Determined to produce new set of entrepreneurs in Africa, Felix King Foundation recently unveiled a new initiative tagged ‘The Startups Africa’ that will groom and reward young and vibrant African youths with great entrepreneurial ideas with $10,000 startup grant.
From inception, the Foundation had launched several empowerment initiatives such Market Moni, WeProgress, WIFARM and Woman Cooperative to empower rural women and widows.
The launch of ‘The Startups Africa’ in partnership with Trinity International University of Ambassadors, Georgia, has added fillip to the already existing programmes launched to alleviate poverty, empower trade and provide employment.
Speaking at the launch event, the Founder, Felix King Foundation, Dr. Felix King said, “I strongly believe in the ability of young Africans to birth the innovative business ideas that can change the world for the better.”
He added, “We are willing to provide the help and support needed to actualize this. I have always believed that if you are a billionaire and all you think about is your immediate family; how your children would attend the best schools, ride the best cars, live in the best of luxuries without a thought on how to lift others, then you are a poor person in your soul.”
“We are not in this project because we have a surplus. On the contrary, we are driven by our conviction and belief in the saying that “we can only rise by lifting others. Africa can only be great when we lend the hand to lift one another,” Dr. King emphasised.
Explaining how the new initiative with turn out, the Founder of the Foundation said, “Today, we are formally announcing our initiative to potentially give a $10,000 grant to the best revolutionary business idea. What you need to do to partake is, go to the Foundation website and summit your pitch with not more than 500 words about your business idea,” adding that “If your ideas is unique you are qualified to be selected for the final event in Lagos.”
He said Nigeria is challenged in so many fronts but the most dangerous of these challenges has been the inability of a vast majority of the populace to be economically relevant. Talent and skills abound in this country. With a strong population made up of 65 percent young and able people, Nigeria should be a bustling beehive of thriving businesses and innovations.
According to him, “It is important to emphasize the importance of evolving a homegrown solution to our entrepreneurial challenges. As an African with global exposure, I have a strong conviction that we don’t need the world to help us; only Africans can help develop Africa and we need to start by empowering our women in the rural communities and our teaming talented youthful population with entrepreneurial dreams.”
Speaking on the importance of entrepreneurship, Dr. King stated that entrepreneurs are the key drivers of any sustainable economy. They are the pillars that support the long terms goals of individuals, families and nations. Those who are in various universities today should either be dreaming of starting up businesses of their own or getting jobs in businesses already started by entrepreneurs. But once we allow the pool of entrepreneurs to dry, any index showing economic growth can be noting but false.
Dr. King stated that let me quote a British actress and fashion muse, Audrey Hepburn, who was credited as having said that “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. The same could be said about entrepreneurs and startups. “In a lot of ways, the willingness for individuals to embark on the startup journey – whether as founders, team members or investors – is a willingness to believe in tomorrow.”
“The very human motivators of fear and greed are inevitably intertwined into the decision to invest, but the return on investment can be much more than fiscal. It’s not so much a question of why we “need” to invest in startups, as it is why we should want to,” he said.
Startups are hyper-innovators driven by ambition and insight to charge into the unknown. The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI), had clearly stated that entrepreneurs improve economies and people’s lives by creating jobs, developing new solutions to problems and creating technology that improves efficiency.
The entry for ‘The Startups Africa’ opens on November 15th, 2019 and closes on January 31st, 2020 with grand finale holding on March/April 2020.
Google hires former Calvin Klein CMO to bolster marketing leadership
Marie Gulin-Merle, formerly the chief marketing officer of Calvin Klein, has resurfaced as the vice-president of global ads marketing at Google, which is currently bolstering the star talent on its marketing team.
Gulin-Merle will be responsible managing Google’s global media spend, as well as setting the vision for Google’s marketing business worldwide.
She has also been tasked with building and delivering a global marketing strategy for the company’s ads business and its advertising products. Google has named her as a ‘key partner’ to its ads sales, product and engineering leadership.
Despite her fashion background, the marketer is no stranger to digital.
She took on the role of chief digital officer at Calvin Klein’s parent company, PVH Corp, while still heading up marketing at the label, and was credited with transforming L’Oréal USA’s approach to online innovation when she worked there as chief marketing officer from 2014 until 2018.
Gulin-Merle joins Google at the same time as Nick Drake, the former marketing boss of T-Mobile. Taking on the role of vice-president of global marketing, Drake also joined the tech giant this month.
The hires come as Google gradually pivots away from product marketing and towards the holistic lure of its overarching brand. This was recently demonstrated in its ‘Here to Help’ campaign, which rolled out across markets earlier this year.
Mitsubishi partners The Future Awards Africa
Mitsubishi Motors Nigeria, a heritage car brand that has pioneered innovative technologies, partnered with The Future Awards Africa, as it hosted nominees of the 2019 edition of the awards to a reception yesterday at its Victoria Island, Lagos showroom.
