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REBRANDING AFRICA: Entrepreneurs Empower the Poor

For many years, KEZA has focused on what the aid world refers to as the “poorest of the poor”. It’s become another buzz term like “sustainability” or “capacity building”. These terms help attract volunteers, donors and public awareness.

However, we’ve recently taken a step back to reanalyze our methodology. There are thousands of entrepreneurs all over Africa that have been working diligently to develop their businesses to the point of sustainability. They have thrashed, suffered and pushed through the hardships and their business is plugging along, but they still can’t quite get over the hump to profitability.

These entrepreneurs have proven their dedication and certainly deserve our respect and attention. If their businesses grow beyond mere sustainability and really start to thrive, they have the opportunity to really make an impact in their community, beyond just serving their personal needs.

A thriving entrepreneurial business means a larger capacity to produce, which means more employees needed and more products being exported. If these products are superior in quality and style, that leads to positive press in the media and a lot of public attention. All of these things help to fuel a brand of excellence and beauty, resulting in a heightened image for their country.

In short, we’ve realized that if we empower the entrepreneurial sector to grow their businesses, they will employ the poorest of the poor, export more goods, do it with excellence and help fuel an image of excellence for their country. That image compels investors, business people and tourists to visit and invest in their country.

There are many ways to serve the developing world. We (KEZA) believe empowering the entrepreneurial sector plays a vital role in creating a solid foundation, built on indigenous businesses.

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