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Strategies to Educate and Empower Young Entrepreneurs Financially 

Africa is brimming with potential. The continent’s abundance of resources, untapped markets, and youthful population presents a unique opportunity for investors and business leaders to drive economic growth and development. With over 60% of the population under the age of 25, the future of Africa depends on empowering the next generation of young entrepreneurs. 

As the world evolves, so does the way we do business. Nowadays, young entrepreneurs are more prevalent than ever before. With the rise of social media, online commerce, and other technological advancements, it has never been easier for anyone – regardless of age – to start a business. And yet, with this newfound freedom comes a unique set of challenges. Of these, financial literacy is perhaps the most critical.  

Shelia Cizige with 2021 Anzisha Fellow, Oumar Diogo Sow

Many young entrepreneurs in Africa face financial literacy challenges that hinder their ability to start and grow successful businesses. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, only 13% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have access to formal financial services. Additionally, many young entrepreneurs lack the financial knowledge and skills necessary to secure funding, manage cash flow, and make informed financial decisions. 

Sheila Cizige, our resident financial expert and Venture Partner, shared her insights on how young African entrepreneurs can achieve wealth creation through entrepreneurship. According to her, entrepreneurship offers a promising path to wealth creation as it enables the youth to leverage innovative ideas to tackle local challenges effectively. By developing products or services that cater to high market demand, entrepreneurs can generate profits and foster business growth in the process. 

In her role as a venture partner at Anzisha, Sheila focuses on coaching very young entrepreneurs, emphasising the importance of youth economic independence and self-reliance. “With little experience, it is always a challenge to get a job in our economies. Thus, rather than relying on traditional employment, young African entrepreneurs can create their own opportunities, contributing to job creation and overall economic development.” 

Having grown up in DR Congo and holding an MSc in Professional Accountancy from the University of London, Sheila is an ACCA member with extensive experience in finance, administration, and operations across various African organisations. Her dedication to inspiring youth to pursue entrepreneurship is rooted in her belief that fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among young individuals not only leads to personal growth but also contributes to economic prosperity by nurturing problem-solving skills and risk-taking abilities. 

As an educator or business coach, you have a critical role to play in boosting financial literacy among young entrepreneurs in Africa. Here are some tips to help you empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs: 

  • Partner with Financial Institutions 
    Partnering with financial institutions can help young entrepreneurs access financial services and products that can help them start and grow their businesses. Make sure to leverage your network and connect young entrepreneurs with financial institutions that offer loans, savings accounts, and other financial products.  
  • Mentorship and Training 
    Mentorship and training programs can help young entrepreneurs develop the financial knowledge and skills necessary to manage their businesses successfully.  
    “Mentorship is of paramount importance,” says Sheila, “Young African entrepreneurs need personal support and skills development. Their young age means they are still learning to deal with their own emotions, peer pressure, family misunderstanding, and running their business with limited business knowledge. Mentorship is meant to guide them into making informed decisions. This ultimately will increase young African entrepreneurs’ confidence and support their mental resilience.   
  • Encourage Financial Planning 
    Encouraging young entrepreneurs to develop financial plans that include creating financial plans which outline their goals, revenue projections, and expenses and can help them build sustainable businesses.  
  • Support Financial Technology 
    Financial technology, or fintech, has the potential to revolutionise the financial landscape in Africa.  “There are many opportunities for young entrepreneurs if they are committed and work smart,” emphasizes Sheila,  “Today, I believe that tech and app development provide fertile ground for innovation and scalability.” 

    As we move into a new era of business, it’s crucial that we support and empower young entrepreneurs. You can help young entrepreneurs in Africa start and grow successful businesses that benefit their communities and the continent as a whole by boosting their financial literacy, to help create a more prosperous future for us all. 
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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