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Pause: Lights, camera, action! __Where are you in the process?
Written by Strive Masiyiwa
Whenever I see a young person on a street corner, chasing cars to sell something, I wonder to myself, what would happen if we helped that young entrepreneur (because that's what they are) to learn trade skills like carpentry, mechanics, or plumbing, as well as digital skills? I then started asking myself, how could technology help them learn entrepreneurial skills from the best of the best in the world? What would happen to our growth rates in Africa!? With these questions was born the idea of Kwesé Inc., our new 24-hour TV channel for entrepreneurs… the exciting surprise I’ve been waiting to share with you for a long time! Now I’ve told some of you before that whenever I travel to the US, and have the opportunity to relax and watch TV, there are a few shows for entrepreneurs that I never miss: __One of my favorites is called “The Profit.” It’s simply amazing! So last year I directed the Kwesé team to acquire exclusive rights to broadcast this show in our market. I also told them to go around the world (including Africa) and buy similar programming aimed at helping and supporting entrepreneurs. Kwesé Inc. channel for entrepreneurs will carry interviews and visit business (in Africa and around the world) to inspire and share ideas. We also hope to start showing similar content developed specifically by us in Africa. As I told you last week, at Kwesé, we’re seeing beyond TV. __With Kwesé Inc., my vision is beyond even that… It’s about building the capacity and prosperity of young African entrepreneurs, African families, African nations, and the continent as a whole: # Every great business in the world, no matter how large it is today, was started by entrepreneurs. # Entrepreneurs don’t just create wealth for themselves, but also for their countries. # It’s not just large companies like Apple and Dangote Cement that create wealth. Even a street vendor is creating wealth, when he or she is successful. Imagine if university graduates, and people in all different types of work, had the entrepreneurial zeal of traders… Remember, it’s a mindset! In my businesses, I rely mostly on entrepreneurs to drive innovation, product and service development at all levels. They’re not always in managerial positions, but these are the men and women who passionately drive us forward every day, constantly bombarding us with ideas for new services and businesses that we could do. Even if they’re turned down, they don't give up. They either look for other opportunities, or present their ideas again. The more of this type of talent we can hire, the better our chances of success. We have more than 500 people working at Kwesé now and I’m so proud of our team. I often talk about Uber, the multibillion dollar ride-sharing company founded in 2009 by an entrepreneur who needed a ride in Paris, but couldn’t find a taxi! Uber co-founder, Travis Kalanick said something I’ll leave you with today: __“Have a champion’s mindset. Put everything you have into it; any less and you will fail. Bounce back from knocks.” I know some of you will be stars someday on Kwesé Inc.! I can’t wait. Stay tuned, for much more is coming soon . . .