Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN) in collaboration with Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) trained young African Entrepreneurs from across Africa. The program GAIN-AFREXIMBANK Masterclass on Entrepreneurship and Intra-Africa Trade is an empowerment program.
This is part of the Africa Export-Import Bank’s effort to increase the participation of African young entrepreneurs in cross-border trade and expand trading activity under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is pivotal to the continent’s economic transformation.
Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN ) is a Pan-African Non-governmental organization helping African young men and women, between 15 and 35 years, develop and harness their unique ideas, talents and abilities for success in education, entrepreneurship, innovation and employment.
Training, empowering and providing technical support to African young men and women by equipping them with digital, leadership, employability, and entrepreneurial skills for self-sustenance.
The program was designed to equip young African entrepreneurs who were selected from across Africa with skills to build and scale their businesses across borders; learn key insights that will help them identify opportunities in various African Markets, expand their businesses, manage trade finance, form partnerships, grow their income, leverage the opportunities of the AfCFTA, attract foreign direct investment and create employment for more youths.
The program received applications from thousand, three hundred and seventy-six (1,376) young African entrepreneurs from twenty-nine(29) African countries across five(5) regions in Africa out of which two hundred (200) were selected. The participants were selected based on the set criteria.
The program kicked off on the August 8th, 2022 with a virtual opening ceremony which had the Executive Director of Grand Africa Initiative-GAIN, Ms. Chinwe Okoli; the Senior Manager, AU/AFCFTA Relations and Trade Policy, African Export-Import Bank Mr. Babajide Sodipo and the Keynote Speaker His Excellency Thami Mseleku, the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, selected participants and members of the public in attendance.
It was a 3-month program that had an intensive live masterclass facilitated by global experts and leaders in various aspects of business who brought to class experience and mastery.
The participants learned from facilitators from Africa, America, and Europe who covered fifteen (15) broad topics, which was followed by mentorship and business advisory sessions with experienced mentors and experts in various business sectors.
Expected outcomes of the program include: Increase in the number of properly structured businesses, a rise in international business partnership deals between young entrepreneurs to promote Intra-Africa trade, the emergence of a new breed of global entrepreneurs in Africa, creation of more job opportunities for African youths. Beneficiaries of the program have been equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to build globally competitive businesses, record higher trade volumes, position, and expand their businesses to take advantage of the AfCFTA and contribute to the economic development of Africa.
The immediate impact of the program can be seen in the participant’s testimonials about the program:
“This program is top notch. It went beyond my imagination. I applied SWOT techniques to strategise my business which really helped out these 3 months”. Amina Onawo Mohammed, CEO of Unique shis Green Products Ltd, Nigeria.
“Before I joined this program, my ideas were not structured and I was blind to the possibilities out there and how I could benefit from ACFTA. This program has introduced the idea of networking and the importance of having a clearly defined strategy and branding”. Robert Chikuse, CEO Rowdach Enterprise, Malawi.
“The program is an important step towards opening up African opportunities. Expanding the youth’s engagement in the International Trade and exports market”. Kevin Maino, CEO Regime CONSULTIUM ENTERPRISE, Kenya.
“I want to deeply say thank you to Grand Africa Initiative-GAIN and AFREXIMBANK for this and life-transforming Masterclass, I have learned a lot from both the sessions as an Entrepreneur and I have been equipped with the relevant knowledge and information to excel in my business world. The class and mentorship sessions by GAIN professional mentors and other industry experts is highly commendable. The communication of the GAIN teams is also top-notch, And I recommend this Entrepreneurship Masterclass to other people. All thanks to Ms. Chinwe Okoli, God bless GAIN and team, God bless AFREXIMBANK”. Godswill Nnabugwu Alegu, CEO GOLDEN PRIMEGA ENTERPRISES NIG. SERVICES, Nigeria.
“To be part of this program was needed in a time like this. I need to be challenged and see that my business is not about my small country. It opened my eyes to more African countries, more opportunities. It showed me mentors and business I can learn from”. Gaëlla Abizera Gahama, CEO Gaaga Hair and Makeup, Burundi.
“The GAIN-Afreximbank Masterclass is what every African entrepreneur needs”. Augustine Sensie Bangura, CEO Sierra Agri foods, Sierra Leone.
“This program is mind-blowing and it has widened my knowledge of marketing and the facilitators were professionals”. Musisi Clement Isaiah, CEO Moruta Investment Co. Ltd, South Sudan.
“I gleaned and absorbed so much from the program. I am ready to elevate my business and best prepared for trading in Africa ”. Sandiswa Mgolozeli, CEO of Epitomely Interior Doctors, South Africa.
“It has really been value packed as it expanded my boundary of thoughts to seeing possibilities”. Markus Matthew, CEO Macfeshi Technologies, Nigeria.
“This training is extremely relevant for the African SME, it shifts one’s mindset from business for daily survival to lasting legacy”. Mkhudzo Hamoonga, CEO Nobility Accounting & Advisory, Zambia.
“GAIN-AfreximBank, thank you for the opportunity to network and learn. The lessons were quite amazing. GAIN went all out to find key industry leaders and speakers who shared so much needed information, which is very impactful in my business operation. This has indeed been an amazing experience. I am confident that through the tools shared, my business will grow”. Mosebetsi Rapitso, CEO Iconics Pty Ltd, Lesotho.
“I can say I have gained more than what I have expected from this training. Overall the training was so good that I have decided to suggest others to participate in similar future training organized by GAIN-AFREXIMBANK”. Tihtina Belamo, CEO TABOR CERAMIC, Ethiopia
“I have learned beyond what I expected. I have taken several master classes and GAIN-AFREXIMBANK master class is the best so far”. Ngwain Sih Elisabet, CEO Phoenix revival association, Cameroon.
“During the course of this training, I have been able to generate more streams of income by expanding my business. This training surpassed my expectations”. Letsogile Serojane, CEO Magmr Holdings, Botswana.
“Before I joined I had no mode of my business, I was just doing business just to keep myself busy and know that I’m doing business but after my masterclass, it when I’m really a businesswoman. Now I see my sales getting into the numbers that I never expected, African Entrepreneurs need a masterclass such as this”. Jacqueline Kawishe, CEO BARRON GROUP OF COMPANIES, Tanzania.
The role of youth entrepreneurs cannot be overemphasized in unlocking the economic potentials of Africa and building a strong economy in Africa and the world at large, hence, GAIN is focused on promoting youth development for empowerment by continually designing programs aimed on building the capacity and igniting the positive energy of the greater segment of Africa’s population – the youth.