Learning from the entrepreneurs themselves!


The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship which is hosted by the South African government (Department of Science and Technology) was  held in East London, South Africa, from 28 – 30 May, 2013.The Global Forum attracts around 500 – 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributes to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants come to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.”

Global Forum

Snippets of the 5th Global Forum for Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship, East London South Africa

Fortunately thanks to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation’s ARDYIS project (Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society), tech4agri was able to attend this event along with representative of Agricinghana (The agricinghana blog seeks to highlight issues on agricultural development in Ghana and in the sub-region) were able to attend this event learning a lot in the realm of entrepreneurship and on how to ensure a business’s success. Here’s the gist of what we learned!

Consider partnering with others for your venture – The forum was rightfully referred to as global as people from countries such as Indonesia, Namibia, Jamaica, Mozambique, Finland, Sweden, Senegal and many others were present, sharing their experience, making those connections and forging the way ahead for their businesses. Many a business card was passed and one may have found someone working on a similar or an improvement upon their own idea or business. Pooling resources and working together maybe the best way to achieve success. Even so, make your partnership decision wisely.

Innovate Innovate Innovate! – Your business must provide a new or interesting solution to a problem. In doing so, one can impress angel investors, business incubators and seed money providers much more easily leading to acquiring the start up/investment money your business needs to thrive or progress. We’ll learn more about those parties in the next post!

Cover your bases – Ensure that all aspects of running your business are taken care off. These include basic matters such as Objectives legalities, business structure, operational procedures, financials etc. However take the time to consider future income sources, market access, potential growth and of course relevant innovations.

Do not be afraid of failure – As young people, in our learning we are condition to believe that when you fail punishment and consequences follow. This is false! Failure, especially repeated failure leads to success. Failure proves your trying. And it is only through trial and error that your ideas will flourish.

Be Passionate – If you must fail to succeed then you must know that many of us will fail a whole lot. However rather than dwelling on it remain postive. If you feel like giving up, work harder than you’ve ever worked before.. and then some! For social entrepreneurs who seek to help people and communities rather than make excessive profits, this is key.

Know your trends – Your idea/business maybe servicing a particular niche or market however that does not mean that the latest trends cannot be applied to your area of expertise. Think of how technology can be applied to your business for more effective service. ICTs and Mobile applications are the current direction of development. Can they help your business?

Look out for the next post on Buzz words that every entrepreneur should know!

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