African young social entrepreneurs heralded at launch of global social enterprise programme
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Today, social entrepreneur and Queen’s Young Leader award winner Adam Bradford, from London, has launched a raft of measures to support young people in Africa looking to set up their own social enterprises and social initiatives.
When the world looks to innovation and creativity, it heads for the powerhouses of London, San Francisco and New York as its defaults. Research by social enterprise agency UnLtd cites that Africa is ripe for innovation and social entrepreneurship – solving social problems through business. The 2019 Global Social Franchising Index also ranked all its top 10 countries within Africa.
Social entrepreneurship can be a powerful way to efficiently alleviate poverty, improve health, provide educational opportunities, and improve other social problems for people at the bottom of the pyramid in the most disadvantaged countries.
27-year-old entrepreneur Adam Bradford has run the #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge since 2013, giving young people across the world cash, mentoring and networks in order to help them set up their own initiatives and social enterprises. In his home country of England it has been praised by both the Prime Minister and previous Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark MP as ‘an inspiring competition to support aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to get their start-up ideas off the ground.’ He continued: ‘This government believes that wherever you live and whatever your age, everyone deserves the chance to turn a great business idea into a reality and Adam’s work to encourage young, creative entrepreneurs exemplifies this spirit.’
Adam started his business aged 14 with the support of the BiG Challenge enterprise competition and has since gone on to undertake a number of roles in business and championing social causes such as autism awareness and extreme poverty. He received an award from Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his work and is a Board Advisor to the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust amongst a portfolio of six other global non-profits. He is also an ambassador for Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones’ enterprise academies.
Today he has announced a raft of measures to support young entrepreneurs in the Africa region, kicking off in Nigeria ahead of a personal visit later this month. The programme will be led by local youth organisations and entrepreneurs, to give out grants of up to £500 as well as world-class support to social entrepreneurs.
A spokesperson for Adam commented: ‘The #AdamStart Entrepreneurship Challenge is an inspiring social enterprise programme led by successful entrepreneur Adam Bradford – who is passionate about giving opportunities to other young people and building solid communities where across the globe, changemakers can connect and collaborate. He has chosen Nigeria and Africa as targeted regions to provide even more support, because of the huge potential for social change in the region.’
An ambassador for the programme, Benson Ekpo, who is a lifestyle influencer and presenter of the hit podcast #YOLO, said: ‘Very few organisations fully understand the unique needs of African youths. For an extensive time, we’ve been spoon fed with crumbs and we’re tired of it. My favourite African quote was taught to me by my late grandmother and it says ‘If you give a man a fish, you have fed him for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime.’ The AdamStart challenge is a perfect example of our progressive future. I am yet to find another project more targeted to the success of my people.’
The programme already has a foothold in Africa having supported Lagos changemaker Joshua Gabriel Oluwaseyi, 18, who runs Learn Blue – a Gen Z exclusive social movement which empowers Gen Z with knowledge on sustainable development so as to proffer solutions to global issues like climate change and quality education. With #AdamStart’s support, Joshua is a proud recipient of an accolade from the Young Entrepreneurs Summit & Awards symposium which took place in Abuja in September this year, for his outstanding work championing young people and social change.
Speaking of his experiences as a social entrepreneur in Nigeria, Joshua said: ‘Adam Start remains the backbone of my progress as a social entrepreneur in Nigeria, from winning the Adam Start Mentorship Challenge in the beginning of the year, founding Learn Blue, a global nonprofit, through my six month mentorship contract, the amount of knowledge gotten from Adam and the network expansions as a result of Adam Start has been tremendous and pretty overwhelming. I think mentorship is imperative for entrepreneurs to thrive, regardless of the type and Adam Start does an outstanding job in this regard. As a recipient of the YESA Award of Excellence, the entire process to being recognised for my outstanding contribution towards youth development in my country is all a credit of Adam Start.’
The programme has also supported Moroccon social enterprise POMM’it led by young social entrepreneur Walid Ijassi, who shot to national fame after winning the contest. The enterprise turns waste apples into cider vinegar and other products which sell successfully across the region and online.
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