Attend a Free Networking Forum in Accra

 BarCamp Accra 2014 is a free networking forum where participants learn, share and network. This 42nd Barcamp in Ghana takes place on December 20, 2014 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in East Legon, Accra. The theme is ‘Expanding Excellent Entreprises’. This is part of the Barcamp Ghana program run by the GhanaThink Foundation (now 10 years old), building a network of change makers, doers and Banner for event pageentrepreneurs.

Over the last 6 years since Barcamps in Ghana started, we’ve championed businesses ‘starting up’. We now have many young Ghanaian businesses. Now, we need to see these grow. We’ll be discussing great Ghanaian entreprise examples. Come learn from, share and network with various young professionals and students. Some of our confirmed resource personnel include Bridget Otoo (TV3), Nana Yaw Asiedu (Oxford & Beaumont), Rosy Fynn (Surfline), Anima Misa (Sapphire), Alex Bram (SMS GH), Christabel Dadzie (Optimal Solutions), Selorm Branttie (mPedigree), Anita Erskine (Viasat1), etc

Register at Barcamp Accra Eventbrite site.   You can also register by sending “Barcamp Accra Your Name Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks.(example – Barcamp Accra Esi Eshun esi@eshun.co) .  Contact us via barcamp at www.ghanathink.org for sponsorship or partnership opportunities. Our hashtag is #bcaccra.

Barcamp Accra 2014 is supported by Making All Voices Count, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology,mPedigree GoldKeys, Saazaa Shoes, Nandimobile. Our media partners areSpy Ghana, YFM, XFM and Citi FM.

5 Successful African Entrepreneurs: 5 Failure Stories

Every successful entrepreneur has experienced setbacks at some point in their business career. For most, it is an essential part of ‘growth’ in a competitive business environment. I sent an email to a handful of entrepreneurs, asking them to share their business failures, what they learned and how they built on them.

Here is what they wrote:

Charles Kofi FEKPE

Charles Kofi FEKPE

Charles Kofi Fekpe, Founder of CFekpe Consulting. UK/Ghana

My Biggest mistake since setting up CFekpe Consulting Limited was not to have been ready for ALL opportunities and to have underestimated them when they came. I had just registered my company then and had begin looking for assignments to take on. I met a friend who asked me to send him a proposal together for him to show his director of training the following day. I didn’t have one but also thought I wait till the following day. After all, he was my friend right? Well, Wrong. That was in 2004 and I missed what would have been my first biggest deal. I have learnt my lessons. (1) I have asked myself all the “WHAT IF” questions that could come up if an opportunity should arise today, and I have all the core answers. Success, I have found, is having the answers to questions that are not even yet asked. Its about getting there first and waiting for others arrive (2) I treat everyone as a full business client – opportunities I have learnt, don’t come in special clothing or packages. So, even when my 3-year Old daughter told me she’d like to talk business with me, I immediately arranged lunch with her. The only proposal she put on the table however was that she wanted a bicycle for her birthday.

Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola

Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola

Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola, Founder, IQ4News.

When I first launched IQ4News officially as a news website in 2011 [it has been a personal blog for four years prior], I was so excited to have received funding to follow my dreams.

I developed what must be the longest business plan ever – 87 pages – detailing my strategies.

For the first few months I focused on creating content for the website and emailing our media kit to every possible potential advertiser I could think of. No one replied, but traffic was good reaching 40,000 in the first 3 months. I kept at it, whilst doing other part-time work on the side – I had bills to pay. I made my first advertising sale 6 months later.

While I won’t describe IQ4News 1.0 as an epic failure, because it wasn’t, I was nowhere near prepared to run a business as I felt I was, at the time – I was focused on being journalist and news editor that I forgot to be publisher. Looking back at Yemisi of 2011, I both smile and cringe – I still remember running after one of our coaches at the incubator to find out why he wasn’t as excited about the website design as I thought he would be; “how will you make money” he asked. The answer then was so simple “sell geo-targeted advertising” I said confidently. He smiled and walked away leaving me puzzled.

Three years on, as we are about to launch IQ4News 2.0, and I finally understand his smile – I found out the hard way that selling advertising is not a sustainable business model for a news website, and even if it had been, I had set strategies and targets that were unrealistic and that I did not follow. I just had a dream and ran after it full throttle, forgetting the developmental steps I had planned.

Eric Mutta, Photo: Sameer Kamalli

Eric Mutta, Photo: Sameer Kamalli

Eric Muta, Founder and CEO, Problem Solved Ltd. Tanzania

I had a full-time job as a software engineer and created a small computer program that helped speed up processing of forms related to importation of goods at the Dar-es-salaam port. Within one month of use at that company, revenues jumped up by $300,000 and I thought I could quit my job and sell the program to make the same amount of money for myself and be rich in no time! My mistake was not realising that the only reason the company could generate $300,000 in one month was because it already had a name, an office, hundreds of employees and thousands of customers. It had the fuel and my program was just a match that lit a big fire. With a new company that had no customers, no history and no employees, I struggled to get anyone to buy the program and 18 months later I ran out of money and was forced to get a job. Lesson learned: code is not a product, and a product is not a company. To get from code to product to company to profit, you need to have all the supporting infrastructure in terms of an office, employees and customers. That takes time to build and you need to have enough capital to survive until it is all in place.

