Running a business doesn't make you an entrepreneur, does it?
Let's see, you might think up new ideas and take chances with your target market resulting in the feel of success, but is that what true entrepreneurship is?
Personally, I can't say I agree as my experience with Innovate for Africa so far has reshaped my perspective on this concept. With the vision of developing Africa's innovation ecosystem by training and inspiring its youths as well as supporting existing innovators, Innovate for Africa is creating the next generation of innovators of which I am proud to be a part! Led by a team from Harvard and MIT Sloan that believes in empowering students with the right skills, confidence, network, and connecting them with start-ups; both current and aspiring entrepreneurs will have a higher probability of succeeding. It was evident that the team of facilitators had the fellows best interest at heart with coherent feedback, and had carried out detailed research in respect to the technicalities and logistics expected via the Innovative Readiness program which led to the change in perspective in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Some of the courses taught during the training were the power of building a brand leveraging digital media which I so much enjoy as a digital marketer. I got to understand how to analyze and map out the structure, systems, process and flows affecting an organization. I was able to view systems from a broader perspective that includes the seeing of overall structures, patterns, and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in a system.
While it is ideal to know about these aspects of an organisation, it is also important to know about its products. This is what the design thinking course focused on and it was a creative and practical process as we lived through it in form of a hackathon. I collaborated with my team to bring to life; AGRONOVATOR; a solution that could help improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
My favourite part of the experience has to be without a doubt; the hard skills lab. As a passionate digital marketer, I was in the digital realm experiencing self-paced learning and was privileged to work on a real-time project for a USA based startup; Kanin Energy, whose challenge was to refine their go-to marketing strategy with a focus on inbound marketing. The project required me to be a self-learner, resourceful, creative, and have grit which is one of the values instilled by Innovate for Africa. My success in the hard skills lab could also be attributed to the mentor provided by the Innovate for Africa team; Gaby Youssef, an industry expert in the field of digital marketing. He helped in guiding me to understand my project in a practical manner, he is truly a mentor without borders.
Finally, the words of wisdom from guest speakers who are masters of their own art in the innovation industry helped sharpen our entrepreneurial mindset towards the development and future of Africa. From Fehintolu Olaogun of CredPal to Faith Adesemowo of Social Lender whose words got me pondering for a while.
I truly admire the character of my growth mindset during the training. I came to realize that I see mistakes and failure as an opportunity to grow. Also, my ability to persevere and think through even in the face of challenges cannot be disregarded as I learnt a lot during the Innovation Readiness training. I also admire my ability to work as an effective team integrator and communicator in building lasting solutions to the problems in my environment.
Partnering with a startup like yours will be an incredible learning experience for fellows like Adeyinka, IN ADDITION to helping your startup accelerate with passionate African innovators.
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