Connect Circle, a youth-owned company, will host its second installment of the African Youth Entrepreneurship Summit on February 21.
The one-day event will be held under the theme ‘Disruptive innovation in today’s versatile business jungle’, and graced by panelists from East Africa, Middle East Africa and Southern Africa.
The Summit is aimed at bringing together African entrepreneurs under one roof to share their ideas and find ways of fostering partnerships.
Speaking to Monitor Business, the mastermind behind the meet, Lemogang Senwelo said through the event they seek to empower local entrepreneurs to grow beyond borders and penetrate the international market.
“We want to see African youth working together, fostering partnerships whilst creating wealth in turn. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are the biggest job creators, so if most of these entrepreneurs are equipped with relevant mentoring and guidance, they can employ many youth,” she said.
To achieve this, Senwelo said they are rotating the countries that they host each year. This will also help them to continue learning about how their African counterparts operate their businesses and maybe unearth new investment opportunities for the local entrepreneurs.
“Our intention is to make Botswana an entrepreneurs’ hub because I believe we do have the capacity and potential,” she said.
“One of the challenges we have realised is that most entrepreneurs are not aware of ways of fostering partnerships with international companies and its importance, hence where we come in handy.”
She also highlighted that they have managed to lure investors during the first conference who are currently in the process of setting up their operations locally.
Some of these companies are in manufacturing sector while the other one is in negotiations with a local for a possible partnership.
According to Senwelo, she started Connect Circle in late 2016 after a series of events where she used to help connect her international business friends on social media with local ones.
“My international connections used to ask me to connect them with business people locally and I did,” she said.
“...and as time went by I realised that I could make money out of this and that was the birth of my company.” Senwelo, who holds a Degree in Political Science and Public Administration, said after completing her studies, she worked for two months and quit her job to start her business, which she said has not been easy for the last four years.