 Njeri Rionge

Njeri Rionge

Njeri Rionge, Co- founder of Wanachi Online, Kenya

To be successful as an entrepreneur you must have a clear vision, and driving forward to achieve that vision requires 100% of your involvement. As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, a business coach and mentor, at networking events and social events over the years I’ve often found myself talking to colleagues and peers about the benefits that might be achieved if successful entrepreneurs and business leaders could share their experiences with new and growing start-ups.

How positive it would be if upcoming business leaders could learn from our mistakes, and get practical advice from a wealth of accumulated knowledge aggregated under one roof. So why not put together an annual summit to make a positive contribution to the growth of Kenyan businesses, and bring together business leaders to talk about a range of subjects that would give practical help and advice to start-ups and SMEs wanting to scale up their businesses in Nairobi?

The Ignite Summit: Scaling Your Business Upwards was a good idea, and interest was (and remains) high both from delegates, speakers and potential sponsors, but the time required to organise an event of this scale as an addition to my ‘day job’ was something I greatly underestimated. I was not able to give it 100% of my involvement. What I learnt from staging the first Ignite Summit in 2012, was that all that research, preparation, enthusiasm and positivity will take you so far, but if you spread yourself too thin, you will eventually come unstuck.

Frank Boateng

Frank Boateng

Frank Boateng, Country Director  EQUIPXP, LC and Co- Founder of Darko Fresh. Ghana
There are hundreds of mistakes, but I believe that is the only way to gain hands on experience! I remember during our water project construction and planning we did not factor potential regulatory delay and boom! We had to go back to do additional testing, product name change and re-submission.

This caused us money, as we had to re-do all our branding efforts again and has to pay staff for three months before production started. Lessons are that entrepreneurs must be innovative and creative in thinking during project planning. They must not discount anything during project planning stage.

How to Harness Development Potential in Northern Ghana through Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Barcamp Tamale 2014 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Tamale, Ghana and beyond. It will take place on August 23, 2014 in Tamale. The theme for this year is Harnessing the development potential in Northern Ghana through entrepreneurship and innovation.This Barcamp hopes to assemble stakeholders to network, build a supportive enterprising community and partner to build together.

The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 31 BarCamps in Ghana as part of its Barcamp Ghana program since 2008. BarCamp Tamale 2014 will be a showcase of entrepreneurs and innovators in the Northern region. Discussions will center on developing various business and industry sectors in Tamale and the Northern region. It will be an event for many people who live and are interested in Tamale to learn, share and network with.

The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology and development, alongside topics relevant to the Northern Region and beyond. There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. Confirmed resource personnel include Rabi Salifu (ProNet), Naana Fatima Mohammed (FarmCare), Chris Anieze (Development News Africa), Abdul Washeed (Northern Scope), Masahoud Cudjoe (Writer & Social Media) Rashida Aduni Ganiyu & Hikmatu Babaa Dua (MILEAD Fellows), Shani Mahama (Driinic), Senyo Kpelly (SEKAF Ghana), etc

Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Tamale eventbrite website (barcamptamale14.eventbrite.com) or text “Barcamp Tamale [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network.. You may also contact the BarCamp Tamale team through the eventbrite page for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.

BarCamp Tamale 2014 is sponsored by GhanaThink Foundation, Google, mPedigree, Nandimobile, etc. Our media partners are Spy Ghana, Northern Scope. Join us to move the Northern Region and Ghana forward.

Stay tuned via our social media. Twitter | Facebook | Google+

 

15 Steps To Moderating a Twitter Chat

Jemila -  Twitter chat moderator expert reading through her tweets.

Jemila – Twitter chat moderator expert reading through her tweets.

 

 

Tweet Chats (Twitter Chats) are real time/live conversations held on issues of interest. They are opportunities to engage and converse with other Twitter users on relatable topics. Of course, they are held on Twitter!  Here are 15 things to consider when moderating a Twitter Chat:

