Undoubtedly the number one and foremost weekly talk show for entrepreneurs in Ghana, ServLed Friday, is a year old this October – hooray!
The event, which brings together the younger generation of entrepreneurs poised to build world-class businesses that will outlive their founders; has in the last year hosted over 40 accomplished entrepreneurs and thought leaders in media, academia, legal, finance, advertising, HR and several other business disciplines.
Some of the highly sought after leaders that have endorsed ServLedFriday include Kwasi Twum, Elikem Kuenyehia, Edward Effah, George Ofosuhene, Frank Adu, Patrick Awuah, David Ofosu Dorte, Joel Nettey, Kimathi Kuenyehia, Dr. Mrs. Ellen Hagan, just to name a few.
In a setting where older and accomplished entrepreneurs share how they built their businesses with the young entrepreneurs and provide mentorship to help them leapfrog the challenges that cause over 90% of business failure, young entrepreneurs are equipped with business skills and they network to help them succeed. Some startups have also attracted investments from the network of angels that work with the ServLed Accelerator programme.
With only 14% of Ghanaian graduates claiming to have the requisite skills to manage new businesses (from the Accelerating entrepreneurship in Africa report by Omidyar Networks), the impact ServLedFriday has had on new ventures and young entrepreneurs can not be over-emphasised. Here is what a few of the participants had to say:
“Most young people venture into entrepreneurship with passion as the only driving force. But it gets to a point where passion alone is not enough to make you the successful entrepreneur you dream of becoming. You need the capacity to run a world class business and it was timely to come through ServLed accelerator program. Their understanding of business dynamics, attention to detail and the network they bring is unmatched in the industry. It’s a herculian task to build a business and you shouldn’t venture into this alone. ServLed has created an assembly line that churns out world-class businesses and l highly recommend their accelerator program to every young entrepreneur who desires to build the right structures to support a sustainable and profitable business” – Tonyi Senayah (Horseman Shoes)
"After running my company for the past 4 years, I must say that my ServLed experience was very refreshing and crucial in my journey as an entrepreneur. The facilitators were very well-informed and passionate and the curriculum was spot on. All you need to know to start and grow your business. Kudos to the team!" – Fred Deegbe (Heel The World)
“The Business Classes are an idiot’s guide to essential tools on entrepreneurship. From Corporate Governance matters, business operational requirements including legal, finance, human resource and marketing; and the fact that these are being facilitated by entrepreneurs and industry thought leaders is just awesome. I recommend their programs to business owners looking to understand the business of business” – Julius Richardson (GeniusHive)
ServLedFriday will now be managed by African Entrepreneurs Hub (AEH) whose vision is to develop a new generation of African entrepreneurs who are committed to creating wealth in an ethical and sustainable way. Mansa Ayisi Okyere, the Executive Secretary said “we want to have successful business people whose names are not tainted with corruption”. It’s time for all of us to think of the threat that the teeming youth of Africa (which has over 55% of it’s population under age 35) pose and our need to place more emphasis on the youth so they can truly take Africa to a new height of development. Mansa said she’ll be seeking financial assistance from donor partners, corporate bodies and SMEs to help sustain it’s programs and make them accessible to a lot more of the young entrepreneurs.
To climax the year’s celebration, we’re organizing DemoFriday on 31st October where we’ll have on display made in Ghana products by some young entrepreneurs.
DemoFriday will have in attendance startups from various industries including fashion (clothes, bags & shoes), Photography, Education, and Technology. Some of the startups exhibiting at the program include Horseman Shoes, RPC, Capture Photography, Purple Wheels, Real IT, Wear Ghana and several others.
One of the locally made products that will be on display is the SunSwitch, manufactured by Anamens Systems (one of the companies in the accelerator program). The SunSwitch intelligently conserves electricity by using ambient light to regulate lights in building. By automatically turning on lights when the sun sets and turning them off when it rises, the SunSwitch greatly conserves energy, reduces waste and also offers security from intruders.
While there’s been enough talk about energy conservation, we believe the SunSwitch has come at a good time to enable Ghanaians conserve up to 20% of their energy and to enable the country save up to 960MW daily (assuming 1M homes were using it) and would reduce VRA’s daily generation by approximately 4%.
Young entrepreneurs who have exciting ideas will also have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to be part of the 2015 accelerator class. Mr. Kojo Addo Kuffuor, CEO of Ghana Home Loans will be speaking on building the right culture.