One of the very cool things happening in Africa at the moment is that many returnees are bypassing the formal employment sectors and turning instead towards entrepreneurship - I struggle to see anything but awesomeness in this. As the great economist Joseph Schumpeter said “human development depends primarily on entrepreneurship”
He also added that “the entrepreneurs function was to revolutionize the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or, more generally, an untried technological possibility”
Exceptional abilities and exceptional men were required and the entrepreneur distinguished himself by a willingness to destroy old patterns of thought and action.
Innovation means overcoming obstacles, inertia and resistance. Carrying out a new plan and acting according to a customary one are things as different as making a road and walking along it”
Now more than ever this is needed in Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country we have to lead on this. We have to find our insurgents that are willing to take on the system, empower them, support them and cheer them on. Africa needs to join the great march towards prosperity that the rest of the world has been on for the past two centuries.
But as we go along, we have some cultural challenges. Our high context society emphasizes unity and community but I believe it is time to start pissing one another off and giving the middle finger to the gate-keepers.
I love the co-creation hub but I think they should care less about the CEO’s that visit, the British high commission, the foundations and government. Fuck them, you should be fighting to neutralize their hold on society. No I am not calling for anarchy but damn it, they don’t share the same goals as you and real insurgents do not collaborate with incumbents. They defeat them. We need big ideas - big fucking ideas.
So lets spur innovation and follow in the words of Schumpeter, let’s destroy certain patterns of thought. Lets take on the system and lets take the keys from the gate-keepers. Build-Ship, tweak, ship, ship, ship, grow - change the world
Until it is a true us vs them mentality- I don’t think entrepreneurship will take root.