Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, founder and general partner at Future Africa, and Okendo Lewis-Gayle, founder and chair of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (HEA). Picture: SUPPLIED
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, founder and general partner at Future Africa, and Okendo Lewis-Gayle, founder and chair of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (HEA). Picture: SUPPLIED

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about growth of the African tech startup industry.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, founder and general partner at Future Africa, together with Okendo Lewis-Gayle, founder and chair of  the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (HEA).

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The discussion begins by examining the importance of networking in the growth of businesses, especially startups.

Lewis-Gayle’s HEA is a network of entrepreneurs — known as Harambeans — who are scaling ventures such as remote working specialist Andela and payment providers Flutterwave and Yoco. Harambeans have raised more than $700m (R4.9bn) from Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma and other prominent investors over the years. He joins us from Cape Town.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Aboyeji, who joins us from Lagos, is one of the founders of Andela, as well as Flutterwave, now valued at over $1bn. He details his career as an entrepreneur and now as an investor, having joined the Harambeans network back in 2010. He says making the right connections is key to getting a business to its next level of growth, especially when looking for funding.

Lewis-Gayle says more work needs to be done create examples of success like Aboyeji.

Both men agree that solving the many issues that plague African countries can be a source of opportunity for entrepreneurs to create businesses, whose products and services can be can exported to the rest of the world.

Financial services, education and healthcare are identified as some of the areas that are currently ripe for disruption. Aboyeji says the Covid-19 pandemic exposed gaps in these areas that can be solved through innovative business models.

The discussion focuses on the work being done by Aboyeji and Lewis-Gayle; the importance of networking for entrepreneurs and startups; Aboyeji and Lewis-Gayle’s career highlights; identifying gaps in the African startup ecosystem; highlighting the available opportunities for new startups; and tips about finding the right investor for a business venture.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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