  1. Purpose of the chat: Ask yourself what you want to achieve with the chat and what you want participants to learn from the chat.
  2. Develop and create engaging questions or topic: The main topic for the chat/debate should sound interesting for people to join the chat. Ask “How” and “Why” questions and not “Can” questions. The former allows for more contribution from participants while the latter restricts people to either agree or disagree with the topic. In the case of Twitter debates, “Can” questions are employed, but are typically followed up with “Why” for further elaboration by participants.
  3. Read widely about the topic: As a moderator of the Twitter chat/debate, you should have a good grasp on the issues in order to guide the conversation. Read widely on the topic to be discussed, focusing especially on the questions that will steer the conversation. That said, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic – instead, include one or two experts on the panel and direct complex questions to them for further insight. Do not leave any major stone unturned. Some participants are experts in the topic so you need to prepare well.
  4. Create a simple, but catchy hashtag: A tweet is composed of 140 characters. A long hashtag will limit how much can be said per tweet. Make sure the hashtag reflects the topic and is easy to remember. Do not use a long hashtag, remember your participants have only 140 characters to use.  Create a hashtag that speaks about the topic and can easily attract the attention of non-participants
  5. Time zones: Choose your time very well. Pay attention to the time zone of your audience and availability of guests (if any). State the time clearly when promoting the chat.
  6. Promote the chat! Tweet at potential participants: Use the Twitter search feature to search for the hashtag and the topic you are about to discuss. Identify and send tweet invites to specific Twitter handles regarding the upcoming chat. Send out periodic reminders about the chat – a day or two before the chat – state the topic, hashtag, time and guests (if any). Reach out to organisations and networks with an interest in the topic and request that they share with their members. A day or two to the chat day Let people know and understand what it’s all about – Promote the chat days before and consistently remind people about it.

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During the Twitter Chat

  1. Start on time: Start at the stated time. Welcome all (don’t forget to mention them, that’s some rapport building), make room for selected participants to introduce themselves and introduce guests (if any) to the audience. Let your audience know if you are running late and use the opportunity to find out who is tuning in and where from.
  2. Ask the first question: Do not ask the main question now, tweet the sub-question as your first question. Example, if the main question is “How can we create jobs?” the first question should be “Why are there not enough jobs in the market?” The idea is to get people more engaged before the main topic so you can make good use of the time and discuss the topic broadly.
  3. Tweet at participants: When asking questions, mention participants’ Twitter handles. It makes them feel part of the conversation and not left out. See if everyone is tweeting and then tweet at the silent tweeps. Monitor both the event hashtag and the account you are tweeting from to ensure you don’t miss anyone.
  4. Don’t just ask questions, Interact!: Allow people to share their thoughts on each question you ask before tweeting the next question. Engage with the audience, join in the conversation. If you are tweeting from your personal account, share your own thoughts. If you are tweeting from an organizational/company account, tweet about overlaps or linkages from that perspective. Let the conversation flow, quote and retweet participants. You can allow people to comment for about 5-10mins before you ask the next question.
  5. Be in control: You are the moderator so be in charge of the conversation. Some participants are likely to divert the discussion. You will need to direct the conversation so such participants don’t distract others. You can do this by tweeting at specific handles and asking them if they agree with a particular tweet by another participant.
  6. Reiterate and Ask follow-up questions: Read the discussion and look out for some questions that can be generated from the tweets from participants. Where necessary, recap key points to ensure everyone is on the same page. It also helps in clarifying submissions.
  7. Retweet as much as possible: Use the search feature on Twitter or Twitter fall to track the participants using the hashtag so you can retweet them, which is a sign that you are reading their tweets. That said, don’t be repetitive with the retweets – be mindful of the 100 tweets per hour/1000 tweets per day limit. Twitter jail looms. Have a backup account for takeover if necessary.
  8. Manage time: As moderator, it is your duty to manage time and ensure that the key aim(s) of the chat are achieved in the allocated time. It’s easy to get carried away, especially with an interactive chat. Close on time and keep participants in high expectation for the next Twitter chat.
  9. Express gratitude to participants, guests and event organisers: Leave on a high note. Say thank you to all who made the chat possible and interesting!

Post Chat

Document the chat: You can use storify to document the chat or submit it to Global Voices Online for publication. Share the storify article with your audience for those who missed the    chat.

Evaluate the conversation: Assess the whole conversation to find out if the right message was communicated or if the intended purpose for holding the chat was achieved.

 

This post was written by :

Cecil Kwamena Ato Dadzie (@GhanabaKwamena), social media strategist, blogger and Youth Development Advocate.

Kofi Yeboah (@Kofiemeritus), social media strategist, blogger and Communications Officer for Clean Team Ghana – an organisation that provides innovative and portable toilet facilities to the urban .

Thank you to our editor Jemila Abdulai (@JAbdulai)  – Founder of Circumspect.

 

 

Two Young Ghanaian Social Entrepreneurs Receive International Award

Originally posted on Alfred Godwin Adjabeng:

Winnifred Selby and Alfred Godwin Adjabeng Winnifred Selby and Alfred Godwin Adjabeng

Mr. Alfred Godwin Adjabeng, Founder and Executive Director of Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement (ROFLM) and Ms. Win Selby, Co-founder of Ghana Bamboo Bikes represented Ghana at SETAfrica Fellowship and Innovation Award.

They are among 23 young social entrepreneurs who have been picked from 15 Anglophone African countries to undergo leadership training in running social ventures. They received Innovation award and financial support to scale up their projects for their contribution to social entrepreneurship in Africa.

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