The partnership builds on Mitsubishi Motors Nigeria’s vision on youth investment and its ‘Drive Your Ambition’ tagline which is focused on empowering young Nigerians.
The event was graced by Thomas Pelletier, Managing Director, CFAO Nigeria Plc., and Gbenga Oyebode MFR, Chairman, CFAO Nigeria Plc., who gave the opening speech and presented certificates to the 2019 nominees respectively as well as a host of dignitaries.
Speaking at the event, Funmi Abiola, Head of Marketing, Massilia Motors Limited, the sole distributors of Mitsubishi Motors in Nigeria said, “Nigerian youths have consistently proven themselves to be enterprising, innovative, creative and resilient, and they truly deserve to be celebrated through a sustainable and important platform like The Future Awards Africa. Our continent is at a critical point, and our work in supporting the youths will determine how excellent Africa will perform independently in the global market”.
Massilia Motors, which is a joint venture of CFAO and Chanrai Group, is focused on delivering a range of exquisite cars to the Nigerian market like Mitsubishi ASX, Eclipse Cross, Outlander, Pajero, Pajero Sport and the L200 pick-up.
“Mitsubishi Motors Nigeria has consistently been recognized as one of the world’s renowned, forward-looking automobile brands, and we are so excited about this partnership. It is a perfect mix, because we understand the brand’s effort to inspire Africa’s youth and boost creativity and enterprise, which also aligns with our vision,” said Bukonla Adebakin, Chief Operating Officer of The Future Project.
The Future Awards Africa celebrates young enterprising Africans who have done exceptional work in their respective fields throughout the year. The reception is a pre-event of the award show where nominees are presented with certificates of nomination, and an opportunity to network with their peers across several industries.
The awards event is scheduled to hold on 24 November, 2019 at the Balmoral Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Babaeko, George-Taylor, others to speak as BJAN holds 7th Marketing Conference
The stage is set as the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria, BJAN, the umbrella body for journalists reporting the Integrated Marketing Communications sector in Nigeria, holds its 7th Annual Brands and Marketing Conference in Lagos.
The conference, which is one of the association’s major programmes for the year, is billed to take place November 29, 2019 at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Exhibition and Conference Centre (LCCI), Nurudeen Olowopopo Drive, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
With the theme; Survival Amidst Harsh Economy: Inside Stories of Top Brands, the conference is structured to collate, analyse and aggregate thoughts, ideas, knowledge and propositions that will help in positioning businesses amidst economic challenges as seasoned industry practitioners and other stakeholders gather to share their experiences.
Lead Speaker for the event is Steve Babaeko, Chief Executive Officer, X3M Ideas, while other eminent Speakers expected at the forum include Soromidayo George, Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainable Business, Unilever Nigeria; Tokunbor George-Taylor, Managing Director, Hill & Knowlton Strategies; Atimomo Idiare, Co-Founder/COO, Up in the Sky; Odion Aleobua, Chief Executive Officer, Modion Communications; and Tunde Kara, Managing Director, Red Media Africa.
The Chief Host is the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, expected to moderate the discussion is Yetunde Adesina, Managing Dirctor/CEO, Prima Garnet Africa.
Speaking on the conference, Princewill Ekwujuru, BJAN Chairman said it is designed to provide a platform for discussions on how businesses can survive in the face of stiff competition.
“It is imperative for young entrepreneurs who are just going into business to know what it takes to stay afloat in the time of crisis.
“The BJAN Brands and Marketing conference has, in the past seven years, been providing robust platform for stakeholders to discuss industry and related issues in which solutions to problems have always been proffered,” Ekwujuru noted.
While the Lecture session commences by 10:00a.m, the special awards, which would be given to honour and appreciate, distinguished stakeholders who have contributed immensely to the growth of the marketing and communications industry, is scheduled to kick off before the lecture.
Some of the companies that have shown support for the annual event include Multichoice Nigeria, Union Bank, Dangote, Seven Up, APCON, Mabisco and WeCa as the major sponsors.
Airtel Nigeria set to acquire $70m Spectrum to improve LTE services
Airtel Nigeria is set to acquire an extra 10 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHZ band in the country the cost of which has been put at approximately $70 million.
As announced by Airtel Africa, its parent company, the proposed acquisition agreement was signed between Airtel Nigeria and Intercellular Nigeria Limited. The deal, however, is still awaiting regulatory approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Airtel Africa said the $70 million valuation for the spectrum excluded fees to be collected by the NCC in accordance with the NCC Spectrum Trading Guidelines.
Explaining a significant benefit of this deal, Airtel Africa noted that the acquisition of this additional spectrum would allow Airtel Nigeria to strengthen and expand its LTE network across the country.
According to an online platform, www.nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, affirmed that the acquisition of the spectrum would enable his company to further deliver on its growth opportunity and continue to offer its Nigerian subscribers an improved user experience.
It would be recalled that Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s largest market and the revenue generated by Airtel Nigeria increased by 23 percent in the first six months of this year with data growth being the largest contributor.