENDSETTER

GA: What inspires you?
RE: The idea I can leave great things around behind me. That’s what’s most excites me. Craziest challenges and Top-Managers (Dangote, Gates …) are what keep me up.

GA: What do you offer your customers?
RE: Services -in a new way of doing-: Translation (English, French, Spanish), Communication, Events, Marketing, Advertising.

Sarah Codjo: Founder, PERLICIOUS Accessories

GA: What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses in Africa today?
SC: Our biggest threat is the non-assistance of our Governments. Not by giving us money, but by helping us to find some opportunities to sell our products, which add some value to the image of our countries.

GA: What are your guiding principles as you have built the business?
SC: My guiding principles are: courage, no-rest as much as possible, being an inspiration for other young women.

GA: What made you decide to take the plunge and open your own business?
SC: When I was a little girl, I had many passions. Painting, drawing, learning mathematics, but making jewelry was the biggest passion I've had. So, when I got my master’s degrees in Management and Audit control and after working for some companies, I decided to put my skills into my passion. That’s when I started my own business.

GA: What do you love the most about owning your own business?
SC: I like to say that your own business is like your children. It’s your reflection. It will grow up your dedication, the passion you put in your work, and the strength you use to defend it.

GA: Describe your brand/business in 5 words?
SC: Classy, sparkling, fashionable, original, versatile

GA: What inspires you?
SC: Painting, African prints, African cultures

GA: What do you offer your customers?
SC: I offer handmade jewelry and curtains, realized by me and my precious team, customization of bags, shoes and clothes, with beads, African precious stones and Swarovski

© 2014, GeneAfrique. All rights reserved

You Might Also Like

1 comments

  1. so good, like it.......keep it p!!!

    ReplyDelete