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Entrepreneurship in Africa

A Study of Successes
by David S. Fick

Book Description:

Entrepreneurship in Africa is a study of those entrepreneurs who have achieved success, wealth, and fame by organizing and directing a business undertaking in Africa. It is a story about successful entrepreneurs who have assumed risk in pursuit of profit, who have tried to conform to ethical business standards and who have tried to contribute to the economic development and improve the natural environment and the education, health, and welfare of their community and nation. The philosophies underpinning their economic success and their endeavors to improve their communities have been included whenever correspondence with the entrepreneurs related them.

This book is a journey through the economic world of Africa. It is a search through Web sites, books, newspapers, and periodicals for entrepreneurs who have been successful in Africa, for the projects and policies that improve their road to opportunity, and for expert commentary on the best ways to accomplish the economic and social development of Africa. It is a self-educating dialogue through personal meetings, letters, e-mails, and phone calls with interested parties in Africa and around the world on the future well-being of the people living and working in Africa. It is meant to encourage a dialogue so that knowledge and ideas may be exchanged with the goal of improving Africa and the world. I hope that, by doing this, Africans and those who observe the region can learn from past mistakes and current successes and build a peaceful and better society for all of Africa's people.

Entrepreneurs are the engines that get the economic trains moving. Entrepreneurs organize and direct business undertakings. They assume the risk for the sake of the profit. Success often depends upon how skilled, innovative, and passionate entrepreneurs are about their ideas and dreams. An entrepreneur has exceptional vision, creativity, and determination and frequently creates entirely new industries. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in Africa; in fact, over the centuries, there have always been entrepreneurs in Africa. Given the opportunity, entrepreneurs in Africa and from around the world will drive Africa's economic trains forward.

This study begins with an overall discussion of the ways that the economic and social environment for entrepreneurs in Africa may be improved. The study continues with a basic description of the economic and social environments and the entrepreneurial opportunities in each of Africa's five regions with profiles of successful entrepreneurs in each region. The profiles endeavor to enumerate the entrepreneurs' philosophy behind their economic success and their sense of social responsibility to improve their communities. The study concludes with the prospects for the continual improvement of Africa's economic and social environment and the continual creation of opportunities for skilled, innovative, and passionate entrepreneurs in Africa to successfully implement their ideas, achieve their dreams, and bring benefits to their communities.

Comment from the Author:

My wife and I were guests of the people of Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia for two weeks in August 2000. We found ourselves impressed by the beauty of Africa and the hospitality of its people. The Ethiopia of 2000 reminded me of South Korea as it was in 1962 and 1963 when I had the pleasure of serving in Korea as a lieutenant with the U.S. Army's Transportation Corps. Our suppliers were from the private sector in South Korea, and it was the local entrepreneurs who became the engines of growth for the future development of South Korea. Having graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1961 and having spent my business career (1964-1988) as an entrepreneur in Kansas, I found myself becoming interested in the opportunities for entrepreneurs in Africa. Upon returning to the United States, I began researching for this study. In my search for successful entrepreneurs in Africa, I became aware of the opportunities and roadblocks that the cultural, economic, social, political, and physical environments provide in Africa. This newfound awareness has led me to search for actual or proposed projects and policy changes that are or could be of great benefit for the people of Africa and the entrepreneurial environment.